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Old 04-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
soxpats
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Default Wort Cooling Method...??

so I've done the standard ice bath for all of my brews so far which has worked just fine. but i was thinking about trying a new way. would it be ok if i just poured the wort into the fermenter right after the boil, and then dumped in a few bags of ice? It seems that would kill 2 birds with one stone (cooling the wort and adding the extra water)

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Old 04-11-2010, 03:22 PM   #2
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I have heard that several people do that, but the risk of infection is high. I like to make my own ice that I know is bug free and can control the amount of water added

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Old 04-11-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxpats View Post
so I've done the standard ice bath for all of my brews so far which has worked just fine. but i was thinking about trying a new way. would it be ok if i just poured the wort into the fermenter right after the boil, and then dumped in a few bags of ice? It seems that would kill 2 birds with one stone (cooling the wort and adding the extra water)
I routinely siphon hot wort onto onto bagged ice. I discussed it here once and people cried bloody murder. My theory is that we use bottled water all the time in brewing. Bacteria could end up on the surface of the ice, but a nasty can't survive being subjected to freezing, then boiling water. People have said here that I'm "lucky" so far and doing it wrong. I even had someone tell me that he somehow has intimate knowledge of the bagged ice industry around me or something. But I can't deny the stats. I've done it over 100 times and never once had an infected batch. Now you don't know me, and I don't know the guy who claimed to know that all commercial ice making machines are unsanitary, so it's your call. The bottom line is it's your time and momey. If you want to take the supposed risk (which for me hasn't materialized) it's your call. My experiments put the risk between zero and less than one percent, but people that never tried it apparently know better.

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Old 04-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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Give it a shot; if the poster who has done it 100 times is infection-free you will likely be ok. But if you get infected...don't come crying to HBT!

To make things even safer...maybe make your own ice from spring water. Seems that would remove even more of the (apparently already small) risk.

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Old 04-11-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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This has been coming up a lot lately on the forum.

IMHO, it would seem to be WAY cheaper over the long-haul to just make an immersible wort chiller out of copper tubing instead of buying all that ice.

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Old 04-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #6
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buying ice would add up very quickly for price
making your own is probably more painful than bottling
I made my own immersion chiller very cheaply ($30), and it was easy to do, and makes the drop in temp in usually 10 minutes from 210F to 70F. I dont see anything wrong with the ice method, but I personally would do it again the same way I did, with the immersion chiller.

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Old 04-11-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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Just be careful with the ice method. I dont think that glass carboys could stand up to that kind of temperature fluctuation. I would cry if five gallons spilled. Especially if you are indoors.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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I bought an immersion chiller that brings the temp of the wort from boiling to 65 in about 5 minutes. It's awesome. Probably the best investment I've made in brewing gear yet.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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I haven't bought my own yet, but these immersion chillers work great. My buddies let me borrow theirs on brew days and it works pretty darn good.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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thanks for all the input. buying bags would certainly add up, and i plan on buying/making an immersion chiller soon. this would just be temporary. i was mainly concerned about contamination, but i agree with newell...between being frozen and then thrown in boiling wort, any bad stuff on the ice would be taken care of.

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