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Old 10-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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The problem with saying that commerical ice is FDA approved as food safe is that the FDA may have a bacteria count acceptable going into a general consumption in the near time (ie 2 or 3 hours after being put into a soda) and not after 2 weeks of existance in a growth media (aka wort). One of the books (Palmer? Papazani?) mentions that you are after sanatized, not sterlized and adding so much yeast that it over powers anything else that survived to that point in the process. So by adding commerical ice (or unsanatized home ice) is asking for trouble. There is almost no surface of the earth that doesn't have some bacteria living on it.

If you really want to add ice to the wort, either 1 freeze bottles and sanatize the outside and remove bottle. 2. make sanatized ice by some method (ex. microwave water in container, with lid, to a boil. Move said container with lid to freezer and freeze add to wort later).


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Old 10-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #12
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I've made many batches by cooling wort with Ice. I aim to finish my boil with about 4 gallons left over then add about 1.5 gallons of ice made from sanitized (boiled) water frozen in sterilized ziploc containers. No infections yet (25 batches and counting) and it gets the beer down to about 75 in 10 minutes. I also have my BK in a sink filled with cold water to help knock down the temp.

I've never tried commercial ice for the reasons listed above. You might be playing with fire (oh the irony) with that practice.


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Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
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If I am topping off with water, I buy a few gallons of distilled water from the store and put them in the freezer when I start brewing. By the time I am ready to cool the wort they are super cold, so I top off with "almost freezing" water. Just as effective and gives me a little more piece of mind when it comes to sanitation.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #14
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If I am topping off with water, I buy a few gallons of distilled water from the store and put them in the freezer when I start brewing. By the time I am ready to cool the wort they are super cold, so I top off with "almost freezing" water. Just as effective and gives me a little more piece of mind when it comes to sanitation.
thats actually pretty good
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #15
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Awesome thanks everyone. So it seems that you can just boil then freeze water (in an airtight container) and you have no worries! So if it is that easy and that effective at cooling then why would people (myself being one) buy all of this expensive and labor intensive equipment for cooling the wort? It seems silly.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:17 PM   #16
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With that being stated.......does anyone want to buy a wort chiller???
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:42 PM   #17
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Because while it may have only a slight impact, carmelization, hops utilization, etc. are affected by less wort at a higher gravity.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:54 PM   #18
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Because while it may have only a slight impact, carmelization, hops utilization, etc. are affected by less wort at a higher gravity.
Sure they might be or not (there is a debate about this). I will assume not doing a full boil decreases overall flavor (in part because I think it does). If you are doing stovetop unaided brewing. Boiling 5 gallons of wort is between very hard and impossible to do. There just isn't the power out of a single burner this way. That means that the OP and I use top off water to get to our 5 gallons well 5.5 I expect .5 gallons of trub. If the OP wants to find a way of making sanatized ice to use instead of water, more power to him. I'll stick with what is working for me (ice bath and time)
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:00 PM   #19
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With my first batch of beer, I bought a bag of commercial ice and filled the sink with it to cool down my wort. As I was trying to even out the ice around the pot, a few ice cubes fell into the wort (after sitting in my not-sanitized sink full of ice and tap water.) I was pretty sure I'd end up with a disgusting infected brew, but it turned out fine.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to dump a bunch of ice into my wort to cool it, but it worked out OK in this one case.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #20
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Sure they might be or not (there is a debate about this). I will assume not doing a full boil decreases overall flavor (in part because I think it does). If you are doing stovetop unaided brewing. Boiling 5 gallons of wort is between very hard and impossible to do. There just isn't the power out of a single burner this way. That means that the OP and I use top off water to get to our 5 gallons well 5.5 I expect .5 gallons of trub. If the OP wants to find a way of making sanatized ice to use instead of water, more power to him. I'll stick with what is working for me (ice bath and time)
I didn't argue with doing it, only explained why everyone doesn't, which was asked.


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