Originally Posted by Trox
I hope you are making sure to keep the snow in contact with the pot; otherwise when the pot melted the snow it actually set up a nice insulated area which will help the pot stay warm instead of cooling it down (you would have been better off leaving it on the burner instead of placing it in the snow bank).
Yep! This may be counterintuitive to those who don't live in the frozen north, but snow and ice are awesome insulators. I thought I was so smart, sticking a pot of hot wort into a snow bank outside my back door when it was 20 degrees outside.
I learned the hard way that if you stick a pot in an ice bank, it'll stay nice and hot for a good long time. Think of igloos, and how well they insulate the warm people inside.
A pot of ice water works great, though, especially if you stir the wort and the ice bath to avoid hot spots and cold spots.