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Cheap and water efficient wort chiller setup?

Aussie Home Brewer

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Horatio

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So if you're happy with hot cubing and having to wait till the next day to pitch yeast then stick with it.

On the other hand if you want to wrap up brew day on brew day including pitching yeast then go the pond pump in esky with ice bath recirculating through the IC. I only use this once the wort hits approx 30c as you'll melt the ice and warm the water in no time. I just premake a few ice blocks using takeaway containers a few day earlier.

This is how I now chill my wort. I also recapture the tap water I use with my IC into my water tanks. I understand you're renting and this might not be an option, just thought I'd share for others.

I brewed a few weeks back in Melbourne and it took me approx 40mins to get my wort to 18c. 20mins or so using tap water then another 20 mins with the pond pump esky ice bath recirculation going.

Oh and get a pump off ebay not the big green shed. They cost less and are more powerful.

My 2c. Hope it helps.
 

BrewLizard

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I second everything Horatio said. Also, overspec your eBay pump a bit. I got a 1500 L/h one, but that must be when it's running downhill without a hose connected. It's about 4-6 L/min (240-360 L/h) through my small wort chiller. For you guys doing full-sized batches, get the nominal 6000 L/h ones.
 

Horatio

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Agree with BrewLizard about overpsecing your pump. I bought this 3000L/H model and its more than sufficient with my copper IC. It also doubles as a pump for my keg/fermenter cleaner.

 

Blackman

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I'm another one that just recirculates from rain water tank. Heated water out of chiller through garden hose out the door and clamped in the spout. Takes about 30-40 minutes.
 

Droopy Brew

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Firstly, what is the cost of the water? $3 a kL or there abouts?
If you are doing this purely for a cost saving measure then do a basic cost benefit analysis. At a flow rate of 10l/min (which is on the high side, Id usually run at half that) and you are chilling for say 40 minutes (again, about double what I do with water at 25-30C in NQ) then you are using 400L or about $1.20.
How much is a pump going to cost you? Lets say for easy calculation $36 and lets say that allows you to halve your water usage (60c per brew day). It will take you 60 brews to break even.

So from a cost perspective it makes absolutely no sense to try to minimise your water use to save $ on water alone. From an environmental perspective it is a worthy idea.

To maximise cost savings on water and also make a little saving on electricity/gas, you could chill through a traditional chiller and run the water which is now warmed, into the bath and have a wash up after brew day. Sprinkle in some Sodium perc bath salts and you can jump in with your brew gear and give it a wash at the same time, nothing like shiney stainless and shiney balls ;)
 

Horatio

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From a pure cost benefit analysis you are on point.

If you want to chill your wort to pitch temp using an esky ice pump setup then that's why you'd buy the pump. And get brew day finished without waiting till it chills the next day.
 
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Droopy Brew

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From a pure cost benefit analysis you are on point.

If you want to chill your wort to pitch temp using an ice bath then that's why you'd buy the pump. And get brew day finished without waiting till it chills the next day.
I get mine to tap temp which in Townsville will range from 23c in winter to 31C in summer. This chills to a point that locks in isomerisation. I then putthe fermenter in the temp controlled freezer and am down to 18C in a couple of hours so pitch then. I use an upright freezer to ferment so it gets it down pretty quick, a 30yr old kelvinator might take a lot longer so I guess it depends upon your fermentation chamber. Still, fucking about with ice and a pump would have me reaching for the cubes pretty quick but to each their own.
 

BrewLizard

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Just did my 2nd brew with the ice water pump and wouldn’t look back. It just makes the painful part of 40->27 so much faster.
 

nanuk

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I am lucky my tap water is very cold. (I'm on my own well) I can tweek the drain to leak, set my kettle in the sink, fill almost overflowing with water, then adjust to maintain a level.
I can chill from boiling to pitching temp in about 20 minutes.

But being lazy, the No Chill is an option I'd like to explore.

Also, I have wondered about a wet towel and a big fan.
Spritz bottle to keep moist... and let physics help.
 

Grmblz

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I wonder how many of us (Aus) are on tank water?
I have 120,000L storage, and late last year had to buy water for the first time, $350 for 13,000L, no teenage daughters (thank heavens they've grown up and gone) just me n the missus, and occasional visits from the kids.
Water is something many of us take for granted, we shouldn't.
 

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