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Old 11-16-2010, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default Full Boil chill take too long with ice water bath?

I have my inaugural brew set for this Thursday night! I can't wait (however SWMBO may be able to wait.) I have been planning this pretty carefully as to what equipment I need and what not but I am unclear about 1 thing.

I planned on doing a full-boil of a northern brewer extract kit. However, in going over the process 1,000 times in my head, the only way I have to cool the wort after the boil is with an ice water bath. Do you all think this is sufficient enough to cool as quickly as I need to given that it is for a 5 gal recipe? An Immersion Chiller is definitely on my Christmas list but I'm not sure if I should partial boil until I get one or just say screw it and try the full boil and see what happens. What do you all think? Thanks!!

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Old 11-16-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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Ice water bath will be fine... to speed up the process I recommend that you stir both as much as possible to help with convection cooling.

I would probably do it in two stages... if you can --- put your pot in a bath of tap water -- have the tap water slightly open to help with convection... for 15-20 mins or so. Then add ice to cool down to pitching temp.

Note: there are a lot of people on this site, that also let the wort cool down overnight in the bucket - and pitch yeast next day. (search No Chill Brewing)

John.

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Old 11-16-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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A lot of us started with the ice bath. It takes too long to be ideal, but you'll be fine if your kettle fits in your sink.

I moved to 10 gallon batches recently and now I'm anxious to upgrade past my immersion chiller. Homebrewing can be a gear treadmill, the key is to not let your lust for new gear get in the way of actually brewing.

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Old 11-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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A lot of us started with the ice bath. It takes too long to be ideal, but you'll be fine if your kettle fits in your sink.

I moved to 10 gallon batches recently and now I'm anxious to upgrade past my immersion chiller. Homebrewing can be a gear treadmill, the key is to not let your lust for new gear get in the way of actually brewing.
+1 to this. Or you will end up like me. SWMBO thinks she isnt getting anything for Christmas.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:26 PM   #5
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Start making ice now. I do that, and it works pretty well. I have some small, square freezer containers that I partially fill with water. I leave them in the freezer for about 12 hours, take out the ice blocks, put them in the freezer loose, refill the containers, make more ice blocks, etc. I end up with quite a few ice blocks, and it works really well. Just make sure the blocks are small enough to fit in the water between your kettle and sink or whatever tub you use for chilling. If nothing else, buy a couple bags of ice cubes from the local grocery store. It should only take about half an hour or so.

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Old 11-16-2010, 07:55 PM   #6
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Awesome. Thank you to all that replied. I am a go for a full boil!

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+1 to this. Or you will end up like me. SWMBO thinks she isnt getting anything for Christmas.
Haha, yea I see this definitely happening. It seems that there is always something on sale or a 'good deal' that you just cant pass up. With my construction background I know that having the right tool will make your job 1000 times easier. Perhaps I may end up with a full electric brew rig before I even brew my first batch...
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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Start making ice now.
I should have done this. Instead, I ran to the store while my kettle sat in the sink. Damn. I used a total of about 30lbs of ice that night. But, my tap water is very warm compared to the rest of the country except Arizona and Death Valley. Next up, homemade ice blocks and a shiny new immersion chiller. Hey, if I think I can make beer, I can probably make ice too.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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my tap water is very warm compared to the rest of the country except Arizona and Death Valley.
HAHA, so true...theres no such thing as cold water during the summer!

No Prob with Ice Bath, and if you want to be even quicker.....after its sat in the ice bath till the temp is down below 130 ish, (if your worried about leaching chems from plastic) float frozen 2 liter bottles (sanitized) in the wort...worked for me on more than one occasion

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go rinse your mind out with soap for even THINKING about tossing a batch of beer.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:02 AM   #9
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anything wrong with pitching ice right into wort to chill it? normal bacteria won"t procreate on ice. i haven"t had any beers go bad from this, but is there any other problem with this?

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:16 AM   #10
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You can also add clean ice (not grocery store ice) directly in the wort. It's somewhat controversial on this board to do so but I have done it for pretty much all my batches so far along with all my friends and none of us have gotten an infection from it yet. The way I see it, you have more infection risks stirring forcefully wort exposed to the open air for 30 minutes while it either sits in your kitchen or your bathroom, two of the most bacteria and yeast laden places in homes, than from the tiny amount you have in tap water (or even better, unopened spring water). Plus, if you add it straight after the boil, you get the added benefit of the contact with the hot wort. Freezing temperatures won't kill alaready present bacteria.

I would only do this with water that is clean though. If your tap water sucks for brewing, don't do this. Also, you have to account for dilution. The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of the ice water bath or ice additions. No-chill or conventionnal fast chilling methods (immersion chiller, counter-flow chiller, plate chiller, etc.) all seem more convenient from both a time and consistency perspective. Not to talk about being more sanitary. I see a lot of people saying they can chill their wort in half an hour to pitching temps using only an ice water bath. Well, my tap water is 50F or below year-round and I use around 15 2 liters frozen water bottles in a big pail to chill my wort and my best time yet from boiling to 65F is about an hour and fifteen minutes, even when I stir pretty much the whole time and add some ice or water to the wort. I can get it below 120F very fast, but the drop from 120F to 65F takes forever.

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