Author Topic: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump  (Read 5253 times)

Offline kgs

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Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« on: December 27, 2011, 10:15:02 AM »
Homebrew Project #1 for the New Year is to put together a recirculating immersion chiller.  The focus this year is easing the physical process. Three years into brewing I'm still using an ice water bath, and even with 3-gallon batches am tired of the hassle of getting the kettle in and out of the bath, but don't want to waste water. Couldn't find anything on the AHA wiki, but found some stuff on the web. Does this sound about right?

Immersion chiller with 3/8" brass garden fittings
One short garden hose (such as a leader hose for a hose reel) or length of hose plus clamps
Pond pump, at least 250 gm (higher?) (Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Sunterra-137016-Extra-Large-Fountain/dp/B0002HFTIY )
Garden hose adapter for pond pump
Receptacle for recirculating water/ice water (I have something similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/Suncast-LC1250D-Lawn-Cart/dp/B004I96S1Y/ )
Water source with garden-hose adapter
Garden hose from water source to IC
Consumables for chilling: water, 1 - 2 bags of ice



K.G. Schneider
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 10:25:48 AM »
Higher the better for the Pond Pump.  I think you have a type, should be 250 gph.  I have one that is 550 gph, and I find that I want more flow, as the cooling rate would be higher.  This  is with a 50 ft 1/2 inch copper chiller.

Use tap water to get down to <100F, then hook up the pond pump (might be yoiur plan).  This time of year I do not need the ice bath/pond pump for ales.  Do need it for lagers.  Did a 10 gallon batch of Pils yesterday, and it required 2x7 lb bags of ice to get from 66 to 46 F. 

Jeff Rankert
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Offline kgs

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 11:35:46 AM »
Higher the better for the Pond Pump.  I think you have a type, should be 250 gph.  I have one that is 550 gph, and I find that I want more flow, as the cooling rate would be higher.  This  is with a 50 ft 1/2 inch copper chiller.

Use tap water to get down to <100F, then hook up the pond pump (might be yoiur plan).  This time of year I do not need the ice bath/pond pump for ales.  Do need it for lagers.  Did a 10 gallon batch of Pils yesterday, and it required 2x7 lb bags of ice to get from 66 to 46 F. 



Thanks--very helpful. As I'm mentally reviewing this I'm adding quick disconnects. And beefing up that pump!
K.G. Schneider
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 11:43:05 AM »
any submersible pump will be fine but as mentioned, higher rates are faster cooling.  i like using reusable ice packs. i get oodles of them from work free. so i just get them stocked up and go. i don't use any cooling water from tap first since i can use these and pull them and replace them with some ready to go.  using tap water first will help you save on ice.
Don AHA member

Offline euge

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 12:49:35 PM »
I have something like a 3000 gph submersible pump and only do the recirc when the tap-water has gotten the wort as low as it will go. In winter that is in the mid-sixties and I generally don't need the recirc. In summer ambient water temp is around 88F so I hook up the pump at about 90F.

If you whirlpool at the same time you can see some prodigiously fast cooling rates. I can get 6 gallons from boiling to 120F in about 5 minutes. Another 10 to get to 90. Then another 15 to get to 65 with the recirc.

I also have some 2 liter frozen bottles that I have been experimenting with. I sanitize and place them inside the helix of the IC and direct the outflow of the march-pump over them while turning the water flow off. This takes the place of the ice-water recirc and while it takes a few minutes longer I don't have to mess with hooking the pump up or switching over to it.

Works well.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 02:53:30 PM »

If you whirlpool at the same time you can see some prodigiously fast cooling rates. I can get 6 gallons from boiling to 120F in about 5 minutes. Another 10 to get to 90. Then another 15 to get to 65 with the recirc.

Does that mean manually whirlpooling, as in with a large spoon?
K.G. Schneider
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 03:50:45 PM »
yes or any other means. the bottom line is to disrupt the thermal gradient right at the edge of the coil. sort of like blowing wind across a radiator.  it effectively creates a cross flow heat exchagnnger. so a large spoon works well.  i think i am going to get a motor from a rc boat and use the propeller. just thinking that would be cool.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 05:57:16 PM »
I don't think its convenient to recirculate from the beginning, it takes too much ice to neutralize all that heat.  QDs would help you make the switch.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tygo

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 06:13:12 PM »
I don't think its convenient to recirculate from the beginning, it takes too much ice to neutralize all that heat.  QDs would help you make the switch.

It's convenient but not all that efficient.  It does take a lot of ice but the temp drops very quickly.
Clint
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 07:22:16 PM »
one can either use more ice and recirculate right away (again i use ice packs) or waste more tapwater before hand.  what ever works for ya
Don AHA member

Offline kgs

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 07:35:27 PM »
one can either use more ice and recirculate right away (again i use ice packs) or waste more tapwater before hand.  what ever works for ya

I think the choice for now is using more store-bought ice, especially since we too have extra ice packs plus an icemaker that can usually stand to be refreshed. No matter how I do it, QDs make life easier. Appreciating all this advice! I will report back on how much ice it takes (outside temps staying between 40-50f) and how long it takes to cool down the wort (with and without the large-spoon-whirlpool-variable).

This explains why homebrew is my zen... it's very relaxing to concentrate on something like "water or ice."
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 08:07:36 PM »
Yes, efficient was the word I meant to use.

I have always felt that the energy for making ice might outweigh the cost of the water.  Of course that depends on electric and water rates, and there are some places where water is at more of a premum.  Around here water is plentiful and using it might not make things worse for water quality overall.
Lennie
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Offline kgs

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 08:19:12 AM »
Yes, efficient was the word I meant to use.

I have always felt that the energy for making ice might outweigh the cost of the water.  Of course that depends on electric and water rates, and there are some places where water is at more of a premum.  Around here water is plentiful and using it might not make things worse for water quality overall.

I agree--the tradeoff between additional water runoff and a second bag of commercially-produced ice may be moot, cost-wise as well as environmentally. We're having a very dry winter, and I am brewing, or at least cooling, in view of a lot of homes (on a third-story deck on a hill in a big city), so I may pick the method with the best public appearance.
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Offline kgs

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 09:51:38 AM »
K.G. Schneider
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Recirculating Immersion Chiller with Pond Pump
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 10:14:38 AM »
http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Pump-91250-Thermoplastic-Submersible/dp/B000X05G1A/

Hmmm...

Does it hurt a pump like that one (30gpm) if you use it to pump through a 3/8" immersion chiller?  That is, is that much flow restriction gonna hurt things or will the pump just pump whatever it can push through?
Joe