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Old 09-20-2006, 12:21 AM   #1
Feb 2006
Posts: 169
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Here's my method for cooling wort since i'm too cheap right now to by an immersion chiller.

I usually make my wort with 3 gallons of water (too cheap right now to buy a bigger brew pot so I have to do partials)

Well, i setup an ice-bath and while it's cooling i'll pour about 1/2 gallon of cold water into the wort from my faucet. This makes the cooling process almost lightning fast. I'll then dump the wort into my carboy and top off to 5 gallons, do the aeration thing and what-not. In almost no time i'll be down to about 75-80 degrees.

My question is this... is it no good to pour cold water from the faucet into my wort? I figure that I top off with that water anyways so i'm not afraid of bacteria, my tap water hasn't spoiled a batch yet. I've had a few off-flavors in my beers, except with an exceptional stout I made once, but the stout had tons of flavor which could have masked any off-flavors. The off-flavors vary (and aren't usually too bad) so I'm not sure if puting water during the cooling process has anything to do with it. Is it okay to do this?

Primary: Porter Potty (oaked porter)
Bottled (Drinking):
Next: IIPA

last batch review(Schwheat (wheat))

Appear: 3.5/5.
Mouthfeel: 3.5/5
Carb/Head: 3/5
Taste: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

An overall decent beer but it has too much of a banana character, I think it's because of fermenting at too high of a temp. Tasted better as it aged, but far from perfect.

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Old 09-20-2006, 12:41 AM   #2
May 2006
Dallas, Texas
Posts: 345

If it works and hasn't caused contamination issues, keep doing it.
I use bottled spring water and do the same thing with that. I put the bottle of spring water in the fridge overnight then pour half of it in the wort while it's in the ice bath. Works great for partial boils. Just try not to splash too much since you don't want oxygen getting in your beer while it's hot since that may cause oxidation/staling during long storage/conditioning.

BTW... the off flavors/aromas are more likely from fermentation temperature issues than whether you add water to the wort while it's cooling.

Up Next: Belgian Dubbel, English Pale Ale
Fermenter 1: Blonde Ale Experiment 1 | Fermenter 2: Blonde Ale Experiment 2 | Fermenter 3: Northern English Brown | Fermenter 4: Nothing
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:49 AM   #3
I use secondaries. :p
Walker's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cary, NC
Posts: 10,987
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can you describe the off flavors?
Ground Fault Brewing Co.

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Old 09-20-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
ayrton's Avatar
Aug 2006
South Jersey
Posts: 809
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I freeze two gallons of store-bought spring water, and then add the hot wort to that. Instant chill, no worries about tap water!

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Old 09-20-2006, 12:31 PM   #5
Truble's Avatar
Oct 2005
Boston, MA
Posts: 1,101
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

I have boiled all of my water prior to adding, but that is just because of habit. There are a lot of people that are using their tap water straight without issue. When I get ambitious, I will brew one batch with boiled and one batch with straight, and see if there is a difference.
Bottom line is that if it is working for you, then it is fine. Now, you mentioned some off flavors.......details?
Even the strongest blade of grass bends in the wind

Primary: Octoberfest
mini 1G Primary: nichts
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