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Garden hoses for brew day

For the people that use immersion chillers what do you use for hoses? Anyone use a expanding hose at least for the inlet side of the chiller? Looks like the shortest expanding hose I’ve seen is 25ft. Smaller than my current hose of 100ft but Jaded recommends shortest possible on inlet for best water flow. Pretty sure it wouldn’t work well on the outlet with hot water.

I don’t use one on mine yet… But I did buy the 25 foot recently for doing some masonry stuff in my basement and I also connect it to a hot water line and run it out to my driveway for cleaning out my brew stuff. Works great with the hot water although I do not know what it’s upper limit would be. I would have no reservations about using it on my inlet to the immersion chiller as I think the smaller diameter chiller coil will keep enough back pressure in the scrunchy hose to keep it from wanting to contract.

Oh but my chiller is the basic version…I think you are talking about a more advanced design so maybe it takes advantage of higher flow rates.

I use a standard garden hose on both sides of mine. Never had a problem. Both are 50’ I think.


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I just made up a short one out of 3/8 tubing for my inlet and it works fine.

Shortest length before the chiller really makes no sense… only is important to minimize pressure drop at the inlet of a pump. But a chiller isn’t a pump, so what affects pressure drop is total length of hose, hose diameter, and flow rate. Surface roughness, but that’s not really a variable we bother to control in homebrewing. Makes no difference whether the hose length is in front of the chiller or behind it, just total hose length.

Now if you’re in a really hot climate, you might warm up your cooling water a bit by having a longer hose on the inlet of your chiller. But hoses make really bad heat exchangers. That’s why we use copper coils and tube/fin radiators and the like. But that has nothing to do with flow rate.

Anyways, these are just some random ramblings of a half drunk heat transfer guy. Don’t hook up 500’ of half inch line to either inlet or outlet of your chiller, and you’ll be fine.

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I run a standard garden hose through the laundry room to the kitchen :astonished: (my wife loves this) and it attaches to a short length of 3/8th tubing to a chiller in ice that is in series with a second chiller in the wort. 3/8th tubing there at the outlet, collecting the water for reuse.

It’s just those scrunchy hoses he asked about, if you apply pressure to them the expand and lengthen to about 2-3x over when they are drained. So if you have the hose " charged up " with water pressure when you put the chiller in your wort and then Turn off the water when the wort is cooled, that hose will start pulling back on your connected chiller . Just keep that in mind when you are using it.

Can’t believe I didn’t even think about that. That would be a pain setting that up too before it’s expanded and laying the hose out while it expands.

*After another thought a valve at the end if the hose would keep the hose expanded.

Yes I don’t think it will be a problem unless you shut the water off at the source ( faucet) and forget that the hose will want to contract like a rubber band. I may try mine this Thursday when I brew up a batch. I like that hose for general use and may get a longer one as well to reach further when cleaning my fermenters. It’s nice to connect it up to the hot water line in my basement instead of washing in cold water in the winter. I could just use a bit longer length so I don’t create an ice slick in the driveway. The real solution for me is to install a big utility sink. I could use it for the chiller as well and make an ice bath. They aren’t expensive to try, just keep an eye on it the first time to make sure it doesn’t expand into an area you don’t want it to, or pull your chiller out of the kettle when you shut the water off. It doesn’t expand out straight and stiff, rather it will expand whatever coil it is in…looks a little creepy like a black snake moving and slithering…

I’ve tried a few hoses and just have not had great success with any of them (for general use not exclusively for brewing). A cheap green hose was just that cheap. Kinked and wore out at the kink dragging it across the driveway. Bought a NeverKink 25ft lasted a few years although it kinked. It ended up getting a pin hole probably at a kink. While that one was still good bought a NeverKink 100ft hose because I needed to reach a raised garden bed in backyard. It works fine but is a pain to lug around. Only hose I had left this past brew day. Pretty sure all of these hoses were vinyl.

I’m thinking about trying a rubber hose. Probably in the 25ft length which work for most everything I would use it for. Maybe 50ft max. I have some bulk 5/8" goodyear hy-t heater hose laying around. I will probably make it into a outlet hose with a garden hose adapter. Something on the short side but yeah long enough to clear the driveway for winter brewing. Should work great with hot water coming out of the chiller.

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