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Old 09-07-2010, 11:49 PM   #1
grilljockey
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Default Glass bottle ice bomb?

I've seen people mention using plastic bottle ice bombs to help cool down your wort in the absence of a wort chiller. I'd worry a bit about melting the plastic or having any off flavors gas out using this method.

If instead you wanted to use some thick glassed wine bottles for example, which had been frozen with water (partially filled bottle), at what temp do you think the wort should cool to before putting the ice bombs in? I'd assume that you would get cracked or shattered glass at high enough wort temps.

If you took the frozen bottle and actually ran it under some hot water for a few seconds to warm the glass a bit, would that help to protect against a shatter or crack?


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Old 09-07-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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I use frozen ice bottles but I don't put them directly into the hot wort. I put my pot in the laundry tub and then fill around the pot with water and put the ice bottles in there. That makes a nice little ice water bath for the pot.

Also, I would imagine the glass wine bottles might even crack while in the freezer as the water freezes. Glass is pretty fragile. When I worked at a restaurant I once took a glass from the dish washer and filled it with ice water. I placed it on a tray and began walking and about 5 seconds into walking it just shattered sitting on the tray.


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Old 09-08-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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I don't you'd be able to freeze water in glass period. Ice swells and would shatter a wine/perrier bottle in the freezer. Even if you didn't break it then, dropping it into 200 degree wort would almost certainly shatter it.

The thicker the glass the easier it is to shatter with temperature shifts. I would not recommend you try that.

Like IslandMike said, put your hot wort in an ice bath in the sink if you don't have a wort chiller.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
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As I indicated, I would only partially fill the bottles before freezing to account for the expansion. I've done this before for keeping wine must chilled for a cold soak and as long as you leave room for expansion it isn't an issue. Also, I wouldn't drop it in 200 degree wort...but wondering if I could drop it into 120-130 degree wort after the temp drops a bit to bring it down the rest of the way quickly. Anyone try this before?
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:03 AM   #5
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Be sure to post an after action report if you try it. I'd be anxious to see if it works.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:23 AM   #6
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Having seen more than a few glass pitchers "explode" from too hot tea being poured into them in the restaurant industry, I would greatly caution you to not try this. The sudden temperature shock of going from a frozen environment to an almost boiling one would mos likely cause a sudden expansion and "exploding" of a common wine bottle.

If you have some food grade pyrex, maybe - but then again, why risk it?
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:03 AM   #7
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its food grade plastic.
the plastic WON'T melt.

why invent a new wheel when one already exists? your paranoia is unfounded.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:17 AM   #8
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Thanks Malkore. I agree, if it works and without the risk of off gassing or melting, its definitely the way to go. No new wheel....

And I'm not quite sure that my comment about how I'd 'worry a bit about' is the same as 'paranoia', but I get the picture.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:23 AM   #9
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It would be helpful if homebrewers approached glass like restaurants do. It is NOT allowed in the kitchen. Period.
If you are worried about the plastic make sure your wort is under 200 degrees before dropping the ice in. In any case the ice will keep the plastic from reaching anywhere near too high a temp.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:50 AM   #10
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I'd go for the chiller, even if it takes time to get it. I bought mine for $56 on ebay after putting it off for 8 months and the money is well spent! No more monkeying around and worst of all waiting. Cut my brew time down dramatically.


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