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Chilling when outdoor temp is below freezing w/o snow

I brew outside and use an IC. I usually use a pond pump and snow in the winter for chill water, but I don’t presently have snow. It’s presently below freezing, so running the hose seems like a bad idea. Do any of you cold weather brewers have a workaround?

I am starting to think about a plate chiller, as I could probably leave out a tub of water to freeze and recirculate with that. I am curious if there’s a practical solution for an IC for now.

I’m not sure what kind of spigots you have, but I routinely drain and fill my hot tub in the winter using my outdoor spigots. My spigots backdrain so I don’t have to worry about them freezing up.

Good stuff. I will have to figure out what kind of spigot I have.

I have made up bricks of ice. Recirculate water in a 5 gallon pail with the ice. When it gets full I put the discharge hose into another bucket. Then add ice to the bucket with the pump. Repeat.

If you save the 1st 3-4 gallons you have heated water for clean-up.

Save the rest of the water to refreeze for your next brewday.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]I have made up bricks of ice. Recirculate water in a 5 gallon pail with the ice. When it gets full I put the discharge hose into another bucket. Then add ice to the bucket with the pump. Repeat.

If you save the 1st 3-4 gallons you have heated water for clean-up.

Save the rest of the water to refreeze for your next brewday.[/quote]

Interesting. How many bricks of ice do you use on average?

+1 My spigots backdrain as well, so I just use the hose.
As long as you leave the water running when chilling and disconnect the hose from the spigot when you are finished, I don’t think you would have an issue with most spigots.

What do you use for a mold to make bricks of ice in? I’m all for using free chilling.

You can leave the fermentor out in the cold but I suppose that might not be fast enough to avoid the potential for DMS. I good boil makes that point moot though. I just judged 39 beers in a contest and only found DMS in maybe two of them. Of course, maybe they cooled outdoors in the open air!

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