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Old 11-10-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
Bravo11
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Default Fast cooling with contained ice

What would be some inherent problems with putting a 2 liter bottle of ice in the wort while cooling. I have some 2 liter coke bottles in the freezer that I plan to use with my lagering fermentation cooler. I dropped one in a solution of star san for a bit and put it in the cooling wort, while running my copper line wort chiller.
Think this would be ok?

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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Unless they are completely sanitary, it is a bad idea as you are introducing bacteria to the cooling/partly-cooled wort. A chiller is the best way as it is boiled the last 15 minutes of the wort boil and is less labor intensive.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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I would think that as long as it is very clean on the outside of the bottle (no glue residue) and not scratched, the plans should work out fine. I wouldn't let it bob around thought I would be worried about the ribs in the cap harboring nasties. I assume it will float in the center of your chiller so if you gently place it , without tipping it it might help.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:41 PM   #4
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That's what I was curious about. Even though I gave the bottle a star san bath before immersing? My copper wort chiller isn't a 20 minute operation, I was trying to speed things up.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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My IC does the trick in 20min. It used to take longer then I switched the direction of the flow and the cool time dramatically increased. My tap water flows from the hose at about 59F so I'm sure that helps.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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I use a 50 foot - 1/2 inch diameter chiller and it works very fast if the ground water is cold enough. Bigger is better (more surface area). Stirring with a sanitary spoon helps too because you keep the boundry layer mixed into the warmer liquid.

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Old 11-10-2008, 06:53 PM   #7
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I take about 3 gallons of boiling wort down to about 70º in 25 minutes with 2 ice baths. I fill up the kitchen sink with cold water...add ice...top off with more cold water right to the edge before it will overflow and spill everywhere. After all that ice melts...I drain some water & repeat with a 2nd bag of ice. Once I get down to about 85º.....I add 1 gallon of cold water thats been sitting in the fridge to my bucket...dump in my wort....and then another a gallon + top off water till I hit the 5 gallon mark..and then stir like crazy with sanitized spoon in order to aerate. By this point...I'm at about 70º.

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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I use a couple of two-quart juice jugs to do this. I haven't had any infection problems in about a half-dozen batches. My sink is too shallow for my kettle to cool quickly, so this was the next step. Maybe I will step up to a chiller soon.

I selected the rectangular ones on the theory that they will have a higher surface-area to volume ratio and thus cool more efficiently. Also, they are a little more study than the standard two-liter soda bottles. Make sure your jugs will fit inside your kettle with the lid on.

I cleaned label glue off with Goof-off (basically mineral spirits) and let them air in the sun for a couple of days.

Leave room for ice expansion when filling, otherwise they will split or you will have to remove ice from the mouth to seal them before using.

Just before putting the kettle in the ice-bath, I get these out of the freezer and soak in my sanitizer in the other sink for a few minutes. Turn them a couple of times to get all sides sanitized. Then my kettle goes in the ice bath in the sink, and one or two jugs goes in the kettle.

I think few bugs can survive going from the freezer, through the sanitizer, and then being plopped into 190 degree wort. At least that is my theory.

Have something handy to put the jug in when you take them from the kettle so you don't drip wort on SWMBO's kitchen floor. Then empty and clean them really well before storing for the next batch.

One problem I have is that they try to float in the kettle. I am contemplating adding some ball bearings or something to the jugs before filling to help steady them on the bottom of the kettle.

Chris

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Old 11-11-2008, 12:11 AM   #9
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Chris_B, i wouldn't weight them down. I'm not sure how big your stock pot is but mine sits too high out of the sink to be fully immersed in ice. So when i do an ice bath the bottom layer of wort cools fast while the top layer is still hot. Ice jugs floating on the top layer will cool all of it equally.

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Old 11-11-2008, 12:51 AM   #10
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I did something similar brewing a lager last week.

However, I used the 2 liter bottles in the sink, outside the kettle. I did several water changes, with the 2 liter bottles in the water. Then, when the wort was a little cooler, started using a bag of ice in the sink. I got the wort down under 70* in about 20 minutes. I mixed it in the better bottle with cold water and pitched.

Seems to have worked, the lager is thumping away in a cooler behind me.

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