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Uses for Immersion Chiller Water

So, if there’s one thing that bothers me about brewing, it’s how much water is wasted when using an immersion chiller. I do all my brewing outside, and I’ve come up with a couple of ways to avoid total loss of all that water, such as routing it to a rain barrel or catching it in a cooler and dumping it on our compost. Another idea I’m thinking of is attaching a hose fitting to the outflow end so I can run a sprinkler where needed while chilling the wort.

Anyone else come up with other uses, or maybe a way to store it for future brews? My concern here is it would get funky by the time I used it.

We have major water issues at my house so I use a big cooler, filled with water and ice, and a pump. With this set up, I don’t use much water to chill. I replenish about half way through with more water and ice. So I end up with a few gallons, which then go into the rain barrel.

Restricting the outlet flow (with a sprinkler for example) will raise the pressure on the inlet side, so make sure your fittings are tight or you will end up spraying water, usually right into your kettle.

+1 to the recirculating ice bath and pump - I get the wort down to ~100F then switch to the ice. Saves at least half the water.

Heh. I’ve had the hose slip off. Fortunately it just fell to the ground. A little may have gone into the kettle, but not much. Volume into primary was more or less on the mark and no infections have arisen in that batch (yet?). The clamps are super tight as a result, but I’m still super paranoid about that happening again (kinda worried the clamps are too tight and risk cutting the hoses). I’ll bring it on real slow if I try the sprinkler.

I’ll may look into a pump, but that just moves consumption from water to electricity :wink: .

It only accounts for a small amount, but I use the exit water to spray out my mash tun and some of the other equipment.

Yeah, I do that, too…

Shadetree, about how long does it take for you to cool from boiling to pitch ready temps with the ice bath?

I take that opportunity to bathe. I brew outside too, so I water the lawn, add ph to the soil from the soap and get squeaky clean and wide awake too!

not really. :lol:

[quote=“wrclancy”]Shadetree, about how long does it take for you to cool from boiling to pitch ready temps with the ice bath?[/quote]Depends on the batch size and how much ice I have on hand - last brew day I chilled 16.5 gallons of wort from 100F to 60F in about 30 minutes using 40 lbs of ice. This is only the second time I’ve used the new kettle and whirlpool and the first time took just about as long, so I’m replacing the old IC with a new, larger one to speed it up.

I used to just let it go down the drain, but now I water the plants with it. I have a garden hose that I hook up to the outlet. I know. Bo-o-o-o-ring.

Paul

I used to fill my washing machine with my runoff, but then I got a fancy one that does all this monitoring crap to determine water levels. I called the manufacturer’s 800# and they said adding water pre-wash would screw things up. So now I run off into buckets and use that for cleanup, but I also switch to a pump and ice bath.

I chill next to my laundry tub in the basement, so the chiller water goes into the washing machine.

I run a hose from the outlet right into my washing machine.

For those of you using ice…are you really saving anything? One post in this thread says he uses 40# of ice for a quicker chill. Well, that’s still water being used. Is there really much difference? And how about the electrical energy going into freezing that water?

Like others mention here, I use the water for post-brew cleanup, wash the cars, water the lawn, etc. I suppose you could collect it for your next brew.

I think if you really want to save water, try the no chill method.

[quote=“TAPPER”]One post in this thread says he uses 40# of ice for a quicker chill. Well, that’s still water being used. Is there really much difference?[/quote]40lbs of ice = ~5 gallons, so yes, it’s definitely a savings in water (plus, not possible to get to pitching temps with Texas groundwater, even in the winter).

Good one!

What is the no chill method?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... ill_Method
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