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Old 11-05-2007, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Why wort chillers?

Hey all;

I've just started homebrewing again after about 10 years, so am basically a newbie. Back in the day we didn't have(or was not aware of) the induction coil wort chiller things I've seen people use on this forum. I have been freezing a gallon of water and using that to cool down the wort quicker to upper 70's before pitching the yeast.

The advent of the wort chiller makes me think I should be cooling the wort more before pitching.

So, why the wort chiller? and what is a good temp to pitch at?

thanks!

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Old 11-05-2007, 11:31 PM   #2
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how do you cool it with a frozen jug of water???

yeah, chillers are pretty much a necessity, especially if you do all-grain/full boils. The lower the temp, the better. I like to get it south of 80f before I pitch, then finish the march to 65f via a cold bath for the fermenter. The longer the yeast sit on too-hot wort, the more fruity ester production you'll get. Not good.

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Old 11-05-2007, 11:39 PM   #3
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Evan

some people freeze water in a jug, sanitize the jug and then float it in the wort. that way the ice doesn't dilute anything or open a source of contamination.

but its no where near the surface area of 25' of copper tubing.

I can get 5.5gallons of freshly boiled wort to under 80F in 30 minutes with just tap water and gentle stirring.
you want to be under 80F for pitching (general rule of thumb...some yeasts suggest over 70F to pitch, then cool to 66F for primary...just depends)

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Old 11-05-2007, 11:56 PM   #4
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yeah, I'm doing the block of ice thing. However, it doesn't get the wort down to under 70 for a looooong time. Example: I just brewed up some beer last Friday and by Saturday AM it was still 77. I'm not sure the beer gets down to 60 for a week or so. Should I wait until the wort gets 60 ish before pitching? My LHBS told me as long as I'm under 80 I'm fine.

I guess I need a wort chiller. Any recommendations? I am brewing 5 gallon batches and going to a plastic first stage fermenter, then the carboy after a week or so.

thanks!

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Old 11-06-2007, 12:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab
yeah, I'm doing the block of ice thing. However, it doesn't get the wort down to under 70 for a looooong time. Example: I just brewed up some beer last Friday and by Saturday AM it was still 77. I'm not sure the beer gets down to 60 for a week or so. Should I wait until the wort gets 60 ish before pitching? My LHBS told me as long as I'm under 80 I'm fine.

I guess I need a wort chiller. Any recommendations? I am brewing 5 gallon batches and going to a plastic first stage fermenter, then the carboy after a week or so.

thanks!
Pitching temps vary by strain, but I thought the general rule was 68 for Ale Yeast. I wouldn't wait 3 days for the temp to drop before pitching. Give's all those nasties too much of a head start. I saw Alton Brown (Good Eats Guy) use a bag of ice as his top off water. I think it was a pound of ice for a gallon of beer?
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warped04
Pitching temps vary by strain, but I thought the general rule was 68 for Ale Yeast. I wouldn't wait 3 days for the temp to drop before pitching. Give's all those nasties too much of a head start. I saw Alton Brown (Good Eats Guy) use a bag of ice as his top off water. I think it was a pound of ice for a gallon of beer?
Don't get HBT'er started on how many things Alton did wrong in that episode. I wouldn't trust a bag of ice to be free of nasties.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Don't get HBT'er started on how many things Alton did wrong in that episode. I wouldn't trust a bag of ice to be free of nasties.
Tru Dat...

...I don't know what those bags of ice contain, I was just concerned about the 3+ days it was taking him to cool the wort.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:38 AM   #8
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hey, leave alton alone. he's the man. plus he's helping bring home brewing to the masses.

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Old 11-06-2007, 12:59 AM   #9
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Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll bring it up:

Rapidly reducing the temperature of the wort also encourages a good 'cold break', consisting of coagulated proteins that precipitate out of the wort as it chills. This effect is more pronounced with rapid cooling.

Without a cold break, these proteins stay in the wort, and eventually end up as haze in your cold, delicious beer.

Rapidly cooling your wort also decreases the time during which it is most succeptible to infection. Immersion chillers are especially handy for full-boil 5+ gallon batches; my homemade chiller gets the wort from boiling to 75 degrees F in about 20 minutes.

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Old 11-06-2007, 01:10 AM   #10
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I usually just take my brew pot into my bath tub full of cold tap water, some times a couple bags of ice. I carefully swish i around every 5-10 minutes and do some stirring inside the pot and can get down to mid 70s in about 30 minutes. i've only got a 4 gallon pot, so i do my batches 2 stage like with 2 gallons brew water set to cool while i make the 3 gallons of wort to chill and top off.

I follow Palmer pretty close so far

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