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Old 02-24-2007, 08:33 PM   #1
LinuxBrew
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Default Cooling the wort?

I'm about to attempt my second brew. Like my first (German Wheat), my second is a kit (Red Ale)

The instructions say to chill the wort rapidly to ~70ºF, and I'm debating the method with my wife. I thought that immersing the wort in its boiling vessel into a tub (maybe a Rubbermaid) filled with ice water would be good.

My wife had a different approach. Rather than cool the wort to room temperature and then add it to the room temperature water, she suggested I freeze the water I'm going to add the wort to, then add the wort so that it will rather quickly reach room temperature.

Does it make any difference which way I do it?

I know about using various other cooling methods that require plumbing, but I really just want a relatively simple method for right now.


Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-24-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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I just finished my first brew and i filled my tub up with ice and cold water.. put the wort in there immediately after boiling .. i stirred the wort and the ice bath constantly .. and the temp dropped to 70 in about 20 minutes.. really simple and surprisingly fast. Hope that helps.

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Old 02-24-2007, 08:52 PM   #3
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Go with your plan. A large container filled with ice water (or even your kitchen sink if it is deep enough) is the best method for cooling wort if you do not have a seperate chiller.

There are several risks associated with adding wort to ice.

One, your ice would have to be made with sanitized (boiled or bottled water), that was frozen in a covered container.

Two: Depending on what you are pouring your wort into you risk damaging the container with thermal shock. Even a plastic container could be cracked by mixing hot and cold water.

Lastly, Depending on the amount of hot wort and ice you might either not have enough ice to reach your cool temp, or you might actually cool the wort too much.

Depending on how deep you can submerge your boil pot in ice water, how often you add ice, and whether or not you stir your cooling wort (with sanitized spoon), you can cool 2.5-3gal down in less than an hour.

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Old 02-24-2007, 08:55 PM   #4
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I don't like the idea of ice in my beer. The ice in your (and mine) freezer wouldn't be sanitary enough and I'd be worried about an infection using it. Plus it would take an aweful amount of ice to bring your wort down to pitching tempertures running the risk of adding too much water or not cooling enough.
Better is the idea of immersing the pot in an ice bath.

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Old 02-24-2007, 09:04 PM   #5
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Is this a good idea? If you live in a city with snow......Drop it right outside your door. That seem to do the trick for me.

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Old 02-24-2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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I used to stick my brew pot in a snow bank when brewing in the winter. Ice water in the sink or in a tub works, too. But my DW gave me a wort chiller for Christmas, and it's wonderful! They're not all that expensive (about $50 for a basic one). Some folks have even made their own.

Basically, it's just coiled copper tubing that connects to your faucet and empties into your sink. You immerse it in your hot brew pot (I sanitize mine first by putting it in the wort while it's still boiling), hook it up to your faucet, run cold water through, and in just a matter of minutes, your wort is down to the 70-80 degrees you need before pitching the yeast. It's really great!

If you've got $50 burning a hole in your pocket, I'd recommend that as your next upgrade in your brewing supplies.

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Old 02-24-2007, 10:18 PM   #7
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If you do a partial boil, what I did was gather about 8 gallons of bottled water. You'd boil 2 or 3 gallons depending and you would have 3 gallons in the fridge chilling as cold as you could get them. That leaves you with a couple extra gallons at room temperature to play with if the temp drops too rapidly. This worked perfect for me the past couple brews. I would pour all three gallons of ice watter in and it would drop the temp to right around 80, then I'd toss in another gallon to make 5 gal. and pitch. I didn't have any problems with infection or anything. Some people say to boil the water and then freeze..I think that's unnecessary though when dealing with bottled water.



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Old 02-24-2007, 10:36 PM   #8
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i just finished my first batch last night. i was really worried about this, because i didn't have a wort chiller. i bought a big TUFF plastic bucket from the local tractor supply, and two big bags of ice, and just put one and a half bag of ice in the bucket, and some water, then put the whole stockpot in the bucket of ice water, and in kind of "floated" on top of the ice, and i spun the stockpot around in a circle, then i put on the lid tightly, and poured the last bit of ice on top of the stockpot, and then pushed it off the lid, to the sides of the stock pot, and spun it around some more. it cooled the wort down to 70 degrees in 15 minutes! suprised me to death, i was worried about getting it cool fast enough, and that method worked perfectly. i see no reason to buy a wort chiller now.

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Old 02-24-2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian williams
i just finished my first batch last night. i was really worried about this, because i didn't have a wort chiller. i bought a big TUFF plastic bucket from the local tractor supply, and two big bags of ice, and just put one and a half bag of ice in the bucket, and some water, then put the whole stockpot in the bucket of ice water, and in kind of "floated" on top of the ice, and i spun the stockpot around in a circle, then i put on the lid tightly, and poured the last bit of ice on top of the stockpot, and then pushed it off the lid, to the sides of the stock pot, and spun it around some more. it cooled the wort down to 70 degrees in 15 minutes! suprised me to death, i was worried about getting it cool fast enough, and that method worked perfectly. i see no reason to buy a wort chiller now.
Well there will come a time where the cost of ice will have surpassed the cost of a wort chiller, pllus Chillers are easier IMO. I got tired of using ice water baths and am buying a chiller. With a chiller I will be able to take down my wort to pitching temps in about 5 minutes versus 15-20 with ice. This plus I'm going to full boils and chilling 5 gallons of wort takes a lot longer than chilling 2-3 gallons.


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Old 02-25-2007, 08:54 AM   #10
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I used snow, this last time, worked great! I just piled it up around the pot.

Btw, nice name!

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