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Old 10-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default How long is too long when chilling?

Don't have a wort chiller. I just stick the aluminum pot down in the sink with water. After about 15-20 minutes, it's down into the 150F range. I drain and replace with loads of ice and water at this point. When it melts, I do it again. Usually it takes a couple of hours for me to bring the wort down to the 60-70F range for pitching. Always keep the lid on except to check the temp with an infrared thermometer.

Is this too long? Would this tend to give infectious bugs a head start?

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:00 PM   #2
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Should not take nearly that long. Not saying that you'll necessarily get an infection, but that's longer than it needs to be. Take the lid off, the heat's got to escape. Helps to stir the wort so that it stays moving, and it helps to keep the water moving, too. When I was doing partial boils and ice baths, I would gently stir the wort, and also have the faucet slightly running so that the ice water in the sink was moving as well.

If you don't keep things moving, the wort that's right next to side gets cool, but the heat from the wort in the middle of the pt doesn't tranfer to the edge very easily. Same with the ice water, you end up with a spot right next to the pot that's warmer.

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Old 10-18-2009, 03:48 AM   #3
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WOW - that is taking a long long time - are you stirring? I don't think you can take to long with all the no chill brewing experiments going on.

However - if it is taking that long I would get it down to 80 and cap it in a carboy. Then pitch at 75 if you are in the basement.

Or basement is at 62 so maybe we're colder up here.

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Old 10-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Alright, glad I posted this question! So, yesterday while brewing, I bought twice the amount of ice (2 bags), and used a sterilized spoon to stir every 5 minutes or so. That brought it down to 70F in about 30 min. The reason I wasn't opening and stirring before is that I was afraid of contamination. Hopefully the star san worked on the spoon and I won't have to worry about that.

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Old 10-18-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Yea - that is the weird thing about brewing - everyone is afraid of contamination UNTIL you start to chill. Then you are outside with the wind blowing and top off and a devil may care attitude.

If you are inside there is not a lot of bad things floating around and if you think about it the heat from the wort is making air rise and if there is any bad stuff in the air float . . it just is not that heavy to fall in the hot wort updraft.

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Old 10-18-2009, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
If you are inside there is not a lot of bad things floating around...
Except freakin' fruit flies.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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IMHO you are absolutely fine...I would leave the cover off for the initial period, till you get down to say 140 - 150. Sometimes when i brew at night ( 8 gallon batches), I will just leave the kettle chilling in a bath till the next morning and then pitch the yeast. I have a wimpy 25' 3/8 chiller that I rarely even use. I find it easier to just set my kettle in a big 25 gallon tub w/ water, then again w/ water and ice, sort of set and forget. I stir in the beginning and then usually lose interest and do something else, then just pitch when the wort is ready. Oh, having access to a commercial ice machine and tossing in 40 pounds of ice doesn't hurt either.

A big tub, will work faster than the sink if you have that option as it will hold a lot more water. Go ahead and get a chiller when you are ready, but be warned that in the middle of summer, if you have warm tap water, the chiller loses its effectiveness, and you will likely have to use ice either w/ a bath, or prechiller anyways. I prefer to pitch in the low sixties, and unless the tap is running quite cold, a standard IC ain't gonna get there too quick either.

Don't listen to the advice that you absolutely need a chiller...that's bunk...I got one and don't even use it. Using an IC is still work..get it out...put in the kettle...hook it up...stir...wait...stir wait...get frustrated when you stall in the eighties...been there.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #8
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I use a homemade chiller that was a result of what we had lying around. About 10' of 3'8" copper line. I want to make it a bit bigger, but for now, it works. As everyone has said, stirring is key. I can usually get 5.5g down to 75* in about 25 minutes or so. Honestly, I don't worry a huge amount about contamination from the air. I use a sterilized spoon and don't cover. I've yet to have a batch get infected. Today I'm going to try putting my brewpot in a larger pot of ice water and use the copper chiller. I just hate waiting around at the end of the process. I'm expecting it to be a bit faster. I'll let you all know.

BTW, this is my first post here. It seems like an awesome forum. I'm on about batch 20 of all-grain and just started kegging. I like to rife the line between science and withcraft where brewing is concerned. Just as long as it's fun!

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:27 PM   #9
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The day before brew day I will usually purify and boil about a gallon of water, cool it, cover it and stick it in the freezer. Then the next day when I am cooling my wort, I take the ice out of the covered container and add the whole frozen gallon when I hit about 110-130F. That is usually enough to get it to 60F in about 5 more minutes of gentle stirring.

As always, be careful to sanitize everything that comes in contact with the ice since it is going straight into the wort. When I start doing full volume boils I will have to make a copper chiller but this method hasn't failed me yet. Great for those who have not made or purchased a copper chiller.

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