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Old 06-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Over-chilling

Today was my second ever brew day. The first time we brewed, I didn't know about the whole chilling the wort thing, and ended up going through a big ordeal trying to chill the entire batch in the fermenting bucket.

So today, we were ready. Had a nice ice bath ready, had my super-cold water on tap.

About 15 minutes into the ice bath, I checked the temp, and whoa, no way! It was down to 70 degrees.

I start pouring in my super cold water (to top off to 5 gallons) and realize, oh crap, I'm going to drop the temp too low. Quick adjustments and we hit a nice 70 degree pitching temp.

Our second ever brew day went swimmingly, with a little help from our *first* homebrew.

Anyone ever over-chill their wort?

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Old 06-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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I've never had an over chilling problem but it would have no effect on the wort. Simply letting it sit till it got back to 65 or so and then pitching would be no problem.

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Old 06-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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Congrats on the second brew btw!

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Old 06-05-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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Congrats on the second brew btw!
Thank you, sir. It was a nut brown extract kit with specialty grains and hops by the way.

With all the worry over chilling the wort quick enough, I never considered I might chill too much.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
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I tested my IC w/ice bath for 1st time during yesterdays brewing, and I was stunned with results.

With 62F tap water, wort chilled to 100 degrees in about 10 mins, after that I siphon ice water trough IC (hose, two batches, little salt and gravity).
I was about to prepare carboy, re-hydrated yeast and other, it took me ~10 mins to do that, when I measured wort temperature again- it was 66F!!

Luckily, yeast was at 70F and I hope that wont stress him too much..

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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In my opinion, it's always better to pitch cooler! If you can pitch at 60-62 degrees, that is ideal for most ales. 70 degrees is too warm for most ale yeast strains. That's at the upper fermentation range for many of the strains, and once fermentation starts it even gets warmer. I like to ferment most of my ales at 62-66 degrees. Remember that an active fermentation can be up to 10 degrees warmer than room temperature, so cooler is better to start with.

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip Yooper.

Yup, my strain is best between 65-72 degrees. It's been quite chilly here, (down to 55-60 degrees at night), so I was pretty sure that once I pitched the temp would slowly drop. Before I went to sleep last night my adhesive strip was already down to 66 degrees.

I just hope the weather stays cool, otherwise I might have to do the swamp cooler thing.

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Old 06-06-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onipar
Thanks for the tip Yooper.

Yup, my strain is best between 65-72 degrees. It's been quite chilly here, (down to 55-60 degrees at night), so I was pretty sure that once I pitched the temp would slowly drop. Before I went to sleep last night my adhesive strip was already down to 66 degrees.

I just hope the weather stays cool, otherwise I might have to do the swamp cooler thing.
I've had good success with simply keeping my fermenter in a tub of water in the spare shower that we don't use which luckily is the coldest room in the house. I add one two liter of ice on the second day and replace it each day for about 4 days and after that it's fine without ice. Very simple and little to no hassle. Keeps it right at 65 to 68.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I've had good success with simply keeping my fermenter in a tub of water in the spare shower that we don't use which luckily is the coldest room in the house. I add one two liter of ice on the second day and replace it each day for about 4 days and after that it's fine without ice. Very simple and little to no hassle. Keeps it right at 65 to 68.
Right on. I'll eventually do the swamp cooler. There's bound to be a heat wave during fermentation sometime this summer (knock on wood).

My garage has a concrete floor that stays nice and cool. I put my bucket on that and it works nice. Actually, this spring I even had the temp drop a little too much, down to 56.

When I checked this morning I still had 66 on the strip. If it starts inching up from there, I'll probably pop it in the swamp cooler. I have a dozen frozen bottles of water ready at the go.
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