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Old 07-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #1
Mr. Mojo Rising
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Default Dry Ice in my Wort Chiller?

I have been toying with this idea as an alternative to freezing multiple bottles of water for my chiller ice compartment. Anyone ever try this?

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Old 07-18-2007, 09:31 PM   #2
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I've never tried it. But I wonder what would happen if you just threw a chunk of dry ice into your hot wort. It just dissovles into CO2 so I don't think it would hurt anything. Just a thought.

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Old 07-18-2007, 09:53 PM   #3
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Sanitation of the dry ice could be a concern?

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Old 07-18-2007, 10:43 PM   #4
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Dry ice is so cold I don't think sanitation would be much of a concern. I'm no expert on it though. I would guess that you would get a lot of foaming as the CO2 tried to escape from the solution. How much I don't know. Maybe we should get Yuri to experiment with it. He did a dry ice carbonation experiment using a plastic bottle.

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Old 07-18-2007, 10:56 PM   #5
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sounds like you will be wearing alot of wort once you throw a chunk of that stuff in.

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Old 07-18-2007, 11:23 PM   #6
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I've heard that dry ice isn't really all that clean and can have machine oil residues and whatnot on it since it isn't really meant to directly touch anything for human consumption. I'd be wary of tossing it into my pristine wort.

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Old 07-18-2007, 11:48 PM   #7
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To address the OP: Dry ice is freaking cold! -78.5°C is asking for frozen wort and shattered glass. I've done a few things with dry ice, including turning a large bowl of Halloween punch into an oddly shaped chunk of orange ice in a pile of glass fragments. The dry ice didn't break the bowl until the ice chunk attempted to launch itself. Exciting, but not what I had planned.

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Old 07-19-2007, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mojo Rising
I have been toying with this idea as an alternative to freezing multiple bottles of water for my chiller ice compartment. Anyone ever try this?
Is the question about cooling hot wort or maintaining fermentation temps?
Sounds like the OP wants to use it to keep a cabinet cool.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford
I've heard that dry ice isn't really all that clean and can have machine oil residues and whatnot on it since it isn't really meant to directly touch anything for human consumption. I'd be wary of tossing it into my pristine wort.
True dat. In my late teens, I had a job in the beverage industry where there was always dry ice around. As a typical teenager, naturally I had to mess around and toss it into a wide variety of liquids. As the bubbles furiously rose and burst, they always left a greasy gray film on the surface. Not something I find appealing in a fine homebrew.

David_42 is also correct, the stuff is so damn cold it reacts with other materials in surprising and often unpleasant ways.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:36 AM   #10
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Having played a bit with dry ice, I don't really recommend it for any brewing purpose. It's great for shipping frozen food across the country, but it doesn't lend itself to brewing very well. I don't think you're asking for sanitation problems, but you would potentially introduce some other industrial contaminants that shouldn't really be in your beer. Also, you will likely freeze a good portion of your wort - I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but I kinda doubt it.

Long story short - dry ice is fun to play with, but it doesn't belong in your beer.

Also, be careful with it. Never put it in a closed container that may burst. Never touch it with bare hands. Just storing it can potentially be hazardous, as it introduces a large amount of CO2 gas into the environment. Without adequate ventilation, you could be creating an invisible layer of CO2 at floor level that may not be healthy for your pets or small children.

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