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Water conservation with an IC

So I just broke down (or fixed up) and bought a standard immersion chiller. How much water am I going to need to flow through it in order to chill my wort? I estimate a good 20 gallons, maybe less if it’s coming out cold enough?

Problem is, and I’m sure it’s been discussed before, but aside from watering the plants, that’s a lot of water to just run through. All of our landscaping is set up on timed water systems, and our washing machine is one of those new fangled high efficiency ones ghat you can’t just pre-add water too.

Any thoughts? What does everyone else do?

[quote=“HellBound”]So I just broke down (or fixed up) and bought a standard immersion chiller. How much water am I going to need to flow through it in order to chill my wort? I estimate a good 20 gallons, maybe less if it’s coming out cold enough?

Problem is, and I’m sure it’s been discussed before, but aside from watering the plants, that’s a lot of water to just run through. All of our landscaping is set up on timed water systems, and our washing machine is one of those new fangled high efficiency ones ghat you can’t just pre-add water too.

Any thoughts? What does everyone else do?[/quote]

if your trying to conserve it you can recirc,
I run it until I am cooled to right temp about 7 - 20 mintues depending on ground temp and time of year.
I water some neary by plants, lawn, trees, maybe throw some in laundry, use some for clean up, and some goes down the drain.

I guess it comes down to what you think is wasting water to. Watering your lawn, your trees, outdoor plants etc. most will survive so you are technically still wasting water. (in major droughts some plants are a different story)

[quote=“HellBound”]Any thoughts? What does everyone else do?[/quote]While my house is getting re-modeled, I’m having to do things a little different on brew days and last Sunday I didn’t have any ground close enough to drain to directly so I collected the water in a 5-gal bucket. It took 20 gallons to cool 11 gallons of wort from 180F to 100F and I dumped the buckets on the trees so no water was wasted.

I run off into buckets until I’m down to 100 or so. Then I switch to a pump submerged in an ice bath and recirculate. I can get down to the low 60s with just ice from my fridge during most of the year. In summer I need a bag of ice. I use the water from buckets for clean-up, etc.

I collect my water in a galvanized washtub and use it to clean the kettle and IC when I’m done. I use 10gal to chill 5gal of beer and let the wort get to pitching temps on its own in the cool basement.

I suppose you could use a pump and recirc water into a container from the beginning, then let that water cool on its own and reuse it. You might even split that initial chill water into two separate reservoirs to keep going to a higher temp gradient. It would probably take somewhat more water to keep a decent temp gradient, and you’d most likely need to switch to ice water for the final chill-down. You could also re-freeze some of that water in plastic bags or jugs or something.

There are very few option for “recycling” the chiller water. It’s a good question to rehash as someone new to the forum may have come up with a new idea.

Save the 1st part of the water for clean up, hot water. Then water things that are not on the irrigation system.

2nd cooler par? Wash the car with it?

Washing the cars!!! And definitely cleanup ! Thanks guys. As always you’ve been most helpful.

All good ideas, but now I’m curious, what are some of the more creative uses?

Cheers.

I’ve seen a video of a guy hooking it up to a sprinkler to water his lawn.

I drain a lot of it into a spair carboy for cleaning. Then the cooler part into my swamp cooler. Other than that, a lot of it is wasted, unfortunately

I have a buddy that runs his into his rain barrel setup to be used later for watering.

[quote=“S.Scoggin”]I’ve seen a video of a guy hooking it up to a sprinkler to water his lawn.[/quote]Speaking from personal experience, if you put a sprinkler (or anything that will apply back-pressure) on the IC outlet, be sure that your hose connections to the IC are leak-proof and that if they do leak, the spraying hose water cannot end up in the kettle.

I have a deal worked out with nature. I run the (5 minutes of) 212-130 water off into the alley and the cool water then goes to the garden/lawn until I recirc if doing a lager when I hit 80-90f.

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