Author Topic: Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller  (Read 538 times)

Offline molokomalt

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Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:48:05 PM »
Hello all!

I have a copper wort chiller that I love to use BUT my kitchen sink is off limits and my utility sink is in the basement.  Picking up the hot wort and lugging it down into the basement is not only dangerous for my dog (who follows me incessantly) but also annoying. 

I'm thinking there has to be a way to make a closed system to house cold water that not only pumps water (most likely manually) but also recirculates the used water.  Additionally, I'd like to keep the water source cold to prevent pumping warm water through the chiller.  Ideas?

Does anyone have this set up?

Cheers :D

Offline Richard

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Re: Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 11:01:56 PM »
You need a large volume of water, and it needs to be very cold. If you have 5 gallons of wort at 212 F and 5 gallons of ice water at 32 F and perfect efficiency you would end up with all the liquid halfway in between at 122 F. If you increase the volume of ice water to 20 gallons then you end up at 68 F. If your barrel of water is not freezing cold, then you need a lot more of it. If your water is only 50 F then you need 35-40 gallons to get down below 70 F.

I use sink water until the wort temperature gets down to about 120 F, then I pump from a container of ice water, and when the discharge water drops to around 70 F I recirculate it. Recirculating hot discharge water into your cold source water is inefficient.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 11:21:32 PM »
I used to do something similar when I lived in a third floor apartment. I would bring buckets of cold tap water out and pump through my chiller. I would change to ice water once I got to 100°. I could chill 12gal down to 80 on most days with 30gal of water and 7lbs-10lbs of ice.

The key to making this work is to only recric for as long as the delta is larger than 20% of the wort temp. Once you get below that threshold the difference is too small for it to be effective. I achieve this by switching to fresh buckets of water or by pumping out and dumping in fresh.

Offline coolman26

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Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 12:27:49 AM »
I use a small kiddie pool and ice from milk jugs, using a small pump obviously.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 01:20:54 AM »
I use tap water, run through a prechiller.  This is just a second coil that sits in a bucket of ice water.  Water goes through this on the way to the immersion coil in the wort, and does not recirculate.  Even in summer with tap water around 75°F I can get the wort to around 60°F in <20 min, 10 min in winter. I only need 2 or 3 7lb bags of ice. Is there any possibility -- to avoid hauling hot wort downstairs -- you could just run enough garden hose from the utility sink to the kitchen and back to do this? (The prechiller would mitigate any warming of winter tapwater in a long run of hose.)

 And could you explain why using the kitchen sink is out of the question? If it's because you have a kitchen faucet that can't accept a hose adapter, I'd just put a tee and a valve on the cold supply under the sink and run your chiller off that.
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Offline Joetrilong

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Re: Closed Circulating Water source for wort chiller
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 03:16:25 AM »
I have been hooking up an Ice Chest (Igloo type) filling with ice and water running it into a small sump pump from Harbor Freight into the SS wort chiller that dumps back into the Ice Chest.  Able to go from 212 to 68-64 with in 10 to 15 min (depending on ambient temperature outside).