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Old 09-23-2005, 05:40 AM   #1
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Default Cooling Wort

I've been cooling my wort (2 gal boil) in the kitchen sink in about 35 min by filling the sink with ice. I watched Elton Brown's show on brewing and even as a beginner saw things I wouldn't do. Was watching him today and he was cooling chicken broth by throwing frozen water bottles in the broth. Would this work with cooling wort? Of course first sanitizing the frozen water bottles.

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Old 09-23-2005, 06:17 AM   #2
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Yes of course it would. I'd just be very careful to make sure that I used it for final cooling and that the bottels were very clean and sanatized just before putting the wort.

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Old 09-25-2005, 03:55 PM   #3
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Or you could buy some of those gel packs for your cooler and accomplish the same thing.

Be sure to sanitize them before using them.

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:28 PM   #4
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I brew three gallon batches that I get cooled down in less than 30 minutes. I use a bathtub full of cold water. It sucks the heat out faster and you only need to change the water once or twice. The larger amount of water takes longer to heat up and need replacing.
If you have feezer space available it helps to freeze as large a block(s) of ice as you can to put in the tub.

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:39 PM   #5
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I tried his idea of buying an 8# bag of ice. He used a 7lb bag, but they only came in 8 and 20 pound bags at the store.

The water is filtered and purified, and stored frozen for the remainder of its life, so I'm assuming this is a good idea. I topped it up with regular bottled water. That should cool down my 2.5 gallons of wort quick eenough, and I'm assuming the immediate contact with the ice will encourage more hot-break (or is it cold-break) to seperate. I know that my yeast weren't too upset - my lock is bubbling like a bong at 4:20.

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:41 PM   #6
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It's a good idea to stir the wort with a sanitised spoon (non-wooden!) whilst cooling in a tub / sink of cold water. This ensures that all of the wort comes into contact with the sides of the brewpot, and helps to accelerate cooling.

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Old 09-26-2005, 01:43 AM   #7
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It's also good to stir the water in the tub from time to time. You can feel the warmer water near the pot as you stir. I'm kicking the idea of an immersion chiller around. But how do I sneak it by Mrs. Monkey ?

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Old 09-26-2005, 12:59 PM   #8
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i've just been using a bag of ice (extract brews w/ adjucts) to top off my wort lately and have had no off flavors or infections from it. 1 bag of ice from the store to about 2-2.5 gallons of wort brings it all down to about 85degrees almost instantly and allows me to pitch within under 30 minutes from the end of my boil.
course you could go through the trouble of sanitizing those bottles after you froze em in you're freezer and cleaned em all up, but for another $1.50/batch i'll go buy a bag of ice after i throw in the finishing hops.
then again, if you're brewing AG this won't work for ya, but you'll already have one up on me! (for now at least....)

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:35 AM   #9
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I've added bottled water (filtered, ozonated, etc.) to wine must to top off. It was my GF's wine and she wouldn't let me boil it to sanitize it. We'll that was the only infection I've ever had. As far as I could tell the water was the only possible source of infection. Needless to say I now sanitize everything that comes in contact with my brews. I'd be real hesitant about using storebought ice.. or any ice that was not kept in very sanitary conditions. However, I know a lot of brewers that do use ice and have had no problems. I just hate to jeopardize hours of work (ag) in any way.

You can build an immersion chiller REAL cheap and it works pretty good even here in FL. The idea of putting sanitized gel-pack bags into the wort sounds interesting and safer than ice - I might consider doing this to get the wort from 85 - 90F down to below 80 (near impossible with my piss warm tap water).

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Old 09-27-2005, 03:06 AM   #10
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if you're boiling 3 gallons of wort, that means your adding 2 gallons of water. What's the source of it? direct from the tap? if so, why not just substitute some ice (home made > store bought... you know what the water's been through at least) in place of the water. Afterall, neither one would have been sanitized... the ice isnt going to introduce any bacteria that your water wouldnt..... just a thought

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