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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Cooling my wort in the snow?
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Cooling my wort in the snow?

Ok here in Arkansas it usually doesn't get this cold, for this long. My water hose has been frozen solid for a couple of weeks now, and I'm tired of waiting to brew. I can do everything else inside, and boil outside, but not sure about air cooling, or trying to cool my wort in the snow. I think the high today is about 40F, but it's below 20F now and should be below 30F when I finish my boil. Will it take too long to cool off if I pack snow around the pot?


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Old 02-08-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
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It takes about an hour for a 5 gallon batch if you sit the pot in a cold water bath and keep adding snow.


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Old 02-08-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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It takes about an hour for a 5 gallon batch.
No kiddin, that's not bad, I only need to get it below 100F or so anyway, my ferm chamber can tackle the rest after I transfer it to primary fermetner.

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Old 02-08-2014, 12:32 PM   #4
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I had to edit my post - if you sit the pot in a cold water bath and keep adding snow.

I've tried just sitting my brew pot in a pile of snow. That doesn't work very well. I use a plastic bin to make a cold water bath, then I keep adding snow as it melts.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:34 PM   #5
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I cooled a small batch in snow, one concern with it is if you just stick it in and leave it it basically acts like an insulator. i used a bucket with snow in it and long story short, it took longer than my flowing bathtub method. I think putting some water in a bucket then adding snow is the better way to go but I haven't tested it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:35 PM   #6
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Snow is mostly air, so you're better off filling your sink or a large bucket with water and using the snow to bring down the water temp, then stirring the wort and ice bath to keep things moving. This is how I was doing it last winter and it worked pretty well.

John


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Old 02-08-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jrfehon View Post
It takes about an hour for a 5 gallon batch if you sit the pot in a cold water bath and keep adding snow.
The key is tub of cold water and snow added to keep it cold. The closer to the height of the wort in the pot that you can keep the water in the tub, the faster it will cool. Make sure you add snow regularly so that there is always snow in the tub. That way you are removing as much heat from the pot as you can. I do it often since it is always to cold when I brew to have a hose hooked up plus I don't want a skating rink in my lawn. If your tub is big and tall you can chill that wort to 60 degrees in about 20 minutes if you stir the wort occasionally so it doesn't become stratified.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppyhoppyhippo View Post
I cooled a small batch in snow, one concern with it is if you just stick it in and leave it it basically acts like an insulator. i used a bucket with snow in it and long story short, it took longer than my flowing bathtub method. I think putting some water in a bucket then adding snow is the better way to go but I haven't tested it.
That's funny because I've had little success with snow cooling. That must be why!


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Old 02-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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I cooled a 3 gallon boil in a snow pile in ten minutes. I stirred while my batch boy packed snow against the pot. Worked great... You might want to unscrew your hose and bring it into the basement to defrost before it pops.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #10
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I cooled a 3 gallon boil in a snow pile in ten minutes. I stirred while my batch boy packed snow against the pot. Worked great... You might want to unscrew your hose and bring it into the basement to defrost before it pops.
Put it in a tub filled with snow, a little water an a few pounds of salt. This will go way below freezing temp (like in an ice cream churn) and the time will be greatly reduced if you keep the wort moving.

bosco


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