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Old 01-21-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
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Default Wort Cooling Issue, looking for advice!

So I just brewed my first batch of beer and everything went smoother than I had expected.... until I got the the point that I never even paid much attention to: Cooling the wort.

I had some ice and a sink, but I obviously underestimated the amount of ice water needed to bring down 5 gallons of boiling hot liquids. I quickly ran out of ice and had only cool running faucet water to use. I finally got the temp to about 90 degrees, but it took a LONG time.

I know that cooling the wort is important (from what I've read at least).... but can anybody explain just how important it is and what the affects, if any, could be for me not being able to rapidly cool it as recommended? I am not sure what to expect in 6 weeks.

Also, I rehydrated my dry yeast with water about an hour before I pitched it. Is there any problem with this? Is there a minimum or maximum time that the yeast/water mixture needs to sit before being mixed in with the wort?

Any advice or words of wisdom would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:12 AM   #2
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You're fine.

Chilling isn't a big deal. I chill but some brewers put a lid on their wort and let it cool overnight. Chilling quickly can help clarify your beer but there are other means to do this. Chilling quickly can also help minimize the risk for infection. If you sanitized properly you should be fine. You don't want to pitch your yeast until the wort is close to 70 degrees. If you pitched at 90, the yeast will survive. Just don't do it again.

Rehydrating is something you can't really mess up. You could sprinkle dry yeast right on top of your wort and they would get the job done. Anywhere between not rehyrating at all and rehydrating several hours before you pitch would be fine. An hour was probably near the tail end of perfect.

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:14 AM   #3
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Quick chilling is essential to a good cold break. With that said, I always dump the entire contents into my fermenter (cold break and all). When I used to "ice bath", I would fill the sink with cold water, place the pot in, and stir the wort. Once the wort reached equilibrium, drain the water and refill. Repeat this until you are under 100 degrees, then add the ice and remember to keep stirring. Get the most bang for your buck out of the ice.

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:16 AM   #4
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Great, thanks for the info ... yeah, I knew I should have gotten the temp down a bit more but admittedly grew a bit impatient. Hopefully the temp will not harm the final product too much. Needless to say, next time I will be more prepared!

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:33 AM   #5
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I've only brewed twice, but I've had a lot of luck cooling using a plastic keg bucket (something you can find at Walmart for less than $8). I have a 36 quart pot, and the tub is just big enough. I put three 2 inch x 2 inch x 6 inch pieces of wood in the bottom of the bin to keep the pot off the bottom of the plastic bin.

A couple days before I brew, I start freezing big slabs of ice in my extra freezer (the one in the garage). Flexible large Tupperware works great. I make the ice slabs just thick enough to fit between my pot and the side of the plastic tub. Fill at night and empty in the morning. Repeat until I have 10 or so slabs. After the boil, put the pot in the bucket (filled 1/3 or so with cool water) then slide the slabs in place around the pot one at a time. Gently swirl bucket and pot occasionally. Almost got it too cold today in 30 min (est.) . Don't have to buy ice or a wort chiller, but can't do it unless you have freezer space.

Then again, I'm sure the 30 degree temps haven't hurt either.

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomebrewNate View Post
Great, thanks for the info ... yeah, I knew I should have gotten the temp down a bit more but admittedly grew a bit impatient. Hopefully the temp will not harm the final product too much. Needless to say, next time I will be more prepared!
Unless you're making a saison you pitched about 30 degrees too hot.

If you want good beer without funky esters and fusel's you need to get your wort much cooler than 90 degrees.

Patience is a virtue, especially if you wish to drink good beer.

Rick
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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Go buy an immersion or a plate chiller. You will be able to cool your wort to pitching temperature in 15 -20 minutes. I typically do 5 gallon batches, but I always plan for the future so I use one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/50-Copper-Chil...ion+chiller+50

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:51 AM   #8
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Go buy an immersion or a plate chiller. You will be able to cool your wort to pitching temperature in 15 -20 minutes. I typically do 5 gallon batches, but I always plan for the future so I use one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/50-Copper-Chil...ion+chiller+50
+1. I made my own for under $40. Makes a huge difference when doing full boils.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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Get a wort chiller. Makes cooling easy and fast. Just get the wort chiller and get a garden hose to sink adapter. Do it right in the kitchen. Dip the wort chiller in star San and then put the wort chiller in the boil for the last few minutes to sanitize it. Cool your wort in like 10-15 mins

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #10
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Get a wort chiller. Makes cooling easy and fast. Just get the wort chiller and get a garden hose to sink adapter. Do it right in the kitchen. Dip the wort chiller in star San and then put the wort chiller in the boil for the last few minutes to sanitize it. Cool your wort in like 10-15 mins
You don't need the starsan if you put the chiller in the boil. Most people put it in with 15min left in the boil.
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