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Old 10-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default Adding ice to cool the wort down?

This may seem like a "dumb" question, however.......Why not just add ice to your wort to bring down to yeast temps.? I understand that by adding new water to the wort you will dilute it and that will have slight variance on your flavor, very minimal I'm assuming (i brew 7 gallon batches, so possible adding one gallon worth of ice). However it seems that for all of the hassle of counterflows, chillers and other devices it would be easier to just add ice. I also understand the sanitation issues with ice as well.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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When I did extract batches I would do a 3 gallon boil and then use ice as my top-off water which cooled to pitch temps in no time. People will argue that it's not a good practice, but it worked for me a handful of times.

Ever since I moved to having equipment capable of doing full boils though I haven't done that at all.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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So far every batch I've made has used ice as the top up liquid. It is more sanitary then water because commercial ice is made from spring water (just like bottled water) and is sealed in plastic bags. Unlike water, ice is colder so you can get the temp of your wort down faster thus limiting exposure to foreign microbes. I'm not too sure about other cooling rigs, but I am fairly certain they are more expensive than a bag of ice and probably require regular cleaning to be sanitary.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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The concern is sanitation, and that's it. If you never have an infected batch, you'll never wonder if it was the ice.

Formulate your recipe as a partial boil and the flavor will be just what you want after topping-up with ice.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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its a sanitation problem. you can freeze ice in bottles and toss those in if you sanitize the bottle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyg316 View Post
So far every batch I've made has used ice as the top up liquid. It is more sanitary then water because commercial ice is made from spring water (just like bottled water) and is sealed in plastic bags.:
commercial ice is actually considered unsanitary.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Commercial bagged ice is regulated as a food product by the FDA. Whether this guarantees that it is sanitary enough for dumping into wort, I don't know. But you could say the same thing about bottled water.

http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/packaged_ice.html

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
Commercial bagged ice is regulated as a food product by the FDA. Whether this guarantees that it is sanitary enough for dumping into wort, I don't know. But you could say the same thing about bottled water.

http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/packaged_ice.html
My only point would be that one is completely sealed and the other is not. Most ice bags have tiny holes all over them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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Frozen water bottles work effectively for 5 gallon batches, I drop 6 in the BK and add more cold water in the primary to get pitching temp, it's just not worth the risk using ice, it could ruin your whole batch.

From John Palmer:

Quote:
Ice


People often wonder about adding ice directly to the cooling wort. This idea works well if you remember a couple key points.

Never use commercial ice. It can harbor dormant bacteria that could spoil your beer.
Always boil the water before freezing it in an airtight container (like Tupperware). It must be airtight because most freezers also harbor dormant bacteria.
If the ice will not directly contact the wort, (i.e. you are using a frozen plastic soda bottle or other container in the wort) make sure you sanitize the outside of the bottle first before you put it in the wort.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
My only point would be that one is completely sealed and the other is not. Most ice bags have tiny holes all over them.
Yeah, that may be a factor.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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I guess the consensus is that bagged ice is ok if you check for holes? Also, if you do get a contaminated batch, consider another brand of ice.

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