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Old 07-15-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Which is more important?

I discovered last night that I can boil 3gallons of water in my pot on the stove, rather than 2(watched very carefully). The problem is, just that one extra gallon takes my wort Twice the amount of time to cool in the sink on ice, than 2gallons.
Is it more important to boil a larger amount or cool below 80 faster?

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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I'd go with the bigger boil..... you can speed up the cooling by adding more ice to the sink... or look into an imersion chiller.

I do 3gal boils and get down to 140 in about 10-15min with some ice in the sink. give the cooling wert a little spin with a spoon, it will cool faster.

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Bigger boils are always better!

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Old 07-15-2009, 07:51 PM   #4
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+1 on bigger boils. Bigger boil will help the beer at the outset. Faster cool down is to LIMIT the wort's exposure to bugs and reduce RISK of contamination.

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Old 07-15-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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I'd bite the bullet and buy (or make) a wort chiller. I paid $15 for mine (50 foot 1/2" copper) on Craig's List and it's probably the best investment I've made in home brew equipment to date. They're expensive new, but I've seen plans where you can make them for about $40, depending on the type of materials you use.

Also, don't forget that bigger boils will increase the efficiency of your hops...

Good luck!

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Old 07-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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I agree, go with the bigger boil.

I actually start out with 3.5 gallons and after an hour usually end up with ~3 gallons. Gives better hops utilization, and lighter colored brews.

If your pot will fit into both sides of your sink, try utilizing both sides for cooling. Place cold water on say the left side and use that for the first cooling, then place your pot in the right side with ice, while it is chilling in the right side drain the left side and ready it for more icy water. When all of your ice melts on the right side move it back to the left side and add more ice.

When I began I only used one side of the sink, utilizing both sides in essence cools the wort twice as fast, 15-20 minutes tops.

As Arkador states stir it with a spoon to get a whirlpool action going to increase the contact with the cold which will help to cool it quicker.

A wort chiller is on my list, but I am waiting until I go AG as if i build one now it will be too small for my AG kettle. Plus the water is wicked hot here in AZ during the summer so I would have to recirculate with icewater anyway.

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Old 07-15-2009, 09:39 PM   #7
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One more vote for the bigger the boil the better.

I went to full boils and my beer improved dramatically as soon as I did. At first I used a 55 gallon rubermade storage container to do my ice bath in. The more water you can use the quicker you can get the temp down. Swithching side in the sink works well if you have a double sink, but if you can get into a larger container, it will work even better. The problem with the sink is that your hot wort has way more volume than the ice bath.

If you can't go full boil, I found that boiling 1.5 gallons of top-off water and freezing in sanitized screw top tupperware containers ahead of time was a very effective way to get my temps down in a hurry.

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Old 07-15-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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My pot only hold 4 gallons, so I really have to watch it with 3 gallons in it.
Anybody else use 3 gallons in a 4 gallon pot?

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Old 07-15-2009, 11:48 PM   #9
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Foam control is your friend! I can fill my pot most of the way up, and as soon as it starts to build up to a boil over I start putting in drops of foam control. After about 3 drops the foam stops rising, and then a couple more make it fall back down.

What is your procedure to cool your wort in the sink? Are you changing out the water regularly? It shouldn't take all that long to cool down >5 gallons in the sink. I do it all the time.

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Old 07-16-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Foam control is your friend! I can fill my pot most of the way up, and as soon as it starts to build up to a boil over I start putting in drops of foam control. After about 3 drops the foam stops rising, and then a couple more make it fall back down.

What is your procedure to cool your wort in the sink? Are you changing out the water regularly? It shouldn't take all that long to cool down >5 gallons in the sink. I do it all the time.

I put ice in the sink and add a little bit of water to it. I will remove the lid and stir a few times. Once all the ice melts and the water feels warm, I drain the sink and add more cold water to it. Like someone else suggested, Im going to start using both sides of the sink as an ice bath and see if that helps.
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