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Old 12-23-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
BrewDey
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I've had a few bad batches recently and I'm beginning to think that it's due to my long cooling period. I use an immersion chiller let my brewpot swim in a bath of water in a utility tub. I add ice bombs (frozen bottles of water) to the water to help as well. This still takes about an hour typically-and I know a utility tub cannot be the most germ-free environment.

I'm thinking that I may start hooking up the IC to my outside hose faucet to keep it out of the basement. Another thing that would help would be to put the ice bombs right into the wort. I'd sanitize them 1st, but it seems like they should be pretty sanitary if they're frozen to begin with. Any thoughts on this?

Also-what is the highest temp that's safe for pitching ales? I usually try to get it down to mid 60s at the highest. I had a bad experience pitching too warm and it really fouled it up...so I've probably cooled a little more than necessary.

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
Deacon240
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I wouldn't recommend putting the bombs into the wort itself (some areas of their bottle may not get hit by san). I'd say if you stuck to putting it into the water bath with the ice bottles and added rock salt that'd help cool it down quicker. Water is a better transfer surface than ice (ice tends to insulate) and in addition of the rock salt the water will drop below freezing.

I pitched at 95*f my first brew (it had been 2 hours of cooling and I wouldn't wait any longer to pitch cause I was paranoid) and the yeast where happy as all get up the next morning. Didnt have any ill effects in the beer but I may have been lucky.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
zac
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My immersion chiller can get me to pitching temps within 15 minutes, how big of batches are you making? Or what size chiller do you have?

Seems odd!

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:05 PM   #4
BrewDey
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I use the 1st one on this page:

NORTHERN BREWER: Wort Chillers

Pretty standard. Maybe I'm just not checking the temp enough. The other thing is I don't blast the water full-throttle because I've had the vinyl tubes burst on me when they are soft and warm. Maybe if I pitch at 80, and kept checking, it would be closer to your timing.

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
Saccharomyces
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Replace those vinyl hoses with silicone hose. Then you can run the water at full throttle.

It is also necessary to agitate the wort (stirring, shaking the chiller, tea bagging the hop bag is what I do) during the first 10 minutes of cooling.

My schedule is something like this:

Turn on chiller full blast, tea bag the hop bag for 10 minutes
Turn water to 1/3rd, let hop bag drain for a few minutes, slap the lid on and let it go for 10-15 minutes

If it's summer, I'll then switch to a pump to recirc ice water for 20 more minutes to get down to pitching temp. This time of year I'm good to go after 20-25 minutes.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
goose_on_fire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
tea bagging the hop bag is what I do
My mind's eye is blind from the visual this gave me

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
MikeRobrew
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i searched and can not find the thread, but someone posted a how-to on a recycling system.

basically there was a tub of ice water (more ice than water cause it will melt), with a water pump in it. the pump had a normal garden hose connector. it went into the chiller, and the return went back into the bucket.

i tried this and without putting the kettle in an ice bath, it was down to 90 degrees within about 12 minutes. By that time all the ice was melted, so I put the kettle int he water and it was down to 70 in a few more minutes.

If someone knows of that post, link it. It works great.
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:44 AM   #8
acdavis
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I'd also be concerned about the plastic on your ice bombs melting in the hot wort. I had my keggle in a water bath with some ice bombs and the plastic bottles all melted which was no big deal, but if they were in my wort it would have ruined my day!

 
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:05 AM   #9
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Are you stirring while you chill?

Just replace the vinyl with the heavy braided vinyl hoses of the same inner diameter and clamp them down tight.

I would not trust throwing anything in the wort.

 
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:50 PM   #10
remilard
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Yeah, stirring or a recirculation whirlpool is necessary for the best performance with an IC. You should be able to get within a few degrees of the water you are using in 10 minutes assuming you have a reasonable sized chiller (25 feet of 3/8 is reasonable for 5 gallons).

 
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