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Old 01-04-2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default Cooling Wort with Ice??

Hello, newbie poster. I have used the search function but I couldn't turn anything up on this subject (maybe I'm inept!).

My wife got me a full homebrew setup for christmas (Love you babe!) and I wanted to brew my first batch this weekend, so I was going through all of the stuff, and part of the setup was a wort chiller copper coil.

Now my main question: On Food Network's Good Eats, I saw Alton Brown use 1 7lb bag of ice along with chilled spring water to bring his wort down to a cooler temperature very quickly. I read through the beginners section of Complete Joy of Homebrewing and saw no reference to the distinction (or mention of ice).

Is this an accepted method? It seems very smart to use ice to bring the boiling wort down quickly, and seems like it may even be more efficient than a cooling coil with cool water. What is the general consensus on the ice? Is it a sanitation thing? Taste thing? Any thoughts would be helpful!

Thanks!

-Brian



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Old 01-04-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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Ice is cheaper in the short term, more expensive in the long term...unless you happen to have a large-capacity icemaker...like the kind they have in restaurants, not the one in your freezer.

I didn't want to spend the $$ on an immersion chiller, so I used icebaths for a long time. My wife finally got me an immersion chiller like yours for xmas, so no more icebaths for me.

Bottom line: spending $6 on two bags of store-bought ice increases your cost per batch considerably, whereas the $50 for an immersion chiller is a one-time investment. Secondly, immersion chillers are much more efficient and quick than icebaths. Since you already have an immersion chiller, use that. If you have ice laying around and want to use it, you could be super-efficient and use both. Good luck!



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Old 01-04-2007, 03:59 PM   #3
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Definitely put that chiller to work if you got one with your kit. I still use an icebath and can cool my partial (2.5 gallon) boils to pitching temp within 10-15 minutes, but a chiller is the way to go.

Looks like I definitely may have to splurge for one soon as I got a turkey frier and plan on 5 gallon boils in the near future...

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook
Is it a sanitation thing?

Yes. Some ice plants are quite dirty. This is the main reason why many do not do this. I am assuming you mean adding it directly to the wort?
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:03 PM   #5
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chillers can also be made easily at home from fittings and copper 'fridge coil that you can get from home depot

$15 immersion chiller, can't beat it!

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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The last couple of batches I have brewed, I got 2 gallons of distilled, purified water. I placed the jugs in the freezer before brewing and by the time I am ready to dump my wort into my primary the water has chilled. This allows me to bring my wort temp down very quickly.

The only thing you have to beware is if you drop the temp down too much. I did this to my last brew and had to get out the warming blanket to bring the temp back up (70 degrees for APA).

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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I just use ice from my freezer. It's hooked up to my RO unit, so I get nice clean (though devoid of oxygen) ice. It usually takes two batches of ice from my machine, so I usually keep one batched stored while the second is going. This consistently brings my wort down to ~75°F. It's only an issue when I make 10 gallon batches and need tons of ice. I'm still trying to figure out if my next investment is going to be an aeration system or a counterflow chiller... ok, that's my 2¢

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniscientomar
I just use ice from my freezer. It's hooked up to my RO unit, so I get nice clean (though devoid of oxygen) ice. It usually takes two batches of ice from my machine, so I usually keep one batched stored while the second is going. This consistently brings my wort down to ~75°F. It's only an issue when I make 10 gallon batches and need tons of ice. I'm still trying to figure out if my next investment is going to be an aeration system or a counterflow chiller... ok, that's my 2¢
Your freezer makes frozen H?
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:34 PM   #9
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Use the Chiller.

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Your freezer makes frozen H?
Nice!

Yes, it's a special freezer, I can take those cubes and use them in my hydrogen car! ...

RO units do remove DISSOLVED oxygen from water right?...


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