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Old 04-23-2011, 05:32 PM   #41
adempewolff
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The pot I've been using recently is too big to fit in the sink, and winter has gone so there are no snow banks outside. I thought about using sanitized plastic bottles or glass bottles, but after concerns about sanitation with the first (removing labels leaves sticky goo that I imagine bacteria would love hiding in) and thermal shock failure with the latter, I decided to double bag the bottles. It then took me about 2 minutes to realize I should just ditch the bottles and use the gallon ziplocks.

My conclusion is that its honestly not really even worth freezing the water or putting ice in alongside the water. When you are cooling 3 gallons from 200 degree to 100 degrees. Its not going to make much of a difference whether you are immersing 6 quarts of a 30 degree substance or 6 quarts of a 40 degree substance. I probably used about 4 quarts of ice/water mix, before switching to cold water, I then put two bags with about 3 quarts of cold water eacher in, refilled once, and had hit 100 degrees. Mixing this with two more gallons of cold water in the fermenter got me right to 78 degrees.

The process took under 30 minutes, and I imagine it could be done in 15 or less if you had the bags of water prepared beforehand and switched them out as soon as they warmed up. The other advantage is that you can take the temperature of the warm water in the switched out bags rather than leaving the cover off the pot while you get a reading from the pot.

If I did it again I would use cold water first (if not only) and then maybe use a bag of ice towards the end as the temperature differential gets smaller. I was a little sketched out about achieving full sanitation with the weird opening of the bags, but I think I was probably being paranoid. Next time I might boil the bags first.

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:09 PM   #42
BrewPilot74
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I do all grain now so I use a wort chiller, but on one of my last extract brews I started thinking, hey, since I only boiled like 3.5 gal and I'm going to add water to this anyway to bring it up to 5 gal, why not just dump a couple of bags of ice right into the hot wort? I did that and it worked like a champ. Cooled it down in a matter of minutes.

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #43
BeerChef17
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Personally I would stick away with dumping bagged ice into your wort. If you look at studies some ice can actually be really dirty since the bags get small holes in them and such during transport. I recently started buying 3 gal of spring water and chilling it the night before. After I remove my wort from the stove I put it in a straight water bath for a few min and drastically reduce the temp. Then I drain the water, fill the sink with an ice bath and add my chilled Spring Water to the wort - stirring to get an even mixture before taking my OG reading.

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