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Old 11-13-2008, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default Hot Wort to Primary?

Hi all,
I'm new to the forums and I've brewed 5 batches at the intermediate level. I'm wondering about racking to the primary. I have recently begun transferring the hot wort, after a brief covered 10 min break in an ice bath, to the primary fermenter that is filled with 2.5 gallons of cold water and a 7lb bag of ice. This yields 5 gal. of wort chilled down to 70 F. Is this wrong to do? Should I allow longer for the wort to rest? I'm still way new to brewing but I love it!

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Old 11-13-2008, 03:18 AM   #2
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Ideally you shouldn't pour the wort while its hot. Thats what they say. I've done it a few times though and it doesn't seem to hurt much. You should also be aware that that 7lb bag of ice probably is not completely sterile, but I don't know that its worth worrying about either.

I use your technique sometimes when I make a quick extract batch and it doesn't seem to hurt anything, but I get the feeling that some of the more experienced brewers here will cringe at us doing it this way because it flies in the face of many of the best practices for chilling wort and making beer.

Charlie Papazian's books describe basically the same technique for many of his recipes so I doubt we can be messing up that badly.

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Old 11-13-2008, 04:33 AM   #3
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Alton Brown does the same thing in his Amber Waves of Grain episode (Good Eats). While supposedly, you risk hot side aeration, there is some literature which still recommends this technique.

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Old 11-13-2008, 05:00 AM   #4
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Hot side aeration is, pretty much, the boogeyman of homebrewing. It does exist, but you probably will never see it. That said, if you want to move hot wort from the kettle to the fermenter, you really should "rack" it (i.e., with siphon and all), like you mentioned.


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Old 11-13-2008, 06:05 AM   #5
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If I understand what I've read correctly, as long as you can cool your wort down below 150F before you dump it, you don't really have to worry about the hot side aeration. I'll look around later and see if I can't find where I read that if anyone is interested.

Just being the devils advocate and throwing this out there.... if you dump the wort out of the pot over into the fermenter with cool water already in place to complete the cooling then you should also be doing a pretty good job or aerating the wort - so it might actually not be such a bad idea really. And as long as you're at least partly cool below the 150F mark where the hot side aeration is possible, then in theory you should be golden - nothing to worry about.

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Old 11-13-2008, 12:07 PM   #6
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You want to be careful using bag ice as you may run into a problem from nasties in the ice. Ideally, if you could boil water ahead of time and freeze that, you'd be better off.

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Old 11-13-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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I would be worried about sanitation more then aeration. Even unboiled tap water can have some nasties in it, thou I've used it with no problems.

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Old 11-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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I wouldn't use the ice. I recommend an immersion chiller if you want to chill your batch quickly. I consider an IC an essential tool, to cool quickly for sanitation and good cold break.

The ice introduces two problems:

1) It's not sanitary. You will risk mold or bacterial infections.
2) The ice will have been treated with chlorine or chloramine, with no chance to remove it. You will get chlorophenols in your beer. Depending on how much, it can render your beer almost undrinkable with a bad rubber/plastic aftertaste (Band-aid burps, I call them).

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Old 11-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #9
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I wouldn't use commercial Ice I would take a few empty milk or water bottles sanitize them add some pre-boiled water and freeze or just get the water close to freezing temp and put it in the primary and then rack the wort to it.

only pain is removing the plastic bottle from the ice.

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Old 11-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #10
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If you freeze plastic bowls of water you should have no problem removing the ice from them. If you have room in your boil pot add some of the ice to it to cool it off.

Good luck
John

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