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Old 03-01-2012, 12:46 AM   #11
Tykees
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I do this. Start of brewday I get my topup water in the freezer. using store bought gallon jugs. Then I have almost frozen slushy water. Chill my wort down in an ice bath then pour into ale pail. Topup with slush which melts quick. Gets my temp down perfect

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tykees View Post
I do this. Start of brewday I get my topup water in the freezer. using store bought gallon jugs. Then I have almost frozen slushy water.
+1 to this. Works well.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:01 AM   #13
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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.
I understand that it would be hard to pinpoint the cause of the infection, so blaming on the water without looking into the other variables would not be a good way to rule it out. I'm just saying, that a lot of people top off with faucet water, including me, and have never had issues with infections, thus making me feel more confident that faucet water is ok to use.
With your method, unless you are vacuum sealing or pressure canning the container that you place the water into when you cool it, you are still risking infection. If there is any headspace at all in your container when cooling that hasn't been sanitized, there is a potential for some sort of bug to be present in it. I'm not saying it's a high risk, but there is a slight possibility.
Would I agree that the risk is greater when using straight faucet water? Yes, I would agree that the risk is much greater. But in an overall comparison, I don't think it's any more of a risk than when people dunk their arms in the fermenter to retrieve their fallen-in airlock grommet. If it were me, I wouldn't waste my time with making sure the faucet water is sanitized.
One thing that a lot of beginners should realize, is that yeast care and pitching is critical to a great quality beer. If they are using a liquid yeast, a starter should be made. If they are making a high gravity beer, the correct amount of yeast should be pitched. I'm not saying "If you don't do this, you are stoopid, lawls!!11", because I am guilty of not doing this as well. But, if good procedures are followed with yeast care, then I don't think using faucet water is a terrible idea.
I hope I don't sound like I'm being a dink, I know how sometimes the "tone of voice" can be perceived differently when reading something on the internet, I'm just trying to state my opinion. If everybody in history did things only one way, because one person thought that was the only way to do it, we would still be naked and living in caves.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:51 AM   #14
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I used to top off with tap water, as the ground water got warmer in the summer I started making slush water with pre purchased gallon jugs of spring water. Worked great for me. I now have an immersion chiller so no need to do either.

There are a lot of different ways to do things and a lot of different opinions. Do what works for you.

Happy brewing.

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:06 AM   #15
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I do the ice method you mentioned. I use 16# ice I.e. 2 gallons and dump my 3.5 gallons wort on top. Been doing it for a couple years. Got the idea from a documentary on olde burnside brewery/ ice factory where they said they do this to cool their wort faster. Works well

Also I believe that ice and water from the store is sanitary either thru a going thru a .2 micron size filter or uv/ irradiation sterilization. Now of there are holes in the bag then that's a different story. But I agree yeast will outcompete if pitched properly.

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:09 AM   #16
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I used ice in my wort about 3 batches ago. It actually cooled it down too far and had to warm it back up a bit. Other than that, I had no problems with it fermenting though. It turned out great. I haven't done it since though.

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mewithstewpid View Post
I use 16# ice I.e. 2 gallons and dump my 3.5 gallons wort on top. Been doing it for a couple years. Got the idea from a documentary on olde burnside brewery/ ice factory where they said they do this to cool their wort faster. Works well.
Also I believe that ice and water from the store is sanitary.
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With your method, unless you are vacuum sealing or pressure canning the container that you place the water into when you cool it, you are still risking infection. If there is any headspace at all in your container when cooling that hasn't been sanitized, there is a potential for some sort of bug to be present in it. If it were me, I wouldn't waste my time with making sure the faucet water is sanitized.
Good point from you both. I agree that there is some risk of infection, but there has to be just as much from air borne bugs when we pour the wort into the fermenter (unless we are set up for pumps, etc. and I am not). I probably use about one gallon of water to top off, and I used refrigerated water last time and it only got my wort down to about 125 and I had to use an ice bath to get it down to pitching temp. To me there is a lot more risk of infection with an open kettle of wort sitting out for 45 minutes cooling than a half gallon or so of ice being tossed in to get to pitching temps pronto. Think I will go for the ice jug routine next time and see.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:13 AM   #18
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It's bad because of risk of contamination. I have done this on most of my batches over the past 3 years (somewhere between 10 and 20?), until I bought a wort chiller a few months ago. I'd buy two bags of ice from Safeway or the gas station, do a partial boil, dump one bag of ice into my fermenting bucket and then pour the hot wort directly on top. It cools very quickly, and I never picked up an infection that I could detect.

The two issues I had were:
1) Your gravity reading is worthless until at least a few hours have passed. The mixing takes a while.
2) The ice temperature can vary wildly from store to store, and even day to day. In the craziest case, using one bag of ice and faucet water for the rest, I dropped the temperature down to about 50F. I had to wait hours for it to raise. My eventual solution to this was to buy the ice a few days in advance, and store it in my chest freezer (whose temperature I know). With that method, I could get within 1-2F of my target temperature in under 10 minutes, with no wasted water.

I think that if you assume surface contamination is the major potential source of bacteria, and ensure that near-boiling wort touches every surface of every ice cube, you'll be ok.

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:30 AM   #19
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This whole contamination thing among homebrewers is quite frankly ridiculous. No matter what you do you are making beer it your kitchen (or garage) and bacteria are going to be in your beer. Even under the most sterile conditions in my cell culture lab I get bacterial contaminations. They are everywhere and there is nothing you can really do to prevent them from entering your beer. This is not to say sanitation is not important, but it seems it has been blown way out of proportion, with people asking if their beer is ruined from simply opening those airlock. 2000 years ago you think they used star San??? Be careful but don't be ridiculous.

Just my rant.

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:33 AM   #20
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Which isn't directed at anyone. Just ranting. Also sorry for the spelling iPhone typing sucks.

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