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Old 03-10-2013, 03:45 AM   #1
Nov 2012
Posts: 12
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As a (beginning) extract brewer, the least enjoyable part of brewing a batch is getting the wort cooled down enough to pitch the yeast. I've traditionally just floated my pot in a bathtub full of packaged ice and water, and checked and checked and checked with a thermometer until it's down around 80, after which I dump the wort into my carboy and fill up to 5gal with refrig'd water, then pitch. I'm now wondering what the rush is, though. I've read about a cold break but don't know what the benefit/purpose is. Why not dump the wort into the carboy straight after flameout, add the cold water, cap it off for sanitation, and pitch the next morning . . . or even a couple days later? Aside from the extra time, what's the drawback?

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Old 03-10-2013, 03:46 AM   #2
Nov 2012
Posts: 12
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("The Morning-after Pitch" would have been a better title for this post, I'm realizing.)

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Old 03-10-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
Oct 2011
Pomona, California
Posts: 279
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Until I stepped up for a wort chiller, I always pitched the next day. Never had any problems. The only suggestion I have, if you have a 0 hop addition, do it then when you pitch the yeast.

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Old 03-10-2013, 04:07 AM   #4
Jan 2011
Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,735
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Cover the HOT wort and let it cool. Make sure it is covered before you start to cool it.

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Old 03-10-2013, 04:20 AM   #5
BigFloyd's Avatar
Dec 2012
Tyler, Texas
Posts: 5,267
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Here's what John Palmer has to say about chilling wort -

At the end of the boil, it is important to cool the wort quickly. While it is still hot, (above 140F) bacteria and wild yeasts are inhibited. But it is very susceptible to oxidation damage as it cools. There are also the previously mentioned sulfur compounds that evolve from the wort while it is hot. If the wort is cooled slowly, dimethyl sulfide will continue to be produced in the wort without being boiled off; causing off-flavors in the finished beer. The objective is to rapidly cool the wort to below 80F before oxidation or contamination can occur.

Rapid cooling also forms the Cold Break. This is composed of another group of proteins that need to be thermally shocked into precipitating out of the wort. Slow cooling will not affect them. Cold break, or rather the lack of it, is the cause of Chill Haze. When a beer is chilled for drinking, these proteins partially precipitate forming a haze. As the beer warms up, the proteins re-dissolve. Only by rapid chilling from near-boiling to room temperature will the Cold Break proteins permanently precipitate and not cause Chill Haze. Chill haze is usually regarded as a cosmetic problem. You cannot taste it. However, chill haze indicates that there is an appreciable level of cold-break-type protein in the beer, which has been linked to long-term stability problems. Hazy beer tends to become stale sooner than non-hazy beer.

If you get (or even better, make) a wort chiller, cooling your wort will be one of the easiest parts of your brewing day. Plus, you'll fill your fermenter with a much clearer wort (especially if you use whirlfloc @ 5min)

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
Oct 2010
Thailand, Chiang mai,Thailand
Posts: 2,100
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I pitch the morning after in about half of my brews. I tend to brew at night.
So long as you keep it covered so that it doesnt become contaminated i cant see that it should be too much of an issue.
Unless you add all of your hops in the last ten mins that is.

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #7
Oct 2008
Americas Hinterland, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,110
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I almost always pitch my yeast in the morning.

I have a nice secluded back deck where nothing bothers my wort. I put a lid on it with glad containers full of water to weight them down in case the wind kicks up. The covers won't fly off.

I'm very pleased with the results.
I drink therefore I am.

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:05 AM   #8
Jan 2011
, Iowa
Posts: 101
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Adding boiling hot wort to a glass carboy can cause thermal shock making the carboy break and adding it to a better bottle will make the carboy melt.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #9
Jan 2012
Posts: 370
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John Palmer's quoted text above are some plausible reasons, but if you search "no chill", you'll find some do that often with no problem.

I have done it a couple times and noticed my beer was a lot more hazy than normal, but other than that, I had no problem.

Chilling is not that big of an issue for me, so I chill my wort quickly, but I hate the thought of wasting water. I made a two part immersion chiller. The first coil goes into ice water and the second coil goes into the wort. This helps chill the wort faster. The tubing coming out of my immersion chiller is long enough that I use it to clean out my mash tun and water plants for the first few minutes. I then start stirring the wort. Stirring the wort around the chiller, or moving the chiller around in the wort helps to cool it even quicker. While I'm stirring, I put the end of the tubbing somewhere so that it waters the grass or fills my tun so that I can use the water for something else later.

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:39 PM   #10
stratslinger's Avatar
Dec 2010
Terryville, CT
Posts: 2,542
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I read this type of post often, and really have to wonder. Back before I got my chiller, I regularly chilled full 5 gallon boils to pitching temps in less than a half an hour - yet I read folks who take hours to do so...

Place your kettle into your tub (or utility sink, etc) with water as cold as you can get it - no ice - up to the same level as the wort. Then begin stirring your wort with a sanitized spoon. As you do this, gently move the kettle around the tub or sink a little bit to improve the heat transfer, so you're not always transferring to the same warmed water. Do that for 5 minutes or so and you should be down by about 50 or 60 degrees. Drain the sink or tub and repeat, which should get you close to 100. Drain, then refill with ice and cold water, and repeat the stirring and moving around routine.

Sure, it's a little work - but just sitting the kettle in ice and waiting on it is not an effective cooling method for large volumes of wort.

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