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Chilling idea - thoughts and suggestions

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TrippleRippleBrewer:
This is an issue of faster, and colder chilling needed.

I recently moved and have learned a few things about my new water source which is a well and apparently not all that cold. I use a Keggle for a brew kettle, a March pump for transfer of hot liquor to my cooler MTLT, gravity drain into my kettle from the MTLT and a 50' x 1/2 inch copper IC for chilling. I used to use the pump to recirculate wort during chilling but it didn't buy me that much time savings and cleaning and sanitizing the pump each time didn't seem worth the hassle anymore.

 In the fall it typically takes 20 minutes to get below 70 degrees but last brew session it took 30 minutes just to hit 75 and I couldn't move it any colder. It's summer now and the water spigot is farther from my brew stand so lots of garden hose is sitting in the yard, helping heat the well water a few degrees perhaps.

Anyway I'm considering using ice and initially thought about buying a submersible utility pump. I thought I could put that in a bucket of ice water and have a short section of garden hose to hook it to my IC for chilling from about 100 degrees down to pitching temp. Use the well water to go from boiling to 100 first, then switch to this immersion setup. I could recirculate the chill water and just add ice to the bucket to keep it cold as possible.

Then I had a thought. I already have a pump. Why not use my March pump and my MTLT for holding the ice water? I wash it during the boil anyway, so it's rinsed, and ready to use. I could set it on the brew stand so it's above the pump ( required for these pumps ), fill it with ice and water, hook it to my pump and use my pump to recirc the ice water through the IC. It's insulated to boot, which is better than a bucket and it's much bigger than a 6gal bucket. I use an Igloo ice cube 60qt capacity.

Does anybody else do this?
Am I making sense?

I think it will work great, I just want to know if anyone else is doing it and what experiences have been.

TIA for all replies.

morticaixavier:
Should work just fine. I have read about lots of folks doing the same thing. Most use a cheap submersible pump for the ice water but I don't see why the march pump wouldn't work.

I just stick the wort in the fridge once it's down around 80-85* and pitch the next day when it's down to 64* or so.

kramerog:
Water baths are easy ways to drop the wort temp in a few hours (faster than fridge).  So far this year I haven't had to use a water bath to reach pitching temp as the water supply has stayed warm.

Recircing is waste of ice if the water being recirced is warmer than your well water.  When you switch to ice water, you may not want to recirc right away.  My experience was without a pump; I was just letting ice water drain by gravity from my mash tun through the immersion cooler so YMMV.

   

In The Sand:
Sounds like it should work.  However, I would think if you're really looking for more significant time savings you might just want to invest in an inline plate chiller.  You can use your IC in an ice bath to pump prechilled water through the plate chiller and have your wort at pitching temp immediately.  I am able to go from boiling to 68* in no time with my setup.  That allows me to pitch as I'm filling up the carboys. 

mtnrockhopper:
I think one of the brutus 10 setups in pimp my system does this.

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