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Old 10-14-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default cooling the wort...which way???

so i've heard to fill your sink with cool water, submerge the pot, and repeat, with an ice bath once it is cool enough to not melt the ice right away. the instructions for my recipe say to just add 3 gallons of cold water to the primary and add the hot wort to it and wait for it to cool...which way should i do this? its the ipa kit from true brew if that matters....

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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I do partial boils like that, but prefer to cool my wort before putting it in the fermenter. For one thing, then I can separate out some of the cold break material so it doesn't all go into the primary.

Also, what do you do if the top up water isn't enough to get you to your pitching temp? Those instructions are meant as an easy short cut and will cool your wort at least to the point where it won't kill the yeast, but won't necessarily get you to the BEST temp to pitch your yeast at.

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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yeh i figured it was basically a short cut....does the water need to be cold then to add the cooled wort to or can it be room temp? it also says to pitch the yeast by simply sprinkling it into the primary...does it not need to be activated by warm water first? i'm getting so many different instructions from so many different sources...

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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What I like to do is to sink cool my wort in the boiling kettle most of the way. When it's around... ohh 80 or so, I pour it into my ale pail and then top up with water I've had in the fridge. That easily gets it down into the 60's. You can also cool it all the way first and then add room temp water. Try different ways and see what works best for you. That's what this hobby is all about.

Dry yeast doesn't HAVE to be rehydrated. I've just sprinkled it on top of the wort and made good beer, but after reading about osmotic shock, I started rehydrating mine in water. It just gives them a little head start before they had to start dealing with the sugars and whatnot in the wort.

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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One reason I don't like adding the hot wort to cool water is that you still aren't sure what ending temp you will end up with. Sure it will be cooler than the hot wort, but will it still be too warm for your plastic or glass primary? I added water I thought was warm to a Better Bottle and it ended up warping.

I'm still working on my cooling method but for now I'm using a cooler which I also use for my primary. I put the pot in the cooler with ice and water and let it cool. When the ice melts I start to add frozen water bottles I keep for cooling. I move the pot around a few times to try and even out the cooling effect. I judge when it's done by testing the water in the cooler and the temp of the pot. Very crude on my part and I should do something else at some point. It's not perfect but it works so far. Then again, I'm not sure if my method is affecting the flavor or not.

For the yeast, I also will boil water, let it cool, then add the yeast packet before I start my brewing. This gets it going well in advance. But I think just adding it to the primary is fine too. I remember reading how the yeast companies do a lot of work to make sure the yeast can stand up to some serious abuse. I think we sometimes over do it in our search of perfection. So it's probably fine to just dump it as long as you are careful with everything else.

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:43 PM   #6
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I used to do the sink method when I first started, it worked fine, but I got tired of buying ice and waiting for the wort to cool. The best investment I made was an immersion chiller. If you don't have one, look on craigslist and get one, you'll be glad you did.

When doing the sink/ice method, I would put a few gallons of spring water in the freezer, then add to primary to speed up the process a bit. Either way works, but go with the immersion chiller!

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Old 10-18-2009, 11:57 PM   #7
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I am relatively new to brewing, but last time I followed some advice and chilled 3 gallons of bottled spring water (which is what I use for everything) in the fridge. I did a partial boil that ended up with under two gallons in the pot, and then poured the chilled water in. It was immediately under 80 degrees. I have an immersion chiller that I use for full boils, but I'll never need it again for partial boils!

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Old 10-19-2009, 12:38 AM   #8
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After talking to the LHBS I tried something new. I took a food safe pail that is used for LME and sterilized it. Then I put water in it, put the top on, and put it in the freezer. I ended up with a giant ice cube that should be sterile and clean. I chilled the pot after boil a bit then put the ice cube in to really bring it down. It will be a while before I know if it works or not.

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Old 10-19-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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x4904857398475 on the immersion chiller.

I did 4 batches cooling by hand before getting a copper chiller at the LHBS, and believe me-waiting 20-30 minutes with running water and occasionally stirring the wort is s**tloads better than dumping 4 bags of ice in your sink and constantly swirling the water around your kettle.

Spend the $, or make your own! There's several threads about DIY chillers on here. It saves time and possible contamination from extended cooling times.

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:10 AM   #10
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Ice bath with 30 pounds of ice and water chills my 2.5 gallon batches in 20 minutes from boiling to below 80

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