Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Winter snow-bank chilling?
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:11 AM   #1
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Default Winter snow-bank chilling?

Palmer makes some reference to this in his book, but I was wondering if anyone has ever actually tried just sticking their kettle in a snow bank to chill it. The old ice bath trick gets 5 gallons down in about 24 minutes from my experience, so I'm not sure if this would be better. I also think it might be better just to set it outside as opposed to sticking it in a snow bank.


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Old 11-06-2011, 03:17 AM   #2
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Melting snow is likely to provide superior thermal conduction verses just sitting out in the open relying on radiational cooling. But you might have to keep moving the pot to maximize efficiency, as once the snow melts along the sides of the pot it will open up an air space, leaving just the bottom in contact with the snow...

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Old 11-06-2011, 03:27 AM   #3
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i did that with one of mine, but I put it on my concrete patio and just kept packing the snow around it as it melted away. Worked good...that plus the 30 degree temps brought it down pretty good!
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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A far better way to cool with the snowbank is to fill a container half way with water and shovel in snow until it won't melt any more. Put your pot in there and keep adding snow so that there is always unmelted snow floating around. The water keeps the contact with the bucket constant ensuring good heat transfer and the unmelted snow guarantees that the water is as cold as you can get it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
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Tried this years ago thinking it would work great, but the snow quickly melts away from the kettle leaving a hot airspace. So unless you keep packing the snow around the kettle, this method does not work at all! As stated above, a mixture of snow and water works great!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/wort...orever-222865/

I imagine a kiddie pool full of snow/water/ slush would chill even a huge batch quickly.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
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I tried this before and it didn't work too well. Just sat the bucket in a snow bank, took about 3 1/2 hours to cool.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
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Not sure about by you, but my cold tap water is super cold this time of year. I use my immersion chiller, and it falls to 70 much faster than during the rest of the year.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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To echo the points above, if you stick a hot kettle in a snow bank the heat from the metal will surely create an "igloo" around your vessel and insulate it, thus making it very difficult to cool down
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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I brewed a batch in microbiology class, we just took the pot outside with the lid on, it was -20f that night. Tried putting it in the snow and it didnt work out so well. We just set it on the concrete for a bit, it cooled down really fast.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spazzy View Post
I brewed a batch in microbiology class, we just took the pot outside with the lid on, it was -20f that night. Tried putting it in the snow and it didnt work out so well. We just set it on the concrete for a bit, it cooled down really fast.
see, i tried that, and when I set my pot just on the concrete (i think it was maybe -8) it took like 2 hours to come down. did you have a full 5 gallon pot?

oh, and snowbank is useless. works ok for starter worts.


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