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Cooling equipment

I like to think I’m fairly handy. I’m an electrical engineer, and I built the electric kettle and controller myself with a large pot, a few parts, and an electric hot water tank element. I plan to add a second control box to control the voltage and change the temperature in a more analog way.

That being said… there are many times and applications where I just don’t know where to begin. If I know how something works, what requirements and stipulations I must adhere to, I can usually figure out a way to build it. But here, I have no clue where to begin. I could easily do a second chiller placed in an ice bath, or a pump sitting in ice water, those are both good ideas that I wouldn’t have come up with on my own. I guess when it comes to home brewing equipment, I just don’t know where I should jump in.

For now, just ask the PC what you are wanting to do… You’ll get many ideas… Thats where the home brew comes in… As I looked to do what I’ve done, I went looking… so many things to find online… Be careful… do use some way to keep your thought to one step at a time… Sneezles61

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So what would everyone recommend? I would use the immersion chiller to knock it down, then I have 2 options:

  1. A pre-chiller (25’ coil) in an ice bucket, inlet from the hose, outlet to the immersion chiller. Immersion chiller output to the sink drain

  2. a pond pump, immersed in ice water. Outlet to the immersion chiller. Immersion chiller output back into the bucket to recirculation

Obviously option 2 saves more water, as it would eventually lead to a reusable amount of water. I think I may be able to swing either option for about the same price, and I have a big freezer to make a bunch of ice. Would option 1 work a lot better? If not, it sounds like option 2 would be better because I can reuse water. But if option 1 is a ton better, I would go that route. Thoughts?

I had great success with option #2. Plus, you can dual purpose your pump, if needed. That can be a selling point to the Mrs. I know use my utility pump for a CIP on my 3 conicals. Win-Win.

There you go! Loopie has a great plan… I would spend a few days looking at those pumps… Try forecast as you will grow your equipment, where can the pump be repurposed… You can freeze milk cartons to be reused for this adventure too! Let the fun begin! Sneezles61

Before i had a silver sepent. And a boil kettle. With. A valve. I did put the boil kettle in a large conceet tub filled with ice. And did swirl the boil kettle in the ice bucket. This cools it down fast. About ten minutes. And ready to transfer to the fermentor now i do use a boil kettle with valve a transfer pump. I put the silverpump in the ice bucket. And transfer the wort this way. This works perfect for the climate i do live inn

I say option 1 is more simple for 5 gallons. Option 2 if you already have a pump. If your going to buy a $40 pump spend a coup extra bucks and get one you can pump wort with otherwise like I said just use a drill pump. Your only moving a little bit of water a couple feet. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication


I had a plate chiller…it was a PITA to maintain so I gave it away. Then I used a counterflow. Less of a pain, but still too much effort. I now use a Hydra and it chills as fast as the other 2 with a lot less maintenance effort.


I’m curious then Denny, have you tried the JaDeD counterflow chiller? Sneezles61

Option 1 is what I do, which works reasonably well here in Florida for 5 gallon batches, even with year round warm ground water. Should work great if you’re from an area with cooler tap water. I then use the cold water from First in series chiller bath to fill my cooler that houses the carboy for ales, being careful to mix for target temp for fermenting said ale, eg 62-68*…

Nope…I’m sure it’s great but it couldn’t work any better than the Hydra.

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