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Old 04-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default More Beginner Questions

Sorry about starting another thread but while I was looking around I realized there's a lot more I don't understand.

How do you aerate the wort? I just let it sit there as the wort is cooling cooling. It seems to imply blowing air into it somehow maybe? Is this critical or does it just speed up fermentation?

Is it bad to use ice to chill the wort? I start with 1 gallon of water and 8 lbs of ice in my bucket, pour in the hot wort, and add water until I hit 5 or 5.5 gallons (depending on recipe). I've seen a lot of people talking about chilling.

Is bleach a bad disinfectant? My beginners kit came with some sanitizer but I'm out by now.

Despite having no idea what I've been doing on my first two batches, they came out really well; although I'd like to improve my process. Thanks for the help.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
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1.) I aerate my wort by shaking. Since I am doing 3 gallon boils, I will generally add the cooled wort to the carboy, and then shake for five minutes. Top off to 5 gallons and then shakes some more. Then pitch (and shake some more). Good aeration is essential to good fermentation, as yeast need oxygen.

2.) If you are going to chill with ice, make sure to use sanitized ice. Plain old ice from the fridge or (ick) from the 7-11 is not sanitized. Another option is to put water in a 2L bottle, freeze that, and then sanitize it and toss it into your wort. This will help the wort cool without diluting or contaminating it.

3.) Bleach is a perfectly fine sanitizer -- I think the only downside is that you have to rinse very thoroughly (with sanitized water). My sanitizer of choice is StarSan, which is no rinse -- you can go straight from the sanitizing bucket to use.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:59 PM   #3
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Where would you get sanitized ice and how do you know if it's sanitized?

I'm going to echo the recommendation of thorough rinsing if you're going to use bleach. Some of the bottles from my first batch had a very slight residual of bleach and it was just awful. I mean it was still drinkable and it wasn't overpowering, but it was definitely noticeable.

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Old 04-07-2008, 07:02 PM   #4
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:03 PM   #5
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You get clean ice by making it yourself. An easy way is to sanitize an ice cream bucket, and fill it with your water (either boiled tap water, if you boil your water, or bottled water) and putting it in the freezer with the sanitized lid. You can make a couple of those, if you need too, or do a smaller bowl also, depending on how much ice you'll need to cool it.

I used to cool my wort in an ice bath in the sink until it was under 80 degrees (about 20 minutes) and then put it into the fermenter with cool tap water. It got it to 65 degrees very quickly without overcooling.

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