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Old 04-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Cooling the wort

I always cool my wort in a giant ice bath in one of the big sinks at my job, and it takes about 30 minutes to cool 5.5 gallons of wort to about 70ºF. Today, I had what seemed to me to be a pretty good idea, and I wondered if anyone else already does this.

I got a couple one gallon bags and filled them with ice, then topped them off with water and put them in the wort. It seems to be chilling a lot faster now. I know people use the copper wort chiller tubes, or counter-flow chillers, but this seems like a pretty cheap way to expedite chilling with using any major equipment. Sorry if this is old news, but it was exicing for me.

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #2
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My last brew on saturday I used 8 frozen water bottles....

Sanitized them and plopped them in the wort while it was in the ice bath as well

It cooled a lot faster but for some reason didn't seem to make that much of a cold break compared to my last brew but that might have been a difference in recipes or something.

I think it's a good Idea and it seemed to work for me pretty well......just remember to sanitize!

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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http://homebrewtalk.com/search.php?searchid=359314

There are lots of variations on the ice block/ice water cooling idea...I switched to an IC not too long ago and can't imagine going back.
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhornet
I think it's a good Idea and it seemed to work for me pretty well......just remember to sanitize!
Personally, I don't think you need to worry about sanitizing. You're taking the bottles out of the freezer and dropping them directly into the near boiling wort, right? What types of organisms that will infect the beer can survive both freezing and boiling? Absolutely make sure the bottles are clean 'cause you don't want any foreign matter that can affect flavor getting into the beer, but I'm not convinced sanitizing is necessary.
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:47 PM   #5
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Well, I was using bags full of ice, and I thought of it partway through the cooling, so the wort was already down to about 140ºF, not really hot enough to knock out any baddies. Plus, if you don't have room for that many ice bags, they're going to need to be swapped out. I went through four during the cooling. If you had a big ten gallon brewpot, I suppose you could just load it down with ice bags or whatever cold packs and let it go, but my pot was almost overflowing after I added the second bag. Oh yeah, point is, I sanitized.

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip Iowa...I'll keep that in mind

What I did though was dunk it in a water bath and changed out the water twice then added the ice to the outside and the frozen bottles to the inside

my reasoning was if I just started out with ice and frozen bottles I'd just be melting ice bc the water would cool it down well enough


I'm not sure what temp I started the ice with but I know the water bath got plenty hot when I changed them out.

Is this logical thinking or should I change this up some how?

Anyway it worked pretty well! but I think I'm going to try and get my hands on some 2 liter bottles for next time

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchiest
Plus, if you don't have room for that many ice bags, they're going to need to be swapped out.
Thanks, I hadn't thought about having to swap them out. Obviously, sanitizing them wouldn't hurt anything and if you're going to be swapping them out when the wort is cooled, then yeah I might sanitize them too.
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:41 PM   #8
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I do 1.5 gal boils and top off with PUR filtered tap water that's been in 4 - 1 gal jugs in the freezer for 4-5 hours prior to brewing. Cools down to high 60s to low 70s range in just minutes.

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Old 04-02-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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You really do just 1.5 gallon boils? Your hop utilization must be pretty low, I would guess. Do you have to use extra hops, or is it no biggie since you don't go in for the hoppy stuff that much anyway?

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Old 04-02-2007, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I do 1.5 gal boils and top off with PUR filtered tap water that's been in 4 - 1 gal jugs in the freezer for 4-5 hours prior to brewing. Cools down to high 60s to low 70s range in just minutes.
Hehe, kinda hard when you start with 8+ gallons pre-boil. It's all I can do just to get down to 5.5 gallons by the end. But thus is the life of those who choose the AG path. ha. Seriously, what a pain. I had three pots going on Saturday. One was a PM hefe that was fine in its 28qt kettle. The other was an AG Witbier. After all the sparging, I had at least 8 gallons of wort...so I put most of it in my 32-qt kettle on the turkey fryer and brought it to a boil. I put whatever I couldn't fit into another smaller kettle on the side-burner of my grill. Then I just let them boil, sans-hops, for 30 minutes, in order to end up with 5.5gals by the end of it all. So adding water at the end...well...I imagine I'd have to get a good rolling boil going for 3 hours in order to get a final post-boil volume low enough where I'd need it.

Anyway, I use an immersion chiller. xmas present from SWMBO. I remember the days of ice-in-a-bathtub...and I don't ever want to go back. Though, if I were to do so, I guess sanitized frozen water bottles would work pretty well.
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