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Old 02-05-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default The Science of Ice

For the life of me I can not understand why so many people adamantly oppose using ice to cool wort. Coopers sells millions of extract kits and their instructions say heat the can.....yah de yah da pour water into primary to 23L I would think if there was a real risk of infection they would change their instructions. Some MidWest kits still have this in their instructions too. (The same water I make ice with)

We eat the ice every single day and I have never heard anyone say

"Did you boil that water before you made ice with it? Otherwise I am NOT taking the chance of getting sick"

Before all the hating starts let me say. I understand microbiology and know there are bugs everywhere but what is the real probability of infection?

There rant over


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Old 02-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #2
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my immersion chiller works great on my full boil. I have no need for ice to cool my wort. my opinion is invalid.


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Old 02-05-2013, 01:03 AM   #3
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I think any concern with infection is with purchased ice. I've seen broken bags, and icky coolers full of bags of ice. Otherwise, if you can drink your water I don't see a problem.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:22 AM   #4
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Nothing wrong with it. Infact, if my icebox is full I always use ice.

I think the problem could be from
Store bought ice. It's probably fine, but I don't know the source or handling of the ice.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:26 AM   #5
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You'd be totally kidding yourself if you think ice produced in a home freezer compartment is necessarily sanitary...

Cheers!
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:35 AM   #6
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I do appliance repairs, including commercial ice makers. If you have seen the disgusting mess most of them are you might never get drinks with ice at a restaurant again. Many of them seldom get cleaned or sanitized, it's supposed to be done on a regular basis. When I get them open for repairs they are filled with mold and slime. Thanks, I'll have a beer. Ice from your fridge is better, but... have you looked in it to make sure? Some of them get fairly icky.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButcherBoy
I do appliance repairs, including commercial ice makers. If you have seen the disgusting mess most of them are you might never get drinks with ice at a restaurant again. Many of them seldom get cleaned or sanitized, it's supposed to be done on a regular basis. When I get them open for repairs they are filled with mold and slime. Thanks, I'll have a beer. Ice from your fridge is better, but... have you looked in it to make sure? Some of them get fairly icky.
When I worked in commercial maintenance I cleaned machines with nickel safe and couldn't believe the nasty crud growing in machines that were regularly cleaned. On a side note, after maintaining pools and spas I won't use a public hot tub either .
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:09 AM   #8
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The issue is not about whether or not there is the potential of introducing microbes by using tap water or ice . . . . there is a certainty of that. Your tap water and your ice has some level of microbes in it. It is a non-issue though if you are drinking a glass of icewater. The reason is simple - the level of "bugs" is relatively small, and you are introducing them into your stomach - filled with acid, where they are killed, or kept controlled.

Now, if you introduce that small amount of bacteria/bugs into a 5 gallon bucket of sugar water . . . . well, they won't die. They will reproduce. If they are introduced opposite a weak/small amount of yeast, they could get a foothold and cause problems.

Not saying it would for sure.... but, there is the potential to create an environment where the yeast might have to compete against other bugs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldood View Post
For the life of me I can not understand why so many people adamantly oppose using ice to cool wort. Coopers sells millions of extract kits and their instructions say heat the can.....yah de yah da pour water into primary to 23L I would think if there was a real risk of infection they would change their instructions. Some MidWest kits still have this in their instructions too. (The same water I make ice with)

We eat the ice every single day and I have never heard anyone say

"Did you boil that water before you made ice with it? Otherwise I am NOT taking the chance of getting sick"

Before all the hating starts let me say. I understand microbiology and know there are bugs everywhere but what is the real probability of infection?

There rant over
Infected beer won't make you sick. It's the flavor of the beer that's at stake. The probability of infection using the ice method?, I don't know what the numerical odds are but I know enough about the possible bacterial contamination of ice that I would never do it. If you have had success and like the way your beer tastes then continue. The reason those instructions are used is because they are the simplest, lowest-common-denominator method of making beer. More sophisticated methods can improve your beer. Again, that choice is yours.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:39 AM   #10
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Why not just get an immersion chiller? Not have to worry about it as long as you put it in a few minutes before flame out. If you are going to use ice it would probably good to at least run it through a charcoal filter first.


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