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Old 12-26-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
Dec 2007
Posts: 72

Ok, so at this point in time I do not want to spend the time or $ to make a wort cooler. Last batch I made, I just cooled outside until ready (still took like 3 hrs, not cool because I think I got some off flavors from that). So I am wondering, is it ok to use the Alton Brown method and mix wort with ice to cool it down & dilute? Or I will just take a big rubbermaid tub and make an ice bath for boil pot and stir for awhile. So I guess the root question is how sanitary is ice from a grocery store?

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I wouldn't use ice from the grocery store- what I'd do is sanitize an ice cream bucket or something like that and fill it with my own sanitary water and freeze it. Then put that in your wort, after it's chilled a little. I never did that, but I would think it would work. When I did extract brews, I chilled in my sink in an ice bath until under 80 degrees and then put it into my primary with cool water.
Broken Leg Brewery
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
Phideaoux44's Avatar
Oct 2007
Wilmington, NC
Posts: 81
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No real easy way to tell exactly how sanitary it is. Some are better than others obviously... One thing I can say is do NOT leave it outside again. You're just begging for it to get contaminated that way. Unless of course you're brewing, say, a BirdCrap Bock or a Squirrel Spit Stout. Obviously a bathroom tub or a kitchen sink are not laboratories, but I would feel much safer inside at least. What I did when I was in your shoes was a big cooler filled with ice water and salt. Just set the brewpot in the water and it cools it down much faster than just setting it outside.

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:23 PM   #4
janzik's Avatar
Sep 2007
Old Bridge, NJ
Posts: 531
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Rather than using the ice for the inside, why not use an ice bath? What I like to do is make ice during the week (actually, I just steal it from my ice maker and toss a whole batch into supermarket plastic bags and then put it in the garage freezer). I'm able to get 5 gallons down to pitching temps in under a half hour (usually 20 minutes if I have enough ice). I also stand there stirring most of the time to circulate the wort.

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Old 12-26-2007, 09:01 PM   #5
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Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
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Do you brew partial boils or full boils?

If you place your pot in the sink and surround it with ice you still need to add water to have more cold in contact with the surface of the pot.

Using ice from the freezer to place inside your pot is a bad idea as there are food contaminants/odors (transfer to flavors).

I place 4 - 1 gal water jugs of PUR filtered tap water in the freezer for 4-5 hours prior to brewing. My wort is cooled into the 60s in the time it takes to top off to 5.25 gals.
HB Bill

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Old 12-27-2007, 04:43 AM   #6
Matt Foley
Jun 2007
Posts: 220

I have taken gallons of store bought drinking water, froze it, and then add the ice block to wort for top off. Seems to work fine. Cools quickly.

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Old 12-27-2007, 06:49 AM   #7
Mar 2007
Cortez CO
Posts: 217
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i'm an ice bath in a big blue tub kinda guy. it chills the wort in about 45 minutes.

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Old 12-27-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
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Nov 2007
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
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I've a place near me that sells irradiated ice in 5 and 10 lb bags - according to the propaganda, irradiated ice carries no biological contaminants. I've used a 5-lb bag in the primary bucket before as an experiment. No off flavors or contamination were encountered, but I only did that a couple of times before I spooked myself out of ever doing it again. I just couldn't bring myself to trust it.


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St Croix, US Virgin Islands

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Old 12-27-2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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Mar 2007
, New Jersey
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I've had luck with sticking a few one gallon jugs of distilled water in the freezer with 45 minutes left in the boil. Any more time and it starts to freeze, but that would depend on your freezer. Some times it is a little slushy, but still pours through the funnel. Water won't get below 32 degrees even if it's frozen. The point is to get it to 32 degrees without actually freezing.

For the IIPA brewed on Christmas Eve, I poured 2 1/2 gallons of wort on two gallons of freezer water and topped to 5 gallons. This was after cooling the brew pot in an ice bath in the sink for 10 minutes. Pitching temp was 70 degrees. Right in the range for the 1187 Wyeast used.

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Old 12-27-2007, 01:18 PM   #10
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
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Originally Posted by noobrewer
So I guess the root question is how sanitary is ice from a grocery store?
Figure that a big old bag of ice runs somewhere around 3 bucks.

Grab three gallons of spring water, 65 cents a gallon for a total of $1.95 (or use your own sanitized water for even cheaper)

Toss the three gallons in the freezer so they will just be starting to freeze when your boil is finished. Dump them into your fermenter. Pour your 2 gallons of wort into the fermenter...instant pitching temps.

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