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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Can't I cool wort by adding cold water?
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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Why even hassle with the ice bath? It is a pain, spend $30 and make a 25 ft counterflow chiller or spend $40-50 and make a 50 ft
I use a IC that I built to cool my wort... Most people don't think about using wort chillers until they've gone all grain and really want to chill the wort faster...

I'm already planning on making my next IC (current one is just 20' of 3/8" copper tubing)... Still trying to decide if I should go with 3/8", 1/2" or maybe even 5/8" OD copper. I want to be able to use it in the occasional 10 gallon batch too, but will most often be used in my 5 gallon batches. If I make it fit my 32qt kettle, it won't have any issue fitting in my 60qt...

Biggest thing holding me back from building the next chiller is cost of materials... Besides, my current one does a damned great job of things...


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Old 03-27-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
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After my boil I put my pot in an ice bath in the sink. Then I take nearly frozen water that I put in my freezer and put it into my fermenter. Then I pour my wort into the fermenter and place the whole thing in an ice bath. I usually reach pitching temps almost immediately.


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Old 03-28-2011, 12:12 AM   #13
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I have always taken my boiled wort and dumped it into my fermenter with water around 50*F (all tap water). Then pour my 5gals into 3 fermenters equally and place them in my tub with ice water. Lately I shovel the snow into my recycle bin then add it to the tub. When it get warmer I will buy some ice. I get my temp down to 60*F in 15-20mins. I also whisk the wort as much as I can during this time. I have had no problems yet from this method. Once temps are down, I mix them back together and pitch my yeast. Ive had action within 7hrs everytime and my beers have come out great.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:23 AM   #14
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I get what you're saying but I thought that my two ideas (frozen jug or frozen metal container) are the exact same idea as an immersion cooler/copper coil wort chiller only cheaper. What am I missing, why are they not the same thing?
Well, it's the same idea but it won't cool nearly as fast as you'd think!

Ice/cold water can work well if you're doing partial boils, but adding 35 degree water to boiling wort will NOT chill the wort to pitching temps and then you have 5 gallons of 100 degree wort!

If you chill the boiled wort to 90 degrees, THEN add the cold top off water, you'll easily be at 65 degrees which is perfect for chilling!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:26 AM   #15
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Hahahaha... I still don't think you get what I'm saying. I'm not saying adding the freezing water directly to the 2.5G of wort. I'm saying freeze the water inside a container (the plastic jug it had come in or a metal container) and then drop the entire container (with the ice still inside) into the wort. Then once the ice inside had melted I would take the entire jug/container out (including the ice/water still inside it) and replace it with a new one. THEN, once the 2.5G of wort is cooled to 65-70 add it to fermenter and THEN add another 2.5G of top-off water.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:29 AM   #16
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Hahahaha... I still don't think you get what I'm saying. I'm not saying adding the freezing water directly to the 2.5G of wort. I'm saying freeze the water inside a container (the plastic jug it had come in or a metal container) and then drop the entire container (with the ice still inside) into the wort. Then once the ice inside had melted I would take the entire jug/container out (including the ice/water still inside it) and replace it with a new one. THEN, once the 2.5G of wort is cooled to 65-70 add it to fermenter and THEN add another 2.5G of top-off water.
As long as you sanitize the outside of the container first, I guess it would be ok. It'd be just a giant ice block. It won't work as fast as an immersion chiller, though- no way. The reason is that it's cold water flowing continuously, not a block of melting ice. That's a lot of sanitizing stuff for me, but if it works for you that's great!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:05 AM   #17
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Yooper is right the i/c is faster. Your method of freezing and having to sanitize every thing is time consuming. When I do a partial boil I don't use a ice bath. I take 8 pint plastic food containers and freeze water in them. After the boil I put the pot in the sink with cold water. Put in the ice. Not the container and stir. When the temp of the water in the sink reaches a little above skin temp I switch to the other basin. Rest of top off water is in fridge and ready too pour in. 15 to 20 min top from boil to in the fermenter.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:05 AM   #18
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when I was still doing extract kite, and b4 I got my immersion chiller i would freeze a gal of spring water solid. I would also have 1 gal in the fridge. when boil was done i would cut the plastic off the frozen jug and put the ice block in the fermenter. I would then ladel the hot wort over the block of ice. then add the water from the fridge. top off with tap water if needed. was always at ale pitching temps within 5 min. However once i made my ic i would never consider doing it that way again. there is no comparison the ic is so much easier and less hassle.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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Personally I just dump my wort directly over a 20lb bag of ice in my primary and then top off with bottled water. Instantly cools the wort. Never had an issue
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:53 PM   #20
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I boil water and freeze it in 3-4 tupperware containers a few days before brewing. Once the boil is done, I put the pot in an ice bath in my sink, then add that blocks of ice to the wort. I get the wort under 70 degrees in 20-30 minutes this way.


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