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Old 02-29-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Why is Ice for cooling wort bad?




Just curious as I saw a video that said don't col down your wort with ice?

If someone was using a Bucket for the primary and put ice in the bucket, then poured the wort into the bucket onto the ice using the ice to finish up the rest of the 5 gallon batch what would be the problem with that?

To me I'd think it would just cool the wort down faster in order to pitch the yeast?

All the ice really did was cool it down, melt into water which was making up the rest of the 5 gallons anyway?





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Old 02-29-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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You can use ice, but "they" say not to possibly due to the risk of infections. You could also boil the water first, then freeze it, and it would probably have a less risk of an infection, but I wouldn't bother. Just freeze some potable water and use it. In my mind, it's no different than if you were topping off with water straight from your faucet. There's no guarantee that your faucet water is infecion-free, yet people use it all the time.

EDIT: one thing just popped into my head. If you don't let the ice fully melt and if you don't get it fully mixed, the ice will throw off your gravity readings. So just keep that in mind.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZOTH99 View Post



Just curious as I saw a video that said don't col down your wort with ice?

If someone was using a Bucket for the primary and put ice in the bucket, then poured the wort into the bucket onto the ice using the ice to finish up the rest of the 5 gallon batch what would be the problem with that?

To me I'd think it would just cool the wort down faster in order to pitch the yeast?

All the ice really did was cool it down, melt into water which was making up the rest of the 5 gallons anyway?





The problem is with the ice itself. Ice from the home fridge isn't sanitized, ice from the ice machine at the big grocery stores isn't sanitized, and ice from a bag you buy isn't sanitized. You're introducing all sorts of bugs, germs, critters, bacteria, and microscopic creepy crawlies that can ruin your batch.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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If you can be certain that the ice is uncontaminated, it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Some people will pre-boil their own filtered water to be safe.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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Simple answer: everything that touches your wort post-boil should be sanitized.
People do top off w tap/ bottled water or ice, but it is a risk. Is it worth it? your call!

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #6
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What if you buy a gallon jug of commercial water, go the extra mile and boil it, put it back in the jug, freeze it, take it out of the freezer and spray the jug down with StarSan and then use sanitized scissors to cut off the plastic jug and add it to the hot wort? Sounds a lot harder than it really would be I think.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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What if you buy a gallon jug of commercial water, go the extra mile and boil it, put it back in the jug, freeze it, take it out of the freezer and spray the jug down with StarSan and then use sanitized scissors to cut off the plastic jug and add it to the hot wort? Sounds a lot harder than it really would be I think.
And then wait 4 hours for it to melt so you can finally pitch the yeast

Also, if you freeze the jug of water, it will expand and possibly crack the jug anyway, unless you make sure to leave a bunch of headspace. It seems like it would be way to much of a hassle. I haven't heard of anyone getting an infection from tap water, not saying it isn't possible, but more than likely if you have a good pitch of yeast, the yeast will take over before any possible infection can.

You could also buy some bottled water and refrigerate it, instead of freezing. Or even buy the water, boil it first, sanitize the jug, let the water cool down to a point that it wont melt the jug, pour it back into the jug, and refrigerate it, and not have to use scissors to get the water out. But you are still prone to infections due to the minuscule amount of oxygen in the top of the jug when you close it back up

OR: you could let the batch cool to around 100 degrees or so, top off with cold tap water, and drink awesome beer in a couple months
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninan
I haven't heard of anyone getting an infection from tap water...(snip)

but more than likely if you have a good pitch of yeast, the yeast will take over before any possible infection can.
Really? It can be hard to pinpoint where the infection came from.
I boil water, cover, leave it overnight, then add it to the fermenter if needed. It does not have to be complicated.
I agree about the second part but beginners (doing partial boils) are more likely to underpitch cell counts with liquid yeast as they aren't making a decent starter.
cheers.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZOTH99

Just curious as I saw a video that said don't col down your wort with ice?

If someone was using a Bucket for the primary and put ice in the bucket, then poured the wort into the bucket onto the ice using the ice to finish up the rest of the 5 gallon batch what would be the problem with that?

To me I'd think it would just cool the wort down faster in order to pitch the yeast?

All the ice really did was cool it down, melt into water which was making up the rest of the 5 gallons anyway?
This is how I did it when I did extract. I would dump the boiling wort on top of a ten pound bag of ice in my ale pail. I did nearly 50 brews like this with no infection. But there's a good chance I got lucky....50 times.......Chopps
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #10
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I'm not advocating this, but I frequently use ice or ice water to top up my beers and help cool them. Never had in infection. I do use sanitized bowls or containers when adding ice or ice water.

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