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Immersion chilling questions

Just starting out brewing here and considering my next upgrade. I was thinking of going with an immersion chiller but the thought of running and wasting water for 20+ minutes straight is bothersome to me. I started kinda toying with the idea of recirculating ice water from a bucket into the immersion chiller. Has anyone done this on the cheap? I really don’t want to dump $70 on a sump pump from home depot just for this. Just wondering if I would have some success with maybe a $20 aquarium pump.

Thoughts and suggestions would be great.

I have done exactly that and it will work but I’ll warn that you need quite a bit of ice to cool down a batch of beer to pitching temps. If you’re will to run and grab some bags of ice it will work well (and cool pretty fast).

I get your point on wasting water. If for weather reasons I am running the chiller indoors, I dump the water into the washing machine and use it for the next load of dark clothes. If I am outdoors, the water goes into the rain barrel and gets used on the flowers and in the garden.

What type of pump did you use? I was thinking of maybe getting one of those big bags of ice from the store on brew day and adding more to the bucket as it melts

The hot water coming out at the start works well for cleaning out a mash tun. After that, I typically direct the hose to a tree or flower bed. Also keep in mind that you probably won’t be operating with the faucet full-open.

What type of pump did you use? I was thinking of maybe getting one of those big bags of ice from the store on brew day and adding more to the bucket as it melts[/quote]
Here is the pump I used. http://www.amazon.com/PP53006-Submersib … d_sbs_lg_5 I also use it as part of a keg washer setup. I just used an adapter like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FPCK3U so that I could hook up a hose.

I use the $9 pump from Harbour Freight, in a bucket of ice, and enough water to get things rolling, works great.

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