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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > What temperature do I need to get my wort cooled to so I can avoid off flavors?
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:33 AM   #1
ratm4484
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Default What temperature do I need to get my wort cooled to so I can avoid off flavors?

I know that your object is to cool your wort as fast as possible before adding to the fermenter. It is really hard to cool a large amount in this hot weather. Is there a certain temperature I just need to get the wort to, to avoid off flavors? Then from that point I can just let it cool a its own pace.

ie: I was able to cool the wort to 97F fairly quickly, it was a bit of a slower pace from there. Is that a problem?

Also, how quickly should I be cooling it all anyway?

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:40 AM   #2
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The major off-flavor your concerned with is DMS, which isn't produced below 140F, However, you also are concerned about bacterial infection, which can start to happen below 140F.

Do you want to cool to pitching temp as fast as you can, and get the yeast started.

Takes me ~10 minutes to get below 140, and 20-30 more to ht pitching temps with an immersion chiller. Hasn't been an issue so far.

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:07 AM   #3
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I had problems getting below 90F this weekend as the water coming out of the tap in the summer is around 70F. I use an immersion chiller., but I compensated by using 2 gallons of makeup water that I had in the fridge overnight that was at around 38F. I pitched yeast at 67F doing this. I have pretty good luck doing 3.5 gallon boils and losing around 0.5-0.75 gallons to boil off. Thus its simple algebra to determine the temperature you need to get your wort to with the chiller to achieve your pitching temperature.

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:17 AM   #4
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i always cool my wort to 72, add water at 72 and pitch. i wait for ferment to start, then move to fermentation temperature...usually around 65-68.

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Old 07-03-2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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Kind of a tough question really. I dont know that there is a temperature you need to get to to avoid off flavors. Cooling quickly typically only has two advantages:

1) You will produce more cold break that will reduce chill haze and thus make your beer more clear.
2) The less time that is spent under 140 the better as that is in what is called the "danger zone" for bacterial growth. However, if you had you beer in a pot covered with the lid and let it sit for hours to let it cool to room temperature, I doubt you would have any bacterial growth. IMO, airborne bacteria has the largest potential for contamination at that point, and covering with a lid would likely suffice. However, NOT worth risking so cool quickly.

Now, temperatures that will cause off flavors is fermentation temperatures. Typically too high of temperatures (too low will usually just slow things down). Check your yeast package, or look online for optimal ranges. Rule of thumb, I typically shoot for 67-68 and I dont like going over 70. If you dont have a room in your house that can supply those needs, then you may need to setup a tub of water to cool off your fermenter.

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:01 PM   #6
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Cooling should be done as fast as possible. As stated the risk is infection, not off-tastes. However, if you are having trouble cooling in the first place, no doubt you will have trouble keeping the wort cool during the ferment. I'd say it's time to invest in a pre-chiller or a lot of ice. I've had good luck with pre-cooled makeup water when doing partial boils.

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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I do 1.5 gal boils and cool it with 4 gals of filtered tap water that's been placed in a freezer for 4-5 hours.

Cools down to the 60s in the time it takes to pour/top off to 5.25 gals...about 2 minutes.

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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Hi Guys,

Similar type question.
I have yet to make(buy) a wort chiller, but I was wondering If I was to boil 3 gals & then add the remaining 2 gallons of ice cold bottled water to get to 5 gals thereby cooling at the same time would this have an adverse affect on the final taste of the beer?

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:45 PM   #9
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No, you can do that. But you should cool the boiling wort down some first- like in an ice bath in the sink. 3 gallons of boiling wort plus 2 gallons of ice cold water would still be too warm, and then it's harder to cool 5 gallons of too-warm wort. I used to do it like this- Put the 3 gallons in the sink in the water bath until less than 100 degrees (about 15 minutes if you swirl the ice bath water around the pot). Then pour/strain inti the primary and top off with the cold water. It usually ended up right about 70 degrees. Then pitch yeast.

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:48 PM   #10
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Great thanks Yooper Chick.

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