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Old 05-31-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
tominwhitecenter
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Default how long can I wait for wort to chill?

Back again, just brewed a pils style ale (not enough time to lager before the big day, wedding beer)

I do 5 gallon extract w/ grain bag steep.

All the conventional wisdom is 'cool your wort as quickly as possible to 68-70f
before pitching.'

what's too long too wait? 2hrs? 30 min?
when do I really start risking getting bugs in there?
Thanks all.

ps, after pouring wort into 2.5 cold water and topping off with an additional gallon or so, the wort temp was 80f.

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Old 05-31-2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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so your wort was ~ 1.5 gallons? very small amount, did you cool that in an ice bath? you should have been able to get that small amount cooled down to 70* in under 20 minutes in an ice bath...

or did you pour the boiling hot work into the 2.5 gallons of water in your fermenter???

Once the wort gets below 160* it is susceptible to infection. The sooner you get the yeast pitched the better, because wild yeast and other nasties can get a foothold...

but if you keep it covered you should be fine.....

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Old 05-31-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Since it's at 80F, I'd say pitch the yeast and continue cooling to your fermentation range.

Note: There are people who will object to this approach. But I think, in your situation, pitching and letting the yeast get a start on growth won't hurt.

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Old 05-31-2009, 08:30 PM   #4
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I thought it was a small amount to, I steeped the grains in 1.5 gall and added 6lbs extract. (sparge water was probably 32 oz)
anyway, the wort sat off the heat for 10 min and was poured into 2.5gall water. hence dropping to 80f but staying relatively put.
I'm trying a new technique keeping the fermenter in the mini fridge (as cold as it will go) cause I'm too lazy to go out and by 3 bags of ice for ten degrees. should I
a. stop being lazy and buy ice.
b. pitch at 76-78degrees
c. just wait another 30 min-1hr to pitch

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Old 05-31-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tominwhitecenter View Post
I thought it was a small amount to, I steeped the grains in 1.5 gall and added 6lbs extract. (sparge water was probably 32 oz)
anyway, the wort sat off the heat for 10 min and was poured into 2.5gall water. hence dropping to 80f but staying relatively put.
I'm trying a new technique keeping the fermenter in the mini fridge (as cold as it will go) cause I'm too lazy to go out and by 3 bags of ice for ten degrees. should I
a. stop being lazy and buy ice.
b. pitch at 76-78degrees
c. just wait another 30 min-1hr to pitch
Next time, none of the above. Cool your wort in the sink in a cold water bath, adding ice if you have some. When it gets to 80 degrees (and it will do that very quickly), then add it to the cool water and top up to 5 gallons. You'll be at 65 degrees in less than half an hour from the time you turned off the heat.

For now, just pitch the yeast and put the fermenter someplace cool. As you've found out, once you get the volume up to 5 gallons, it takes a long time to cool below 80 degrees.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tominwhitecenter View Post
Back again, just brewed a pils style ale (not enough time to lager before the big day, wedding beer)

I do 5 gallon extract w/ grain bag steep.

All the conventional wisdom is 'cool your wort as quickly as possible to 68-70f
before pitching.
'

what's too long too wait? 2hrs? 30 min?
when do I really start risking getting bugs in there?
Thanks all.

ps, after pouring wort into 2.5 cold water and topping off with an additional gallon or so, the wort temp was 80f.

You can wait days, if you put it in an HDPE container. It must be sealed though. I let my wort cool over about 24 hours and have had no complaints. If you want to chill it faster, an ice bath will do the trick if you do not have a chiller... if it has a lid on it, the risk of infection is pretty low even if it takes you 2 hours to cool it this way.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
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+1 on just using cool tap water for the initial cooling. I also put my top up water in the fridge on my last brew. I actually had to get some room temp water because I was below 70 with only half the top up water in there.

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:05 AM   #8
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Cool your wort to about 100-120 add 2 gallons of refrigerated water to your fermenter and pour your wort into the chilled water, top off with more chilled or room temp water depending on where your temps are at. Works well for me.

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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This may or may not be slightly off topic, but since topped off water is part of this discussion, I thought I would ask anyway. What kind of water do you use for topping off? Especially if it's been cooling in the refrigerator.

I have only brewed one batch so far, and I just used tap water for topping off, straight from the sink. I didn't have any issues with that brew (maybe I was just lucky?)

Is it safe to use tap water, or should you boil it, cover it, then cool it down in the fridge? If you use drinking water from the store, is it safe to assume it is "sanitized"?

I'm asking because I am hoping to do my 2nd brew soon and it probably took 20 minutes to cool down from boiling to 75 with an ice water bath (and more than a bag of ice). If I could use cold water to top it off to speed things up, that would be nice. I would just like to know how I should prepare it.

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:55 PM   #10
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I thought the idea of cooling quickly was to reduce chill haze ?

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