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Tap Water Not Cold Enough for Chiller

I measured the temp coming out of my tap and it was ~78F. And it was taking FOREVER to get my wort down to pitching temp using an immersion chiller. In the cooler months, this hasn’t been a problem.

I have two ideas in mind…

  1. buying a second immersion chiller which will sit in a pot of water and ice. This chiller will be daisy-chained to a second immersion chiller which sits in the wort. The tap water will pass through the ice bath first and then into the kettle.

  2. Buy a pump and pump the wort out of the kettle and into the immersion chiller which is sitting in an ice bath.

Any comments on these options or suggestions for an alternative?

Tap water to 100*. Pump in a pail of ice water for the remainder.

The “pre chiller” is not as effective. Temp change is best when there is a large difference. 32*/78* is not as good as 32*/100

Take your current chiller and put it in a pail of ice water. See what temp drop you get. I think you will find it’s not a large drop.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Tap water to 100*. Pump in a pail of ice water for the remainder.

The “pre chiller” is not as effective. Temp change is best when there is a large difference. 32*/78* is not as good as 32*/100

Take your current chiller and put it in a pail of ice water. See what temp drop you get. I think you will find it’s not a large drop.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply, but I’m not understanding your direction. Can you be a bit clearer? Thanks

On what part?

Testing how a “pre chiller” works : in the open air, run your IC and test the temp of the water coming out. Then put it in a bucket of ice water. Test the temp of the water and see how much it drops. Make sure you use the same flow rate.

Or how to use a pump? At the end of the boil, run tap water through your IC as normal. When the wort reached ~100*, switch to running ice water through it. This way you are not wasting ice. Make many bricks of ice. Recirculate the water into the pail. When you need to add more ice, run some water out and add the ice.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]On what part?

Testing how a “pre chiller” works : in the open air, run your IC and test the temp of the water coming out. Then put it in a bucket of ice water. Test the temp of the water and see how much it drops. Make sure you use the same flow rate.

Or how to use a pump? At the end of the boil, run tap water through your IC as normal. When the wort reached ~100*, switch to running ice water through it. This way you are not wasting ice.[/quote]

OK, now I follow you. I’ll test the temp difference between IC with and without ice bath.

And I think that’s a good idea to use tap water for the first ~100* and ice water for the remaining ~30*.

Thanks Nighthawk!

I use recirculated ice water through my plate chiller during the summer.

Just took a $16 pond pump and a left over piece of hose.

ChrisP, I do your first idea of the double immersion chiller with the first in ice bucket. This works great for me, and I can chill my wort down to about 65 in about 15 to 20 minutes. I do live in Southern California however where the temperature never really gets over 85° outside.

In the summer months, like Nighthawk, I chill for a while with tap water and then switch to ice water.

I clean my mash tun out as soon as I can and fill it with water and frozen 2 liter bottles or 1 gallon jugs. It’s nice and cold by the time I’m ready to use it.

I’ll recirculate water in the winter time also. Keeps from making a ice skating rink. :wink:

I live in Texas, so not the coolest. Tap water comes out in the 90’s some times.

I usually use the chiller to get down as low as it’ll go then put the whole covered brew kettle in the keezer till it’s crystal clear and down to pitching temp.

Figured I upgraded to an IC from using an ice bath to save money.

I use a 2nd IC in a bucket of ice water as a prechiller. I find that there is a stratification of temps in the ice bucket - that the tap water warms up the water around the IC. I use my aeration blade on a drill to periodically stir the ice water. If you touch the outgoing side you actually feel the temp go down when stirring.

Also, if you add salt to the ice water it will go lower than 32. This has not been necessary for me, but is an option.

Instead of a second chiller at $50 or more, extend the line between the water faucet and the chiller with a 25 ft. water hose or plastic tubing, way cheaper, and coil that in a bucket filled with ice water.

I also use my tap water (81-82 in the summer) to get me to about 110-115 in about 20 minutes then switch to a pond pump and in another 10 minutes, I’m down to 66 or so. I wish I had thought of that years ago and saved me some time and misery.
I’m surprised how little ice is needed in my ice chest to get this down to pitching temps.

Pre-chilling the water before the IC works great for me too.

To the OP, I think you would want to avoid your option #2 of pumping hot wort through the submerged IC. You would likely precipitate break material within the IC coil, that could either clog it or make it very hard to clean.

The pond pump option is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, I even have a second small (25’) IC from my partial boil days. What size pond pump is good for this? How many GPM?

Thanks

[quote=“Belpaire”]The pond pump option is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, I even have a second small (25’) IC from my partial boil days. What size pond pump is good for this? How many GPM?

Thanks[/quote]

I purchased a 1/3hp sump pump when it was on sale for ~$50. No help for a pond pump.

[quote=“Steeler D”]Pre-chilling the water before the IC works great for me too.

To the OP, I think you would want to avoid your option #2 of pumping hot wort through the submerged IC. You would likely precipitate break material within the IC coil, that could either clog it or make it very hard to clean.[/quote]

Same theory as a counter flow chiller or a plate chiller.

Vinyl/rubber is a poor conductor of heat.

Vinyl/rubber is a poor conductor of heat.[/quote]

It wouldn’t be conducting heat, it would be delivering chilled water to the I C.

Vinyl/rubber is a poor conductor of heat.[/quote]

It wouldn’t be conducting heat, it would be delivering chilled water to the I C.[/quote]

Am I reading your post correctly? Instead of a coil of copper, you propose a coil of vinyl/plastic/rubber in a bucket of ice water.

If so, you are trying to transfer (conduct) the heat from the tap water to the bucket of water, or transferring the cold of the bucket to the tap water line. Correct?

Vinyl/plastic/rubber hose has a poor “heat/cold” transfer property.

If I am missing something, please let me know.

Ok, so I got my pond pump. Now I need to figure out how to hook it up to my immersion chiller.

The connection from the pump to the tube should be pretty simple, I’ll just used a barbed fitting with with a 1" MPT that will screw onto the pump and then push onto a hose.

But on the other end of the hose, I need an adapter to connect to the existing garden hose connection on my IC. Not sure what type of adapter this calls for. Any thoughts?

[quote=“Chris-P”]Ok, so I got my pond pump. Now I need to figure out how to hook it up to my immersion chiller.

The connection from the pump to the tube should be pretty simple, I’ll just used a barbed fitting with with a 1" MPT that will screw onto the pump and then push onto a hose.

But on the other end of the hose, I need an adapter to connect to the existing garden hose connection on my IC. Not sure what type of adapter this calls for. Any thoughts?[/quote]

Would this work?

http://morebeer.com/products/brass-hose ... ?site_id=5
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