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Old 07-27-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
jigidyjim
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Default is another reason wort chillers work because they keep the lid off

I was thinking of ways to get my ice-bath time down, and I realized that when you use a wort chiller, the lid isn't flush on the kettle... I wonder how much this has an affect on the chill speed?

maybe I could do something similar when I'm ice-bathing, just crack open the kettle lid with something?

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:45 AM   #2
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Just take the lid off.

Evaporation is the most efficient method of cooling since you are removing the most energetic (hottest) water molecules. Imagine a kindergarten class full of screaming kids. If you start to take the kids out one at a time starting with the loudest it gets quiet fairly quickly. If you try to quiet all of them at once it takes a lot longer.

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:51 AM   #3
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I tried to leave the lid off completely when ice bathing, but there is always the chance something could fall in. ( have a chiller now)

I would take the lid off when the kettle was just sitting there and put it back on whenever I was doing anything around the kettle, like adding/ replacing water or ice.

I should point out that I did it for partial boils in the kitchen sink, or full boils outside in winter. I think both reduce the risks by some amount.


There is some risk but I judged it small in my circumstances. If you just crack the lid the effectiveness and risk will both be diminished.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:17 AM   #4
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I leave the lid off for cooling, at least for the first 10 minutes or so. With the steam and heat rising from the surface, it's unlikely that anything bad will be able to fall in, and with the lid off you can stir it easier and help it cool that much quicker.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:53 AM   #5
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I think the greatest advantage you have to keeping the lid off (as mentioned) is ease of stirring the wort, which in my mind, is the best thing you can do to speed the cooling process. I haven't moved up to a wort chiller yet, I just use an ice bath. That being said, when the kettle is sitting in an ice bath, I notice that the temperature of the wort stays very constant, until I stir it, and stir the ice bath. If I do this every 10-15 minutes, I'll notice a drop of 5-10 degrees in the first minute following stirring.

I think if you leave the lid off of the kettle (or especially just crack it) without stirring the wort, you won't notice much of a difference in cooling times. That's because the cooled wort just hangs out on top of the rest of the wort, and insulates the rest of the wort from the cooling effects of the evaporation.

IMO, wort chiller or not, stir the wort regularly with a sanitized spoon every 10 minutes, and you'll cut down on your cooling time significantly.

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Old 07-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRoyLenz View Post
IMO, wort chiller or not, stir the wort regularly with a sanitized spoon every 10 minutes, and you'll cut down on your cooling time significantly.
Hell, I do partial boils and stir the wort (and ice bath) constantly in my sink. I can cool 3 gallons from boiling to 85F in 10-15 minutes, easy. Top it up with 2 gallons of 40F water, and you're good to pitch.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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I also stumbled across this in my attempt to not by a wort chiller. Last night I was able to get my 3 gallons of wort from 212*F (approximate) to 120*F with an ice bath and stirring in 10 minutes, then added 2 gallons of 40*F water from the fridge and ended at 65*F (overshot a bit).

All in under 15 minutes. I was told a wort chiller does it in 30 minutes, does that sound right? If so, what's the benefit?

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Old 07-27-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quikfeet509 View Post
All in under 15 minutes. I was told a wort chiller does it in 30 minutes, does that sound right? If so, what's the benefit?
Probably isn't much of one if you're topping up, but for those who do a full boil it will make a huge difference in cooling ability. Those 2-3 gallons of chilled water make a huge difference.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quikfeet509 View Post
I also stumbled across this in my attempt to not by a wort chiller. Last night I was able to get my 3 gallons of wort from 212*F (approximate) to 120*F with an ice bath and stirring in 10 minutes, then added 2 gallons of 40*F water from the fridge and ended at 65*F (overshot a bit).

All in under 15 minutes. I was told a wort chiller does it in 30 minutes, does that sound right? If so, what's the benefit?
Not having to move 5gallons of boiling syrup across the kitchen/garage for one. This is especially the case once you start doing full boils.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerMcAllen View Post
Just take the lid off.

Evaporation is the most efficient method of cooling since you are removing the most energetic (hottest) water molecules. Imagine a kindergarten class full of screaming kids. If you start to take the kids out one at a time starting with the loudest it gets quiet fairly quickly. If you try to quiet all of them at once it takes a lot longer.
I don't know why, but just picturing this made me laugh really hard. Little loud bastard kids. Take em' all out. One by one. For some reason it was a midget with a handlebar mustache and a potato sack. That's just me though.
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