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Old 04-14-2009, 11:29 PM   #1
splash
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Default How important is cooling?

I'm getting ready to make my first brew and I'm reading all the instructions. I just realized that my equipment kit doesn't come with anything to cool the wort with. I can try filling my sink with ice. Is that my best bet? Would I be better off in the long run buying a wort cooler? What will happen if I don't cool the wort fast enough? Thanks for any advice.



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Old 04-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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Using a filled sink with ice/water is a time honored tradition . There are multiple benefits to using some kind of wort chiller but is not necessary at this time. Just make sure to get your temps down to 80F before pitching your yeast.



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Old 04-14-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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The theory behind cooling wort is the same applied to food really. Bacteria grows faster between 140 and 70 so you want to cool it as fast as possible. Also, you want to get it down to pitching temps so you can chuck your yeasties in there and let them get to work. Another thing I've personally found in cooling as fast as possible is the removal of chill haze proteins. These will make your beer cloudy at cold temperatures.

The sink with ice will work but I would recommend a submersion chiller made of copper. There are some "Do It Yourself" posts around here about that if you're interested. Otherwise you can buy them for $30-$50 from home brewing suppliers.

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splash View Post
What will happen if I don't cool the wort fast enough?
you will build up Sulfur compounds

but don't worry - I second the Ice bath Idea

I've used it several times without problem

If you really want to experiance a sulfur taste - put a lid on your brew pot during the boil

I did that by mistake my first few batches and found out the hard way where that funny flavor was coming from
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Using a filled sink with ice/water is a time honored tradition . There are multiple benefits to using some kind of wort chiller but is not necessary at this time. Just make sure to get your temps down to 80F before pitching your yeast.
70F would be better for pitching yeast because many yeast strains perform best under 70F. Once fermentation gets rumbling the temp is going to go up 5-10 degrees.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
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Before I moved to AG i would use ice as my top up/cooling solution. I would do a three gallon boil. To be extra safe you could sanitize some plastic jugs, boil a few gallons the night before, and freeze in jugs. Drops the temps very quickly.

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:53 PM   #7
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Some people dont chill at all, but we are all going to die from it. But it is an option.

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:53 PM   #8
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For an ice bath I find it works best to:


---Near end of boil
1. Seal sink
2. Fill with 3 inches or so of cold water
----Wait for your boil to finish
3. Move pot to sink, put on lid
_then_
4. Dump in 16 lb bag of ice (or whatever you're using)
5. Top off sink with water. If possible, have the pot floating slightly (increases surface area for heat transfer).
6. Once water is off and faucet turned aside, remove lid and stir pot gently until cool.

If you put the ice in before the pot, it's sometimes tricky to get the pot into the sink.

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Old 04-15-2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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My 1st batch I waited all night for it to cool. Than I learned of the ice bath and have used it ever since.

I was lucky because that 1st batch still came out good.

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Old 04-15-2009, 12:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweaty View Post
The sink with ice will work but I would recommend a submersion chiller made of copper. There are some "Do It Yourself" posts around here about that if you're interested. Otherwise you can buy them for $30-$50 from home brewing suppliers.
You can buy a wort chiller for $30?


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