Originally Posted by BicycleMonkey
So if I don't have a wort chiller, how long is it safe to wait for the temp to get down to 70-80 degrees? The books and instructions I've read make it sound like if the wort hasn't cooled in like an hour bad bacteria will move in and ruin the batch.
Next time should I just pour the wort in the fermenter and cover it for several hours for the temp to reach 70-80 then reopen it to pitch the yeast?
Your book sounds pretty extreme to me. I've heard of people leaving the wort in the garage, etc. for overnight until it cooled and it didn't ruin the batch. It definitely does increase the risk, but if you keep it covered you should be OK for a while. Again, not ideal, but possible.
I put my brewpot in the sink with 4" or so of cold water and about 10lb. of ice. I remove the lid and stir maybe every 5 mins until cool. Cools her down (2 gallon boils usually) in 15 mins or so. And I'm talking cooled down to 70-75. Last time I actually cooled the wort in the brewpot to 65 by accident. Of course it was back to 70ish after I added it to the room temp water in the fermenter.
Next time try that method...