Too cold for wort chiller?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cavman22

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
67
Reaction score
5
Location
Denver
Question,

The high on Saturday (brew day of course) here in Colorado is 4 degrees. If I keep my hose inside right up til the moment I need to chill, then run out and hook it up/turn on the water will I be ok?

Plumbing experts? I sure don't want any pipes to freeze and bust. Obviously I'm talking from an outdoor spigot.

Thanks!
 

schematix

Banned
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,785
Reaction score
4,835
I'd be more worried about your outdoor hook-up being frozen and you won't have any chill water. have you tested it before when its that cold out?

don't leave the hose connected when you are done.
 

mongoose33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
8,097
Reaction score
7,991
Location
Platteville, WI
If the water is above freezing you should be ok. Exception: you run the water very slow, or your hose is very long.

And as schematix says, all the above depends on whether your plumbing will allow for the water to flow in the first place.
 

mxstar21

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
597
Reaction score
91
Location
Dumfries
I would say no. Not a plumbing expert, but I had a similiar situation happen and it caused a pipe to rupture. I don't think the hose bib was freeze proof and it caused a pipe to rupture inside our house. Luckily we were living on post at Fort Belvoir on Virginia and the housing office forgot to post notices to not use your the outside hose bibs in the winter, so I didn't have to pay for repairs.
 

Drk93TT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
272
Reaction score
25
If its a outdoor hookup it will most likely be frozen at that temp ! Im in the same boat as I brew outdoors and its like 2 degrees.. so no go
 

schematix

Banned
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,785
Reaction score
4,835
i would expect all houses in colorado are built with freeze proof hose bibs given the climate... BUT, they are only freeze proof if the hose is disconnected and they are tilted downwards. they work on the principle that the valve seat is at the back of a long tube, and water will drain down and out when nothing is connected, thus not freezing inside the tube. the tube is typically also long enough, 8-12" that it's inside the house, which is >32, even in cold areas.

But i'd test it before committing. An alternative is to run a hose from your washing machine hose bibb to your brewing area, but you'll have to talk to your wife about that one...

FYI this is what happens when you don't disconnect the hose

View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1481772368.628241.jpg

River in the basement
 

mongoose33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
8,097
Reaction score
7,991
Location
Platteville, WI
Go to the hose bib, turn it on, then turn it off. If the water runs out of the faucet after turning it off, it's draining and it's a frost-proof faucet (as schematix describes).

Once you're done, disconnect the hose--it can only drain if there's nothing preventing the water from draining.

But when you chill, you should be running the water full force, and it's not going to freeze on you for the relatively short time it's running.
 

mxstar21

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
597
Reaction score
91
Location
Dumfries
i would expect all houses in colorado are built with freeze proof hose bibs given the climate... BUT, they are only freeze proof if the hose is disconnected and they are tilted downstairs. they work on the principle that the valve seat is at the back of a long tube, and water will drain down and out when nothing is connected, thus not freezing inside the tube. the tube is typically also long enough, 8-12" that it's inside the house, which is >32, even in cold areas.

But i'd test it before committing. An alternative is to run a hose from your washing machine hose bibb to your brewing area, but you'll have to talk to your wife about that one...

FYI this is what happens when you don't disconnect the hose...

(picture coming shortly via mobile)
I would have thought houses on Fort Belvoir, VA would have had freeze proof hose bibs as well. Can get pretty cold here to. At the time, I didn't know what to look for.
 

schematix

Banned
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
6,785
Reaction score
4,835
oh, and this is why i built a basement electric brewery. lows in the single digits here this weekend, highs in the low 20s on monday, and i'll be brewing in an undershirt and shorts.
 

V-Fib

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
254
Reaction score
102
Like Schematix said but it all depends on building codes. In Illinois all residential outside water valves have a 12" tube that the valve is in the house and past some insulation. But it all depends on the age of the house and if anyone changed things.

If you go for it just make sure you don't have the hose attached without water flowing or it will freeze and potentially freeze the pipe.
 
OP
C

cavman22

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
67
Reaction score
5
Location
Denver
I definetly have the long bibs like shown above. I'm just paranoid, I just finished my basement and don't want a flood.

Think I may play it safe and do the ol' ice bath
 

jwm1485

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
142
Reaction score
13
Location
milwaukee
We brew all winter long in Wisconsin which can get pretty cold. I have a little submersible pump that is for a backyard foutain that we use to chill. Just hook it up in a bucket of ice and water and you are good.
 

kristiismean

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
873
Reaction score
201
I'm Like JWM, but I use a bilge pump (replaced then at 2 years, old ones still work, just don't trust them) in a semi-recirculating ice bath. I know the water is 32-33 degrees and I am not wasting as much water..
 
OP
C

cavman22

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
67
Reaction score
5
Location
Denver
Good idea. I may have an old one from my boat If I can find the right fittings. Just hook it up to a 12v battery
 

Terek

"Did I just drop down a rabbit hole?"
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
1,000
Reaction score
251
Location
Nampa
i just brewed a barleywine the other day, it was around 8 degrees f. I kept my hose in the bathtub up until i needed it. Ran out, hooked up, and chilled away. No problems, but the hose froze within 2 min. of me shutting it off. I live on a farm, and hooked my hose up to the steel spiket out in the field. Its designed not to freeze. You could always hook the hose up to the sink, and run it out a window. Or just set the pot outside. At 2 degrees, should cool down quickly
 
Top