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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > New way to cool All grain batches
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
amcclai7
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Default New way to cool All grain batches

I've been an extract brewer and recently did my first all grain batch by using the Brew in a Bag (BIAB) process. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process here is a explicaton, with pics, of something similar to what I did. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-90132/

It went over pretty well, but the biggest problem is chilling the wort. As we all know this is the most dangerous time for contamination. With exact brews over half my final volume would be ice cold top-off water and I could chill the wort from 160deg-75deg in 2 minutes.
With all-grain I had to do an icewater bath, which is wasteful and cumbersome, and stir constantly, which is an additional risk and quite boring, and I still ended up putting in a litte top-off water, which hurt my effeciency.

Here is the idea: (5ish gallon batch)

1 Mash the grains as normal with about 3 gallons of water.
2 When the mash is done, do a dunk sparge at 170 with 2.5-3 gallons of water let soak for 15-20 mins.
3. Start the boil with the 3 gallons of mashed wort and proceed with hop schedule as normal.
4. After the grains are removed from the sparge water, bring the sparge water to a boil for a few min to kill bacteria from the grains that are now in the water.
5. Allow the boiled sparge water to drop to 175 and put in a cold water bath for a short while and then in the freezer. (all done with a sanitized lid on the container)
6. When the mashed wort is done boiling take off burner and allow to cool to 160. When it does, take the now chilled sprage water and add to the vessel. It should equalize to around 80deg very very quickly.

The way I see it this solves many problems:
A. You don't need a wort chiller and in fact it will probably work quicker than a wort chiller.
B. No potentially effeciency killing top-off water is needed to chill.
C. A five gallon batch can be done w/o a 7 gallon capacity vessel, just two 3-4 gallon pots.

The biggest problem is of course risk of contamination. I know barley is loaded with bacteria this is how sour beers work. If wort is left to is own devices it will mold within 24hrs. Will this short boil be enough to kill all of this bac and will the sparged wort be safe from contamination in the freezer? (with the lid on, of course)

I really hope this will work. What does everyone think?

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Old 11-27-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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Doubt you could chill the sparge water fast enough without a blast freezer. I suspect your hop schedule would also need adjustment from other recipes.

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Old 11-27-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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^^^^ This

You'll need to adjust your hop schedule because of hop utilization issues. Plus, if you've ever put something with that kind of thermal mass in your freezer at anything around the temps your suggesting you'd know that it won't work and your gonna end up with a warm freezer. Do yourself a favor and get a wort chiller, you'll never regret it.

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Old 11-27-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjschroed View Post
^^^^ This

You'll need to adjust your hop schedule because of hop utilization issues. Plus, if you've ever put something with that kind of thermal mass in your freezer at anything around the temps your suggesting you'd know that it won't work and your gonna end up with a warm freezer. Do yourself a favor and get a wort chiller, you'll never regret it.
Or better yet use two wort chillers
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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And adding a couple gallons of 170f water to your freezer is a good way to wreck your fridge/freezer, or thaw everything in it in short order.

Immersion chiller is definitely the simplest way to chill with full volume boils, cheapest as well. Counterflow chillers are probably better overall but more complicated to put together and more expensive.

Go put an immersion chiller together, it'll cost you maybe $50 to do it yourself with 3/8th soft copper pipe and a couple garden hose ends and compression fittings, but it'll work wonders providing you have a tap and a drain of some sort near your brewing area.

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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I would have to agree with the immersion chiller. I was brewing off and on and when I got back into brewing it was the best investment I made after a larger brewpot. Not that I would recommend but I have even heard of people just covering the wort if they are brewing at night, and let it cool by itself and pitch yeast in the morning. I have doen that myself, but don't advise.

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Old 11-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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I agree there's no way a home freezer is going to chill that amount of liquid in the time the main wort is boiling, and that an immersion chiller is a better solution (even though I'm still ice bath chilling myself but I've never seen anyone say they were not completely thrilled with thier IC once they switched to it).

Another option if you still want to try this is you could do the chilling of the sparge wort in an ice bath while the main wort is boiling - should easily be able to cool it to at least 50º during that time and I don't see and reason why it needs to be stirred during that time. You could even use what's left of the ice bath on your main wort.

Another thing to consider is that there are advantages to doing a full boil. One is hops and not just the utilization factor but also the max IBU factor. I saw another thread here recently discussing this where it seems the max possible IBU for any wort is somewhere between 60-100 (and lots of disagreement about what the exact limit is), so if you do a half boil and have that at say 60IBU, then add the other half water, the final IBU will be around 30. This probably would be less noticable in low to mid IBU beer's if you're already compensating for reduced utilization with more hops, but it could come into play if you were trying to make something at the high end of the IBU scale.

I think DMS might be a potential problem with all grain partial boils as well. I don't claim to understand it completely but I've seen in the wiki where 100 minute full boil is recommended to prevent DMS flavors, so to me it follows that anything less than that there is greater potential for DMS. Might be worth researching, or least be aware of if you try out your method.

I'm all for people finding what works best for them so if you try this, let us know how it turns out.

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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Not boiling the sparge wort for a similar period to the main batch could lead to issues, like DMS and no hot break.
That said, a creative idea to solve your problem, but less than ideal.
If you try this report back your results.
Cheers.

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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I think a wort chiller is your best bet. You don't want to lose your full boil, then you lose hop utilization and character. Plus refrigerators are the most bacteriologically active environment in your house. I wouldn't risk my batch in one. That said, I like the idea in principle, if you try it ,please post results.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:02 AM   #10
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Counterflow chiller, homemade or store bought, will chill as fast as you need. Plus you can boil and hop as has been done time out of mind.

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