Saving water when chilling

By nature I try to conserve resources whenever possible. Instead of connecting my homemade immersion chiller to th tap and running the water down th drain I hooked it up to a submersible pump which I placed in the sink. I filled it with 20lbs of ice, water and salt and ran the outlet hose from the chiller back into the sink to recirculate. I was able to chill 5 gallons of wort to 65 degrees in 12 minutes and I used approximately 5 gallons of water.

Roland

Conservation of our natural resources should always be a consideration in problem solving. Congratulations on making it work for you.

Have you tried the efficiency of the chiller without salt so the water could be reused for plants, washing clothes, etc.?

Not so far, I would imagine it would chill it in 15 minutes or so.

Some brewers reuse that warm water by putting it in their washing machine. If I bottle a previous batch the same day I brew a new batch, I’ll save that warm water in a tote, throw some StarSan in, and sanitize the entire 2 cases of bottles at once. It is amazing how much cold water it takes to chill a 5 gallon batch of beer.

Yep, I run it into my laundry. Chilling a 5-gallon batch doesn’t even take as much water as a full load of clothes, but it’s close.

[quote=“Roland_deschain”]By nature I try to conserve resources whenever possible. Instead of connecting my homemade immersion chiller to th tap and running the water down th drain I hooked it up to a submersible pump which I placed in the sink. I filled it with 20lbs of ice, water and salt and ran the outlet hose from the chiller back into the sink to recirculate. I was able to chill 5 gallons of wort to 65 degrees in 12 minutes and I used approximately 5 gallons of water.

Roland[/quote]

 If you are just looking at saving water, you have a great idea.  If you are looking at conserving resources as a whole, then you have to realize you spent electricity on freezing that ice and running that pump.  Unless you have windmills and/or solar panels and therefore have renewable sources of energy, your carbon foot print is bigger than if you had just hooked up the chiller to the tap.  Just something to think about.

[quote=“brewdvm”][quote=“Roland_deschain”]By nature I try to conserve resources whenever possible. Instead of connecting my homemade immersion chiller to th tap and running the water down th drain I hooked it up to a submersible pump which I placed in the sink. I filled it with 20lbs of ice, water and salt and ran the outlet hose from the chiller back into the sink to recirculate. I was able to chill 5 gallons of wort to 65 degrees in 12 minutes and I used approximately 5 gallons of water.

Roland[/quote]

 If you are just looking at saving water, you have a great idea.  If you are looking at conserving resources as a whole, then you have to realize you spent electricity on freezing that ice and running that pump.  Unless you have windmills and/or solar panels and therefore have renewable sources of energy, your carbon foot print is bigger than if you had just hooked up the chiller to the tap.  Just something to think about.[/quote]

:cheers:

…time is not a renewable resource, though.

You’re correct, of course when you look at it like that this entire hobby isn’t exactly green. Lots of fuel for boiling, lots of electricity for cooling, greenhouse gasses from fermentation, etc…
Roland

It’s a lot greener than buying the commercial stuff. I save the hot water that first comes out into my sink and wash some of my equipment.

[quote=“Roland_deschain”]You’re correct, of course when you look at it like that this entire hobby isn’t exactly green. Lots of fuel for boiling, lots of electricity for cooling, greenhouse gasses from fermentation, etc…
Roland[/quote]

Agreed. I’ve had that struggle in my mind especially when I started AG. Running a propane burner outside where all that heat is then dissipated in the environment without any return is a bit concerning. However, if you have ever canned or otherwise preserved foods, it is also very energy intense. Historically, fermentation was, and still is, a form of food preservation.

Having said that, I spent all summer building what I’m calling an electric brewing cart. I can’t brew in the summer as I have no fermentation freezer, etc. to keep the temperature within a reasonable range, and I feel this is yet another big energy consumption. I’ve had too many issues with trying to boil in the wind on my outside porch, and so I decided to move away from propane burners and bring everything inside. My thoughts are that electric brewing is more energy efficient because almost all of the energy that is turned into heat is absorbed into the water, wort, etc., and since it’s inside my house, that boiled off heat will warm up my house instead of just dissipating into the outside environment. I am trying it for the very first time tomorrow with two different IPA AG kits. I can’t wait to find out how good my house is going to smell with all that hop aroma floating around. I plan to post a write-up with pictures if all goes well.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”][quote=“brewdvm”][quote=“Roland_deschain”]By nature I try to conserve resources whenever possible. Instead of connecting my homemade immersion chiller to th tap and running the water down th drain I hooked it up to a submersible pump which I placed in the sink. I filled it with 20lbs of ice, water and salt and ran the outlet hose from the chiller back into the sink to recirculate. I was able to chill 5 gallons of wort to 65 degrees in 12 minutes and I used approximately 5 gallons of water.

Roland[/quote]

 If you are just looking at saving water, you have a great idea.  If you are looking at conserving resources as a whole, then you have to realize you spent electricity on freezing that ice and running that pump.  Unless you have windmills and/or solar panels and therefore have renewable sources of energy, your carbon foot print is bigger than if you had just hooked up the chiller to the tap.  Just something to think about.[/quote]

:cheers:

…time is not a renewable resource, though.[/quote]

Absolutely true! Another big reason I moved to electric brewing. I plan to cut possibly up to 1/3 of the time out of my brew day. Maybe more. I’ve implemented some additional concepts in my design. Can’t wait to share it with you guys.

[quote=“brewdvm”][quote=“Roland_deschain”]You’re correct, of course when you look at it like that this entire hobby isn’t exactly green. Lots of fuel for boiling, lots of electricity for cooling, greenhouse gasses from fermentation, etc…
Roland[/quote]

Agreed. I’ve had that struggle in my mind especially when I started AG. Running a propane burner outside where all that heat is then dissipated in the environment without any return is a bit concerning. However, if you have ever canned or otherwise preserved foods, it is also very energy intense. Historically, fermentation was, and still is, a form of food preservation.

Having said that, I spent all summer building what I’m calling an electric brewing cart. I can’t brew in the summer as I have no fermentation freezer, etc. to keep the temperature within a reasonable range, and I feel this is yet another big energy consumption. I’ve had too many issues with trying to boil in the wind on my outside porch, and so I decided to move away from propane burners and bring everything inside. My thoughts are that electric brewing is more energy efficient because almost all of the energy that is turned into heat is absorbed into the water, wort, etc., and since it’s inside my house, that boiled off heat will warm up my house instead of just dissipating into the outside environment. I am trying it for the very first time tomorrow with two different IPA AG kits. I can’t wait to find out how good my house is going to smell with all that hop aroma floating around. I plan to post a write-up with pictures if all goes well.[/quote]
It certainly is great in the winter when it’s cold and dry out, but in the summer it’s a bit much. I brew inside year round, but have been thinking that maybe I should be brewing outside in the summer. I’ve had some leather coats build up a little mold in closets and that’s been very annoying. I’m sure the brewing isn’t helping.

To the OP, I would think that immediately starting a pump with 20lbs of ice with that super hot water coming out of the chiller right off would melt the ice too fast before your wort is to pitching temp.
Usually when the tap water is too warm or I’m brewing a lager, I’ll chill down almost as far as my water will let me, 70-80F, and switch to an ice water recirculation with a pond pump.

Quite creative!
We live in an area with lots of water and we have a great well so I just put my pot in the sink with a few pounds of ice.
Then I turn on the tap and let it keep running, overflowing into the other sink. The water then goes down the drain into our septic tank and is back in the ground to be used again with almost no water loss.
About every 5 minutes I gently stir the wort with my sanitized brewing spoon.
It takes me a bit longer to cool my wort this way, about 40 minutes for a 5 gallon batch.

You mentioned salt. How much?

I use a pump to recirculate ice water from a bucket too. I thought about adding salt before, but decided against. It seemed like the quantity needed would add too much cost. And ice alone cools pretty fast. Plus it would corrode the pump faster without a cleaning rinse

This might not apply to most, but right now I am doing extract kits which call for 2 1/2 to 3 gallon boils. I can fill the sink with ice and water and by spinning the pot I can drop the temperature down to 70 degrees in about 12 minutes. Yes it takes energy to make the ice but I am not running water to cool the wort. Not sure how much water is being saved but I am sure it’s at least more than it takes to make the ice. Just my 2 cents.
:cheers:

I,ll have to try that…I live in the country and brew in our garage and waters not a big deal except i have to run a hose from house to garage…this could save me some set-up time and shave some brew-day time as well… :cheers:

Three gallon batches I also do the ice bath. 5 and up I use the chiller. In the winter I save the first 5 gallons of hot water out of the chiller for washing stuff and the recirculate ice water for the rest of the way. In the warmer month I just collect the water in a couple garbage can barrels and water my plants during the week. The last few batches I have been just chilling untill I get cold break then I put it in the bucket and wait till the morning. Saves water and time on brew day

I run mine into the pool