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Old 12-07-2009, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default Cold crashing question

Background: I am going to do a partial boil of an extract kit with DME, LME, hops, and specialty grains.

Once my boil of the ~3 gallons or so is complete, and I am supposed to cool it quickly, is there any reason why I can't just slowly add the remaining 2 gals of water to cool it off? I don't want to have to ice bath the kettle if I don't absolutely need to.


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Old 12-07-2009, 03:00 AM   #2
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that will work fine to get it down quite a bit. chill your top off water to do even better.

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Old 12-07-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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When I did extract I would do pretty much just that. I would put my pot in the sink with cold water to get around 100-110 degrees than move to my carboy. Top off the last 2 gallons with spring water I had earlier put in the fridge.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #4
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That will work- IF you cool the wort a bit first. Adding two gallons of cold water to 3 gallons of boiling wort will only cool the wort to about 120 degrees or so, then you'd have 5 gallons of too-hot wort. (Ask me how I know this!) And it takes forever then to cool that much volume to yeast pitching temperatures.

So, as another poster said, cool the boiling wort to below 120 or so. THEN add the cool water and you should be right at about 70 degrees. You can use a sanitized thermometer to make sure it doesn't get too cold, but between 60 and 70 degrees is ideal for an ale.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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I tried adding the other two gallons of water first to cool down the wort and I could measure the time it took in hours...ugh. The beer turned out great but it was an awful experience. I agree with adding the remaining water later but I've heard of a number of people who have had success adding it first.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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Assuming you don't have anything boiling or frozen, the water temps will just average out, right?

I'm still a wort-virgin (for a few more hours anyway) but my idea is to chill the top-off water as much as possible during the other work. The colder the better, just as long as it doesn't freeze.

If you're an engineer type like me then -> When you're ready to top off, take your pitching temp and muliply by 5. Take the temp of your top off water and multiply by two. Subtract the 2nd number from the first. Divide the result by 3. That's the temp you need to cool your wort to.

For instance..
If your pitching temp is 70, a good target would be 75.
Assuming your your top off water is cooled to 40degF..
5 * 75 = 375
40*2 = 80
375 - 80 = 295
320 / 3=98

So 3gal at 98 + 2 gal at 40 = 5 gal at 75..

Once the full batch of wort is at 75, it shouldn't take much longer to hit 70..

Anything wrong with this?
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:05 PM   #7
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Another way that works a little bit faster:

Before brew day, sanitize and fill up two or three 2 liter bottles with water. Freeze the bottles over night.

On brew day, take your wort off of the burner and set it in an ice bath. Have the lid off of the pot so that steam can quickly escape (just be sure nothing drops in). Stir the outsides of the wort (with a sanitized spoon) to help circulate and distribute the colder temperatures from the ice outside of the pot into the wort.

Quickly sanitize the frozen 2 liter bottles again and set them in the wort (one at a time until they melt). When the ice inside is melted and the water turns warm, take it out and add another one. When you've gone through all of your frozen 2 liters, add some more ice to the ice bath and keep slowly stirring to distribute the cold temperature. Once you hit 95-100 degrees dump your wort in the 2 gallons of cool tap water.

This takes a little bit of prep time, but it definitely takes a few minutes off of the cool down time.

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