I don't know if this is really the right forum (perhaps it should be in yeast and fermentation??) but it is an all-grain beer, so I'm hoping it will not be too out of place.
I chilled 4 gallons of wort in my refrigerator with a lid on the kettle and the hops still in. This usually takes me a couple of hours with a one gallon batch, and this being my first 4 gallon was a bit of an experiment. Well, it took 9 hours to get down to temp. My question is... will it be safe to drink? I pitched a hefty 11.5g of dry ale yeast once it was "cool" and the lid was on the whole time, but 9 hours is a LONG time to be in the "danger zone". Knowing that people have been making beer for thousands of years with open fermentation and no good way to rapidly drop wort temperature puts me a little more at ease, but I would love to know what you guys think before I presume it to be safe.