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Old 11-07-2007, 12:04 AM   #1
TimBilly
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Default overcooled wort

Yea, so a few weeks ago when I made my IPA, after I pitched my yeast, I found out why cooling the wort was important. By some miracle, I didn't kill the yeast pitching it dry over 100 degrees, and the IPA so far seems really good after only 3 days of bottle conditioning.

So this time (Russian Imperial Stout kit plus lots more hops and flaked barley for body) instead of adding room temperature water to the hot wort, I put three 7 lb. bags of ice in the fermenter and poured the hot wort directly in. Evidently, 3 bags of (sub 32 deg.) ice + 200 degree wort = something like 40 degree wort with ice cubes floating in it.

So now I have icy wort. What should I do with the yeast (already started in a separate 80 deg bowl of water)? Can I just throw it in and it will wake up when the fermenter gets to 65 degrees? Or will that kill it?

Should I keep the fermenter cold and try to make Russian Imperial Lager instead?

For now, the yeast mix is in a separate sealed container in the fridge cooling down. The wort is up to 52 degrees based on the sticky-thermometer strip, but there are definitely still ice cubes.

I'm leaning towards just pitching it and seeing if I get bubbles tomorrow.

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Old 11-07-2007, 12:08 AM   #2
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so now I'm reading bagged ice isn't the best idea . . . eh, whatever. hindsight 20-20 or something

<optimism>
With this much malt and fermentables, plus all the hops, I probably won't taste the contamination. Right?
</optimism>

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Old 11-07-2007, 12:32 AM   #3
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Which yeast strain are you using? If it is an ale strain don't pitch it until the wort is around 60-65F. If you pitch ale yeast into wort that is too cool you will not have enough propagation and the beer will not ferment completely. It will turn out way too sweet and I think RIS is too sweet to begin with. Also, you really don't need more body, RIS have a huge mouthfeel, but if you want to push the limits add the flaked barley.
Using store bought ice is risky, but you should be fine. If there's a contamination you'll taste it. No amount of hops or malt can disguise an infection.

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Old 11-07-2007, 01:31 AM   #4
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Yea I'm trying to make used motor oil-type stout. The homebrew store owner happened to have the RIS kit beer (made exactly to the directions) in a keg and let me try it. I think the extra mouthfeel (8 oz flaked barley steeped 20 min) and hop content (2 oz Yakima Magnum bittering, 1 oz Cascade at 30 min, 1/2 oz at 10 min, 1/2 oz at 5 min) will be good.

I waited till the yeast was down to 50 deg or so and pitched it. It was ale yeast. I'll just keep and eye on it the next day or so and if it's at 60 or more tomorrow evening and not bubbling at all, I'll have to re-pitch or something.

Seems other similar discussions on this subject (http://hbd.org/discus/messages/26895...tml?1111706645) indicate I'll be ok once it warms up.

It is going to be hard to figure out whether I'm getting full fermentation - I can't measure the OG until all the ice melts (probably tomorrow morning).

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Old 11-07-2007, 01:43 AM   #5
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If possible, I would remove the rest of the ice with a sanitized spoon. Otherwise wait until it has been above 60F for at least two days. The yeast are going to take quite a while to recover, much less start growing.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:10 AM   #6
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I froze a gallon container of distilled water to add to my fermenter to help cool down my wort. Worked a little too well. My wort was too cold so all I did was boil some water and trow it in a little at a time while stirring to get it up to a decent temp to pitch.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:31 PM   #7
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Well, this is all great information for next time. The fermenter is up to a steady 63 degrees and it's bubbling like mad. I guess I'll have to wait to see what comes out. Got an OG reading at 1.085 after the ice melted. Recipe calls for it to get down to 1.020 to 1.030. Once it's stabilized and I'll post here and tell everyone how it turned out.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #8
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Nice! Great OG. I like big beers.(check out Dave's below) It should be just fine, you take yeast out of the fridge to wake it up, so being cold will only slow it for a little while.

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Old 11-08-2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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next time, put water in 16 oz plastic bottles, freeze, then sanitize the outsides of the bottles and float em.

if you contaminated your beer with the store bought ice, you'll taste it.
hopefully you lucked out though.

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:16 PM   #10
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Default airlock

I'm using a basic kit, with the 6.5 gallon white plastic bucket and a little airlock. I was a bit worried about it clogging once the fermentation really got going, and sometime between when I left for the gym at 12:30 (2-3 large bubbles per second) and when I got back at 2, the thing clogged up and pushed beer/krausen/hops up through the airlock. I caught it before it blew out, and cleaned and reset the airlock a few minutes ago.

Can I retrofit the bucket with a blow-off hose? Should I try to find a slightly cooler spot in the house (66 deg right now)?

--update--
Ok, in the last 5 min, it did it again. Right now I just have the airlock removed and a clean pint glass covering up the hole to keep out whatever I can.

I don't really want kraussen on the ceiling, but I don't want to screw up the beer.

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