Hot water from domestic tank.

While Beer is 90-97% water, it is a very tricky subject.

Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby LeeH » Sat Sep 03, 2016 14:26

Ok, might be a stupid question...

After recently having solar installed, we now have an electric meter that's spins backwards faster then it ever did forwards, and copious amount of 'free' hot water it seems a shame not to use it.

We have a 210L stainless tank full of the stuff on a bright day so is there any reason why this cannot be used for brewing. Both for the HLT, AND for raising the temp in the FV for kit/extract which is what I'm brewing at the moment.

The tank 'should' be as clean as anything else I assume?

Cheers.

To monitor my latest fermentation click here Black IPA
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby octoscott » Sat Sep 03, 2016 14:31

I assume it should be fine as the boil will kill anything anyway...
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby LeeH » Sat Sep 03, 2016 15:21

But what about a kit? When you just add enough warm/hot to raise the temp to pitching.

To monitor my latest fermentation click here Black IPA
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Keg 4: Empty
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby octoscott » Sat Sep 03, 2016 15:27

LeeH wrote:But what about a kit? When you just add enough warm/hot to raise the temp to pitching.


I'd go cautious tbh. Legionella and other water borne illness is not something you want to mess with.
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby PeeBee » Sat Sep 03, 2016 15:32

We were warned to never drink from the hot tap. But then everyone had hot water systems with an expansion-tank/cold-water-tank in the loft connected to the hot water tank. The cold water tanks were frequently not covered, often held the corpse(s) of unfortunate rat and water generally sat about for a while in this system. Not to mention the lead pipes and lead containing plumbing solder which might of been okay for moving cold water, but hot?

Some hot water systems are still like this! So the advise is perpetuated.

New pipes won't be made of lead. Lead based solder has virtually died out. Hot water systems are usually closed (pressured)...

Any remaining concerns can be dispelled when you are probably going to boil the beer anyway. As for top-up water in kits? Personally I panic if unboiled mains water finds it way into my beer - but that is probably (though perhaps not entirely) paranoia.
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby GrowlingDog » Sat Sep 03, 2016 20:34

How about setting up a system so you take your hot water and run it through a Plate Heat Exchanger then back into your tank. You can then run cold water through the clean side of the heat exchanger to warm it up.
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby vacant » Sat Sep 03, 2016 20:42

Hot water from a cylinder is fine. As a father, I performed numerous experiments bathing various young children who invariably drank copious amounts. They all survived to adulthood.

My future plans include not much
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby mickthetrick » Sat Sep 03, 2016 20:47

i use my water through my combi boiler to brew with and so does a friend. absolutely no problems and between us there's many brews. id use it.
it gets boiled for 60 -90 mins. so id say no chance of any nasties surviving that. save a bit of time too getting to temp required.
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby Goulders » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:15

mickthetrick wrote:i use my water through my combi boiler to brew with and so does a friend. absolutely no problems and between us there's many brews. id use it.
it gets boiled for 60 -90 mins. so id say no chance of any nasties surviving that. save a bit of time too getting to temp required.


A combi boiler is different as it is fed from the mains water directly. Fwiw I also use my combi boiler for brewing
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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby aamcle » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:18

Your going to boil it so it should be OK however your still going to need to do your usual water treatment depending on its alkalinity and so on.


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Re: Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby robwalker » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:04

I hear combi boilers are fine but less modern boilers aren't. Think Goulders has just posted why. At the brewery I make sure to empty the HLT entirely at least once a week.
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Hot water from domestic tank.

Postby LeeH » Mon Sep 05, 2016 08:30

Thanks for all the replies.

The tank is stainless with new copper pipe feeding it, it's only 2m away, all nice and clean.

The clever box of tricks that runs the immersion from the solar has a legionella cycle on it that heats it to +60 for 10 mins if it hasn't seen that temp all week so no problems there thankfully. Also is a sealed pressurised system so no dirty header tank.

The heat exchanger is a great idea that will take some work but is feasible.

Looks like it's a winner then, I should be able to brew with no electric costs on a bright day.

Cheers!

To monitor my latest fermentation click here Black IPA
To view my new AG build click here
Keg 1: Berliner Weisse
Keg 2: APA
Keg 3: Stout (Nitro)
Keg 4: Empty
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