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)
last batch review(Schwheat (wheat))
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.