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Old 04-10-2008, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Why do ice cubes make beer get infected?

In Papizan's book it says that throwing ice cubes into wort to make it cool down can make it get infected and that's what happened the only time I did that (my third beer, was summer and it was my third beer).

I'm curious as to why this is. I don't think that bacteria can survive well in ice...


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Old 04-10-2008, 09:27 AM   #2
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if the water that froze had bacteria in it then well yes. Since you probably top off with tap water anyways there's no harm I can see.


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Old 04-10-2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosh
I'm curious as to why this is. I don't think that bacteria can survive well in ice...
Sure they can. Cold only slows bacteria down....it doesn't kill them. When the ice melts, all the nasties wake up again. You're better off with an immersion, counterflow, or plate chiller. These may be a bit expensive up front, but they are a must if you want to cool a full batch down in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:44 AM   #4
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I have made at least two dozen batches where I used ice cubes to cool the wort before pitching. One of the times I sanitised a lot of containers and froze tap water to dring a full boil down to pitching temps, but every other time I just bought bags of ice and used 1//4-1/3 bag per batch. I have never had an infection (lucky I guess), and will continue to use this method until I get a proper Immersion Chiller.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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I know a lot of folks in AUS/NZ just seal the container and let the wort cool overnight...then pitch. Apparently this has worked pretty well. I'm a big proponent of doing full boils for hop utilization and then dropping cold break with a rapid chill at the end. Either way is fine...you'll still be drinking beer in a few weeks, no matter how you slice it.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosh
In Papizan's book it says that throwing ice cubes into wort to make it cool down can make it get infected and that's what happened the only time I did that (my third beer, was summer and it was my third beer).

I'm curious as to why this is. I don't think that bacteria can survive well in ice...
courtesy of the US Dept of AG:

Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?

Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes -- bacteria, yeasts and molds - - present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...zing/index.asp
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:26 AM   #7
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I know for a fact that bacteria can survive freezing down to at least -135 degrees F. That fact has messed up my research many times.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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I never said the nasties would die when frozen. I am just guessing that either the ice I am buying is bacteria free, or the nasties ar not strong enought to take over my wort:0
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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Back in the day (in Utah) when I was brewing extact partial boils, I would buy bottled spring water and have it chilled close to 33 degrees. That combined with putting my brew pot in the kitchen sink for an ice bath while gently stirring allowed me to pitch the yeast inside 15 minutes.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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I have poured my hot wort over ice on the last three batches, without any problems.


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