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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Help! No Wort Chiller
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:55 PM   #1
osagedr
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Default Help! No Wort Chiller

Long story short I have 6 gallons of wort at 112 degrees and no wort chiller. So my questions are:

(a) what is the maximum wort temperature at which I can pitch?

(b) is there anything risk to waiting a long time after boil to pitch?

(c) is it okay to put my primary in the fridge to help it cool faster?

Thanks! Aren't rookie mistakes fun?


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Old 08-22-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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Default No-Chiller Chilling Options

To answer your questions in turn:

(a) what is the maximum wort temperature at which I can pitch?

100 F. You're going to get some funky esters, though, so be prepared for it.

(b) is there anything risk to waiting a long time after boil to pitch?

If your sanitation is good, no. I have waited over 8 hours to pitch in order to cool down to lager temps. I put my carboy in my fermentation fridge after I had cooled it down to 90 F from boiling. You'll never be sterile, but you can be sanitary.

(c) is it okay to put my primary in the fridge to help it cool faster?

See above. Again, if your sanitation is up to par, no worries. As well, be sure that your fermenter is not open to the air, since refrigerators are crawling with bugs. I'm hoping that you have a yeast starter going? If you're using dry, be sure to rehydrate with water, no matter what the package says. Your goal is to pitch your yeast at a temperature slightly below the temperature at which you plan to ferment. You also want your yeast to get off to a really good start, so they can kill off whatever bugs are in the wort.

No worries! Just don't do something stupid like dump ice into it. Anchor Steam used to cool their wort on their roof, back in the day!


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Old 08-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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a. Ideally you want to be under 80. Yeast can survive temps quite a bit higher, but you're just sacrificing the quality of your beer the hotter you go.

b. If your fermenter is sealed up and everything was sanitized well there is little risk to wait a while before pitching. In fact, there are a number of people here who have been doing no chill brewing lately which is basically just what you're doing by letting it cool on its own.

c. The fridge is fine if it fits and if it's all sealed up. An even faster option would be to fill up a bath tub or your sink with cold water and set it in there.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:55 PM   #4
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Fantastic guys; thanks for the help!

Got it in my laundry sink full of cold water/ice now and it should be on its way down very soon.

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Old 08-22-2009, 11:43 PM   #5
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I would think the ice water bath should do the trick. I did a full boil for a 5 gallon batch a few weeks back and I had the wort down to 75 in about 30 minutes with just ice, water & a little stirring.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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I have brewed batches in the past with "no chilling" and just letting the temp come down over about a 8-12 hour time frame. I have not noticed any bad effects from this. I usually use a immersion chiller and love it. However when it is 105 degrees out there it is alot more pleasant brewing inside!
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryC View Post
I would think the ice water bath should do the trick. I did a full boil for a 5 gallon batch a few weeks back and I had the wort down to 75 in about 30 minutes with just ice, water & a little stirring.
I would use a solution of water+ice+SALT. Salted water have a lower freeze point, which results in much cooler water surrounding the fermenter.

They did it in MythBusters. They tried to find the fastest way to cool a 6-packs. The fastest way was, liquid nitrogen put aside, a solution of ice+water+salt. About three times faster than plain water+ice.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:35 AM   #8
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I'll keep that in mind for my next brew and maybe throw in a little salt & see what happens. For the time being, ice in a bucket is my wort chiller
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:13 AM   #9
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For a good beer? 75 or below. For a beer with some interesting flavors, I've heard people pitch as high as the 90's out of desperation.

Not really. It's always nice to get things rolling as quickly as possible, but there are people who just let it sit overnight to cool and it seems to work fine for them.

As long as everything that'll come into contact with your beer is clean, you're good to go.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:06 AM   #10
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Has anyone tried freezing their own ice? I was thinking of using my brew pot the day before and boiling a half gallon or so to sterilize the water, then freezing it in several small sterilized containers. Has anyone tried this?


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