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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Question about chilling my wort
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
I_Brew_Drunk
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Default Question about chilling my wort

So obviously it's important to chill your wort as soon as possible after the boil, and I've been looking around for wort chillers / cooling methods and everything seems to cost a little more than I'd like to spend (poor college student here). I was thinking, why cant I just mix my 2.5 gallons of wort with 2.5 gallons of cold water from the tap (I'm in SF and was told the tap water's sufficient, correct me if I'm wrong), drastically reducing the cooling time. My current method is just placing my brew pot in a bathtub which I'm not a huge fan of.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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You can do that, and it will work fine, but you need to boil the water first, cool it back down, and then add it into your wort. Boiling will sterilize it - very important - and it will also gas off all the chlorine.

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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Stick with your current method before doing this. You would be adding "unsanitized" water to your wort and also thining out the body and flavor of that sweet wort. Topping up a carboy is ok but adding the same volume of cold tap water isnt a great idea generally.

If you have a double sink and each side can fit your pot, I would alternate ice baths between the two sides. This would take me 30-45mins depending on the time of year and the water temp. Also consider an immersion chiller that could hook up to your sink, they arent too pricey.

Cheers.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:02 PM   #4
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I did this for years with no problems. Fill a some bowls with store bought jugs of water. Use an entire gallon so you know how much you are adding and then freeze them. Make sure everything is sterile and cover the bowls if possible. Keep the other 1.5 gal in the fridge to cool it down.

After flame out dump the frozen bowls and the cold water into primary (you have to use a bucket for this obviously). SLOWLY dump your wort into the bucket and stir periodically. You are only moving 2.5 gallons of hot wort so it's not as dangerous as it could be, but still be careful. Give it a good stirring and make sure your temp is on target.

If possible pour your wort through a sterile nylon paint strainer to filter out some trub.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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igotworts: What do you mean adding the same amount of tap water isn't a great idea generally? Isn't that method pretty standard for people without 5gallon brew pots?

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Brew_Drunk View Post
igotworts: What do you mean adding the same amount of tap water isn't a great idea generally? Isn't that method pretty standard for people without 5gallon brew pots?
You are correct, it is a standard method. The mistake most people - myself included - initially make is that they do not boil the water first. The chlorine in your tap water will really effect the taste of your beer.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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you could always rig up a pretty simple (and cheap) cooling jacket.

The Alaska Bootlegger's Bible has some pretty simple setups using simple stuff like a milk jug, putty, and some ice with salt on it. Siphon the hot wort through a long tube into the fermenter, and pass the tube through a bucket or large plastic jug filled with ice with the salt on it. Spiral the siphon tube around a few times to increase contact time. Voila, chilled wort.

Actually, most immersion chillers work better if the chiller is placed in a bucket of ice water, and the hot wort is siphoned through the chiller, rather than the chiller being immersed in the hot wort. Its just a more efficient transfer of energy

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:26 PM   #8
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The cheapest is to just do a no chill and pitch your yeast the next day.

Or cough up $60 for this:
http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=HX1220BWC

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