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Old 11-12-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
BostonJ
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Default Putting Ice in Fermenting Bucket

I was over a friends while they were brewing. Once complete, they dumped a bag of ice in the fermenter and poured the wort in next. Has anyone done this or seen it done with good results?


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Old 11-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Dangerous, especially with commercial ice. That sh** is loaded with bacteria. Maybe, if you boiled water water first, and then had a way of freezing it super quickly. But if they don't get an infection..... go for it, I guess.

Is this how they cool their wort?


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Old 11-12-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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That's the way I do every batch. Our refrigerator has a water filter and an automatic ice maker which draws from the filtered water. After I finish boiling a pot of wort I add an entire tub of ice (about 1 gallon of equivalent water) and then stir the cubes. It cools from boiling down to 100 in about 60 seconds. Then I put 2 gallons of cold (50 deg) tap water into the primary and pour the cooled wort on top. The mixture goes to 75 degrees. Then I put it in the basement and let it sit overnight to become 65 degrees, then add the yeast in the morning.

I've done over 30 batches like this and it works great.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalk4 View Post
Dangerous, especially with commercial ice. That sh** is loaded with bacteria.
Where do you get this data from? I would think that an ice company would pay some attention to using clean water in their ice. It's assumed that commercial ice is edible.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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"People often wonder about adding ice directly to the cooling wort. This idea works well if you remember a couple key points.

Never use commercial ice. It can harbor dormant bacteria that could spoil your beer.
Always boil the water before freezing it in an airtight container (like Tupperware). It must be airtight because most freezers also harbor dormant bacteria.
If the ice will not directly contact the wort, (i.e. you are using a frozen plastic soda bottle or other container in the wort) make sure you sanitize the outside of the bottle first before you put it in the wort."

Palmer, J. "How to Brew" 1999.

Far from a scholarly source, I know. But, while bacteria is usually harmless to the consumer in small amounts, the problem is the sugar in the wort feeds whatever bacteria you add to your beer. Thus, an infection.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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Well, obviously ice cools wort down, so it "works." It is adding another obvious point of infection though. You might not have any problems of this batch, or the next, or even the next 50. However, lax sanitation practices tend to catch up with people eventually.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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*Deleted post, added additional information to post above*
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalk4
"People often wonder about adding ice directly to the cooling wort. This idea works well if you remember a couple key points.

Never use commercial ice. It can harbor dormant bacteria that could spoil your beer.
Always boil the water before freezing it in an airtight container (like Tupperware). It must be airtight because most freezers also harbor dormant bacteria.
If the ice will not directly contact the wort, (i.e. you are using a frozen plastic soda bottle or other container in the wort) make sure you sanitize the outside of the bottle first before you put it in the wort."

Palmer, J. "How to Brew" 1999.
I think I might try the bottle method. I've had trouble cooling wort, I don't have a chiller yet.I don't trust my fridge ice.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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I've used ice made from tap water for 20+ years to cool my wort and never had an off batch. If your tap water is good to drink, you can brew with it (or freeze it to cool wort).

There are many techniques - relax my friend.

Cheers!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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This has been talked about a bit.
I did it for a couple batches when I started, then I got a chiller.

I don't think the risk of infection is too high, but it is one more variable.
For that matter topping off with un boiled tap water is a risk.
Water lines can develop bacteria, especially cast iron main lines. Lots of things that can stir up water that has been sitting in municipal water lines also.
I suppose that's another advantage of all grain. All my wort is boiled water.


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