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Old 02-25-2005, 09:38 PM   #1
TJhands
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Default Question on cooling the wort.....

Lemme have a big "Hell Yeah!!" for my first post!

Howdy everyone, I have a question about cooling the wort without a copper cooling mechanism. I'm sure this has been covered ad nauseum on this board, so forgive me for adding a notch on the broken record!

1) When I pull the kettle off the stove, can I put ice cubes directly into the wort to cool it and get it closer to reaching the 5 gal level? Is store-bought ice a contamination source? I've read that one should put the pot into a sink filled with ice water, but that got me thinking.....why not just add the ice to the wort directly?

2) Kind of plays off the first question: Is my tap water OK to bring the level up to 5 gal in my primary? Is "the colder, the better" the rule o' thumb for the added 3 gallons?


I just ordered Homebrewing For Dummies (dats ME!) but I thought I'd seek some help from y'all while I wait for it to get here. Thanks for the wisdom! Peace from Iowa!

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Old 02-25-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJhands
Lemme have a big "Hell Yeah!!" for my first post!
Hell yeah!

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Originally Posted by TJhands
Howdy everyone,
Hiyas. Glad you found us. Welcome!

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Originally Posted by TJhands
I have a question about cooling the wort without a copper cooling mechanism. I'm sure this has been covered ad nauseum on this board, so forgive me for adding a notch on the broken record!
Nah...it's a young community...chillers have been discussed some. Check the search. But there are still a lot of new areas to cover.

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Originally Posted by TJhands
1) When I pull the kettle off the stove, can I put ice cubes directly into the wort to cool it and get it closer to reaching the 5 gal level? Is store-bought ice a contamination source? I've read that one should put the pot into a sink filled with ice water, but that got me thinking.....why not just add the ice to the wort directly?
In short, you'll water down your beer a lot. It's kinda sorta maybe a source of potential contamination, but the biggie is you're watering down that beer you just made. I guess if you need to bring up the volume anyway, then it's a perfectly reasonable idea. More ideal IMO is to boil all your wort and use an immersion or counterflow chiller to chill it.

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Originally Posted by TJhands
2) Kind of plays off the first question: Is my tap water OK to bring the level up to 5 gal in my primary? Is "the colder, the better" the rule o' thumb for the added 3 gallons?
Again, I think the *best* solution is get a bigger kettle and boil the full volume of your beer. It *will* improve your beer if you do so. Your hop utilization will be better and you'll get less caramelization to name a few reasons. But, yes, most city tap water is considered OK to bring the volume up. A lot of folks on this board seem to do it. I have spring water, so absolutely everything gets boiled.

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Originally Posted by TJhands
I just ordered Homebrewing For Dummies (dats ME!) but I thought I'd seek some help from y'all while I wait for it to get here. Thanks for the wisdom! Peace from Iowa!
Cheers, Iowa! I hope you find the site useful. Feel free to fire away. There are a lot of experienced brewers around here.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:20 PM   #3
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Thanx, Janx!

The snooping around that I've done on this board has been helpful. I have especially enjoyed your posts - good, straightforward advice is always appreciated, and your obvious knowledge has earned my confidence, 100%.

Granted, a full 5 gallon boil would be ideal - and I may get a kettle that big sometime soon - but, if ice is OK, why do people who boil just 2 gallons put the pot in a sink with ice water when they could cool the wort down a helluva lot faster by just dumping a 10lb bag of ice in it?

My first batch is going to be a light neo-American type beer. I'd like to brew an IPA or a porter right off the bat, but I have a girlfriend and friends to win over before I hit them with the REAL stuff! LOL Anyway, thanks for the advice!

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Old 02-25-2005, 10:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TJhands
Thanx, Janx!
Granted, a full 5 gallon boil would be ideal - and I may get a kettle that big sometime soon - but, if ice is OK, why do people who boil just 2 gallons put the pot in a sink with ice water when they could cool the wort down a helluva lot faster by just dumping a 10lb bag of ice in it?
Honestly, I have no idea. It seems like a pretty clever idea to me, given you're adding water anyway. Maybe it wouldn't cool it entirely, but it would definitely help, and would be very fast, which is a great thing in terms of chilling. Maybe bagged ice tastes bad? I guess the quality of water used to make the ice could vary. I'd test-run some and melt it and taste it to make sure it tastes nice and clean. But it seems a fine idea if the ice tastes OK. I'm interested to see what the other partial-boil folks think.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
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Well heck, if it's simply a matter of whether it tastes OK or not, I can just freeze a hu-monstrous chunk of ice made from my own tap water, which I know tastes fine and dandy. If I freeze it in a sanitized milk jug and then cut the jug off when the wort is ready, I'll be one gallon closer to the 5-gallon mark and the wort will be much closer to being reduced to 80 degrees.

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Old 02-25-2005, 10:57 PM   #6
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My last batch, I just cooked 2 gallons of wort, but it in my primary with 7lbs of ice and topped it off to the 5 gallon mark with cold tap water. Instantly, the temp went down to 70 and I was able to pitch my yeast within minutes. In the past, I have cooked the 2 gallons of wort and put it in my primary without adding the ice, topped everything off with the water and had to immurse the whole shebang in a tub of cold water until I got it down far enough to pitch my yeast. Took a long time. I liked adding the ice, and so far, so good. I racked to my secondary last weekend and it is clearing up just fine.

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Old 02-26-2005, 12:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Again, I think the *best* solution is get a bigger kettle and boil the full volume of your beer. It *will* improve your beer if you do so. Your hop utilization will be better and you'll get less caramelization to name a few reasons. But, yes, most city tap water is considered OK to bring the volume up. A lot of folks on this board seem to do it. I have spring water, so absolutely everything gets boiled.
Janx, hopefully I am understaning your right. Is it better to boil all the water with hops, malt, ext all at once? Ususally I make my wort with 3 gallons and have 2 gallons preboiled that is cold.

Just a note also, I have city water and would never use it without boiling it first. To much risk invold.
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Old 02-26-2005, 12:51 AM   #8
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This is the 2nd separate post today on boiling the whole batch instead of the 2-3g and add water later. I'm intrigued on this conversation. How many experienced boyz do it this way? I have a 7.5g pot but she can even overboil if I do 3g agressively. If I watched it better I could do 5g for sure and just top it off later if this is a better idea.

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Old 02-26-2005, 01:21 AM   #9
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I have a 7 gallon brew pot and had it overflow the one time I brewed the entire batch at once. There seems to be a “big foam” after adding the hops that is uncontrollable for the first 5 – 10 minutes. When I do the 3 gallon boil the foam does not get close to an overflow.
Also I start with 3.5 gallons when I am doing a 1 hour boil to account for the evaporation. It is marked on the pot where 3 gallons is and after an hour it is almost always at 3 g’s.

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Old 03-04-2005, 01:07 AM   #10
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Default Hell yeah!!!

I used to add frozen tap water from 2 liter pop bottles to my wort to cool it but like Janx said it does water it down big time. Now I put the kettle in the sink with water and gently stir the wort and turn the kettle in the opposite direction like the wine/beer chillers you see at the liquor stores. after the water heats up I empty the water add more and repeat after 3 times it has cooled enough to add ice to the water 3 more cycles with ice and it's pitchable in a total of 15 mins max once its below 30C I stir the hell out of it to aerate . Ya gotta love the 1.075 SG HELL YEAH!!!!

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