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Can I pitch yeast at higher temps if I'm quickly cooling or should I wait to pitch?

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mtnagel

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In summer I generally stop cooling around 75F since it takes so long to cool any more. It takes my chest freezer fermentation chamber less than a hour to lower the temp to the low 60’s where I like to start fermentation. Should I wait to add the yeast until it’s chilled completely or is it okay to add the yeast at 75 knowing it will quickly cool to the right temp?
 
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day_trippr

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I doubt there would be a problem with this plan. Indeed I expect the yeast might appreciate it more than plunging into the low 60s°F.
Heck, Fermentis recommends 80°F +/- 6° to hydrate their dry yeast. Downright hot tubbing right there but the yeast dig it...

Cheers! :D
 

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There is a huge difference between simply rehidrating dry yeast and pitching into hot wort. Water has no sugars but wort does so in the latter case the yeast will start working right away and temperature will have an impact. Consequences might include higher fusel alcohols and possibly diacetyl issue (the latter is more likely with lager fermentations but still...).
Personally I would wait an hour and then pitch. That's what I do in summer when I can't even cool to ale pitching temps with my tap water being lukewarm. My glycol chiller manages to chill to pitching temp in half an hour tops and while I wait I just get a head start on cleaning the equipment.
 
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mtnagel

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Consequences might include higher fusel alcohols and possibly diacetyl issue (the latter is more likely with lager fermentations but still...)
You really think 30-60 mins could make a difference? I will say I've done this several times and haven't noticed any issues, but I wanted to see what everyone else thought though.

I did find this from - The Oxford Companion to Beer Definition of lag phase
This is because higher temperatures during the lag phase promote the synthesis of such substances as alpha acetolactate, which is a precursor to diacetyl. See diacetyl. Overall, however, yeast produces few flavor compounds and ethanol or other alcohols during the lag phase than it does in the fermentation phase.
And of course there is a Brulosophy experiment that showed no effect - Yeast Pitch Temperature: Cool vs. Warm | exBEERiment Results!

Turns out White Labs recommends pitching between 70 and 75F. Homebrew Information | White Labs
Pour into fresh, aerated wort (by shaking fermentor for 15 minutes or injection though an aeration stone) at 70-75°F
And even say later up to 80F is okay:
Before pitching, make sure the wort temperature is between 70-80 o F. Too cold and the yeast will take too long to begin fermentation, too hot and the yeast can be killed.
Also found this from BYO - Fermentation Timeline - Brew Your Own
The lag phase can be carried out at a higher temperature than the rest of fermentation because very few flavor compounds are produced. Ethanol production is also very limited, therefore ester formation is not a concern. Some brewers begin the lag phase for ales at 72° to 75° F and complete the fermentation at 68° F. This can be done successfully for lagers, starting the lag phase at 72° to 75° F and lowering the fermentation temperature to 50° to 55° F.
 

Jtvann

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You really think 30-60 mins could make a difference? I will say I've done this several times and haven't noticed any issues, but I wanted to see what everyone else thought though.

I did find this from - The Oxford Companion to Beer Definition of lag phase

And of course there is a Brulosophy experiment that showed no effect - Yeast Pitch Temperature: Cool vs. Warm | exBEERiment Results!

Turns out White Labs recommends pitching between 70 and 75F. Homebrew Information | White Labs


And even say later up to 80F is okay:


Also found this from BYO - Fermentation Timeline - Brew Your Own
So are you looking for "what everyone else thought" or are you looking to educate everyone else with what your walls of links.
 
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mtnagel

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So are you looking for "what everyone else thought" or are you looking to educate everyone else with what your walls of links.
Well I posted yesterday without doing any research then figured I should do my own research and found a lot of info out there so figured I'd add it to the thread.
 

Immocles

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Before getting an immersion chiller, I often pitched in the high 70s/low to mid 80s out of impatience. It would take quite awhile for my wort to cool down to ale temps though, especially battling the heat created from the yeasts. I probably brewed that way for about a year, but I definitely had some fusel issues in a couple of cases. I've since started pitching about 5F higher than where I plan to ferment, and haven't had those hot flavors. That said, I don't think 75F is going to cause much of an issue, especially if you're able to get down to a proper fermentation temperature that quickly. I'd get leery up over 80F though.
 

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I would disregard anything either Brülosophy or yeast manufacturers say. The former because their "experiments" are ludicrous, the latter because they're in the business of selling their product to the customer and not of educating them. This means that if you ask them "Is it okay if I do this and that?" they generally won't say no in order not to lose a customer.

But hey, that's just me. If you've already decided it's okay than do whatever you like with your beer.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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I've never had a problem doing this. I feel like as long as you are only dropping temps during lag phase before visible fermentation kicks off you are ok. I've done this multiple times on both lagers and ales with no off flavors.

You just never want to drop temperature significantly after active fermentation kicks off (and until after fermentation is complete). Doing this can create Diacetyl and other off flavors

That being said, I'll usually chill the last few degrees in chest freezer before adding the yeast as it's better practice in theory. Supposedly you can get petite mutants if you cool during lag phase. Never noticed an issue in final product even when pitching warm and cooling right away in the chest freezer
 

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I was surprised how easy and fast it was to set up an ice bath recirculation system to just chill to the 60's and be done with it.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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I was surprised how easy and fast it was to set up an ice bath recirculation system to just chill to the 60's and be done with it.
I constructed a pre-chiller that I use as part of my cooling process.

basically, I take one immersion chiller and stick it in a bucket with ice water so it cools off my ground water to near freezing temps. I then connect this immersion chiller to a second immersion chiller that is sitting in my hot wort. Works very well
 
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mtnagel

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I constructed a pre-chiller that I use as part of my cooling process.

basically, I take one immersion chiller and stick it in a bucket with ice water so it cools off my ground water to near freezing temps. I then connect this immersion chiller to a second immersion chiller that is sitting in my hot wort. Works very well
I do the same but still doesn’t cool it that fast in the summer when the ground water is warm. How long we talking?

I probably did the regular 50’ immersion chiller for 10-15 mins or so. It was maybe 100F. I then put the 25’ pre-chiller in an ice bath and after maybe 10-15 mins more, it was only down to 75F and most of the ice melted. That’s when I gave up.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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I do the same but still doesn’t cool it that fast in the summer when the ground water is warm. How long we talking?

I probably did the regular 50’ immersion chiller for 10-15 mins or so. It was maybe 100F. I then put the 25’ pre-chiller in an ice bath and after maybe 10-15 mins more, it was only down to 75F and most of the ice melted. That’s when I gave up.
I replenish the ice a few times along the way. Usually go through two big bags of ice on a hot day. When you stop seeing ice cubes add more

I do 10 gallon batches
Thhe first chiller is a smaller 5 gallon one. The second chiller is a larger one for 10g. I run the water at a medium pace not too fast.

Fall and spring I can usually get down to pitching temp.

If it's really hot out the best i can get it down to is 70, but it still cools much faster than with no ice.

I usually stick it in the chest freezer for the last couple degrees in the summer
 
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mtnagel

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I would disregard anything either Brülosophy or yeast manufacturers say. The former because their "experiments" are ludicrous, the latter because they're in the business of selling their product to the customer and not of educating them. This means that if you ask them "Is it okay if I do this and that?" they generally won't say no in order not to lose a customer.

But hey, that's just me. If you've already decided it's okay than do whatever you like with your beer.
I would think the opposite is true from a yeast manufacturer - they would want to tell you the correct way so you make good beer and buy more yeast. If a yeast company tells me something and I do it and it makes a bad beer, I probably won't buy their yeast again.

As for Brulosophy, I don't take it as gospel, but I'm not sure why you say they are ludicrous. At least he's trying to do side by side, generally single variable, blind taste test experiments. How would you design and execute an experiment to test pitching rate temperature?
 

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I would think the opposite is true from a yeast manufacturer - they would want to tell you the correct way so you make good beer and buy more yeast. If a yeast company tells me something and I do it and it makes a bad beer, I probably won't buy their yeast again.
Most people just want confirmation of what they've already decided is true for them. If you don't give it to them they'll look for it somewhere else.
I think this thread is a perfect example of that.
 
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mtnagel

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Most people just want confirmation of what they've already decided is true for them. If you don't give it to them they'll look for it somewhere else.
I think this thread is a perfect example of that.
Well sure it's nice to have confirmation that your process is good, but I would have been fine to be told it isn't. But I wanted the science of why pitching at 75F and dropping the temp quickly is bad but no one has given me that. If someone posted that, I'd switch my practices. I found scientific evidence of why it's ok and you immediately dismiss the authors, but not the science.
 
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Jim R

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I brewed last week in 90 degree weather. Before brew day I always make 2 milk jug ice blocks in my freezer. I also make 2 batches of ice cubes in my refrigerator ice maker. Then I use an old cooler for my ice bath with a $48 utility pump from Amazon to circulate ice water through my single immersion chiller.

When I start my 60 min boil, I put about 4 gal of water into the cooler with the 2 ice blocks to start chilling the water. At 30 min and at 45 min into the boil I throw in a batch of ice cubes. At flame out I run tap water from my garden hose through the immersion chill for about 5 min to quickly cool down to about 115 degrees and to keep the warmest water out of the cooler. At 5 min I switch to the ice bath and trim on the utility pump. Last week I reached 62 degrees at 23 minutes total chilling time and pitched the yeast. I still had about half the ice in the cooler to dump out.
 

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I brewed last week in 90 degree weather. Before brew day I always make 2 milk jug ice blocks in my freezer. I also make 2 batches of ice cubes in my refrigerator ice maker. Then I use an old cooler for my ice bath with a $48 utility pump from Amazon to circulate ice water through my single immersion chiller.
This is of course obvious, but I have avoided buying a pump to recirculate because I didn't want to buy a second chiller to put in the ice bath... but what you said is so much simpler lol - just recirculate the water, only one chiller, in the wort. I think I'll get myself a cheap aquarium immersion pump.
 

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Anyone here use a prechiller for ground water going into a counter flow chiller? I am fighting with higher summer ground water temps and thinking about converting an old immersion coil into a prechiller. I am currently using almost 100 gal of water at 68 deg to cool wort, and can’t get a 10 gal batch below about 80 deg. I have slowed the wort flow as much as possible and tried reversing the wort flow (up vs down) through the coil.

As for yeast pitching, I have pitched up to about 5 deg above fermentation temp without issues, but would prefer to get down to the proper temp first.
 

Jtvann

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Anyone here use a prechiller for ground water going into a counter flow chiller? I am fighting with higher summer ground water temps and thinking about converting an old immersion coil into a prechiller. I am currently using almost 100 gal of water at 68 deg to cool wort, and can’t get a 10 gal batch below about 80 deg. I have slowed the wort flow as much as possible and tried reversing the wort flow (up vs down) through the coil.

As for yeast pitching, I have pitched up to about 5 deg above fermentation temp without issues, but would prefer to get down to the proper temp first.
Your immersion chiller sucks, or either exaggeration of numbers is a little blatant. You pick one.

I brewed yesterday and my ground water was 72 degrees. I chilled 13 gallons to less than 80, and for sure didnt use nearly 100 gallons to do it.

To be clear you say "slow the wort flow ... and reverse wort flow through the coil". What type of chiller arw you using. You dont need to pump wort through an immersion chiller. Pump water through the immersion chiller, which is immersed in your wort. Stir wort or move the chiller around, dont let it just sit stagnant.

Now if you're using a plate chiller or counterflow chiller, directional flow absolutely matter.
 

catalanotte

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Your immersion chiller sucks, or either exaggeration of numbers is a little blatant. You pick one.

I brewed yesterday and my ground water was 72 degrees. I chilled 13 gallons to less than 80, and for sure didnt use nearly 100 gallons to do it.

To be clear you say "slow the wort flow ... and reverse wort flow through the coil". What type of chiller arw you using. You dont need to pump wort through an immersion chiller. Pump water through the immersion chiller, which is immersed in your wort. Stir wort or move the chiller around, dont let it just sit stagnant.

Now if you're using a plate chiller or counterflow chiller, directional flow absolutely matter.
Pretty useless and dickish of a response that shows you didn’t even read the post. Hopefully someone else here has something more useful to contribute.
 

VikeMan

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This is of course obvious, but I have avoided buying a pump to recirculate because I didn't want to buy a second chiller to put in the ice bath... but what you said is so much simpler lol - just recirculate the water, only one chiller, in the wort. I think I'll get myself a cheap aquarium immersion pump.
Look for a "pond" pump, not an (under powered) "aquarium" pump.
 

Jim R

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This is of course obvious, but I have avoided buying a pump to recirculate because I didn't want to buy a second chiller to put in the ice bath... but what you said is so much simpler lol - just recirculate the water, only one chiller, in the wort. I think I'll get myself a cheap aquarium immersion pump.
Here is the pump I use. I doubt an aquarium pump would work. You need more water flow - similar to the flow rate of your garden hose.

The other thing that I found is important is to keep stirring the wort around the cold immersion chiller. I use my big spoon and stir the wort every minute or so to keep it moving around the chiller.

 

Jtvann

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Pretty useless and dickish of a response that shows you didn’t even read the post. Hopefully someone else here has something more useful to contribute.
You're right, I just scanned the post and saw ridiculous numbers. Looks like there hasn't been anybody else to step in and answer his question though.

Of all chillers, immersion chillers are the least efficient. I rank counter flow chillers as less efficient than plate, but dont want to get into that argument. Either way, counter flow ought to be more efficient than immersion.

I stand by my original point. I had no problem at all chilling just yesterday 13 gallons of water below 80 degrees with ground water that was 72 degrees using my immersion chiller.

A counter flow chiller, being more efficient, should have no problem meeting that standard. Either, once again, the numbers are a lie used to just exaggerate a point, or the equipment is being used wrong.

Take offense and say I've got a dickish response all you want, but you also didnt take the time to help the person out.

To answer the question as to why his cooling blows beyond all measure, check the following.

1-Are you getting clogged at all. If wort cant flow it cant cool. Are you sure of this throughout the entire boil.

2- Are wort and water flowing opposite of each other. It is important to get your inlet/outlet oriented correctly.

3- Are you doing one pass into the fermenter, or recirculating? If doing one pass, wort out speeds will need to be slowed. Water speed should be at a maximum. If recirculating, just let it all flow naturally without restriction.
 

catalanotte

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You're right, I just scanned the post and saw ridiculous numbers. Looks like there hasn't been anybody else to step in and answer his question though.

Of all chillers, immersion chillers are the least efficient. I rank counter flow chillers as less efficient than plate, but dont want to get into that argument. Either way, counter flow ought to be more efficient than immersion.

I stand by my original point. I had no problem at all chilling just yesterday 13 gallons of water below 80 degrees with ground water that was 72 degrees using my immersion chiller.

A counter flow chiller, being more efficient, should have no problem meeting that standard. Either, once again, the numbers are a lie used to just exaggerate a point, or the equipment is being used wrong.

Take offense and say I've got a dickish response all you want, but you also didnt take the time to help the person out.

To answer the question as to why his cooling blows beyond all measure, check the following.

1-Are you getting clogged at all. If wort cant flow it cant cool. Are you sure of this throughout the entire boil.

2- Are wort and water flowing opposite of each other. It is important to get your inlet/outlet oriented correctly.

3- Are you doing one pass into the fermenter, or recirculating? If doing one pass, wort out speeds will need to be slowed. Water speed should be at a maximum. If recirculating, just let it all flow naturally without restriction.
Since I’d like to see the chiller performance you describe and you have tossed out a few ideas, here’s the details.
II have a clean, unobstructed, 18 ft stainless counter flow chiller, as marketed by Northern Brewer. CFC is back flushed, rinsed, and drained after every use, and when flushed shows no obstructions. Not using leaf hops, just pellets. I run it fully open with boiling wort and chill water at the end of the boil to sanitize, and drop the kettle to 180 if doing a whirlpool hop addition. I’ll cut off the pump and allow the whirlpool to settle then begin a single pass into the fermentor. It is set up correctly with chill water running opposite the wort. I run chill water relatively full and back of the wort flow to try and hit final temp. I also tried to swap the direction based on a suggestion in another thread about pushing wort up the coil to ensure full contact area of inner tube when at a reduced flow rate. Didn’t help.

You questioned the numbers but I actually measured and logged the cooling process yesterday because I was so frustrated with the performance. Wort averaged 170 out of the kettle and 82 into the fermentor. Took 35 min to transfer 11 gal, so about .31 GPM. Chill water was 68 at inlet and 77 at outlet, flowing at 3 GPM. That’s 105 gal in 35 min. If you do the BTU math the energy balances close enough to support these values.

I am asking for suggestions because I agree that these numbers don’t look right, but measurements are accurate, so what am I missing? I am thinking the chill water discharge should be showing much more than a 9 deg increase. Could this be a CFC equipment problem or something in the operation that I am just not doing right from the above description.
 

Jtvann

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Since I’d like to see the chiller performance you describe and you have tossed out a few ideas, here’s the details.
II have a clean, unobstructed, 18 ft stainless counter flow chiller, as marketed by Northern Brewer. CFC is back flushed, rinsed, and drained after every use, and when flushed shows no obstructions. Not using leaf hops, just pellets. I run it fully open with boiling wort and chill water at the end of the boil to sanitize, and drop the kettle to 180 if doing a whirlpool hop addition. I’ll cut off the pump and allow the whirlpool to settle then begin a single pass into the fermentor. It is set up correctly with chill water running opposite the wort. I run chill water relatively full and back of the wort flow to try and hit final temp. I also tried to swap the direction based on a suggestion in another thread about pushing wort up the coil to ensure full contact area of inner tube when at a reduced flow rate. Didn’t help.

You questioned the numbers but I actually measured and logged the cooling process yesterday because I was so frustrated with the performance. Wort averaged 170 out of the kettle and 82 into the fermentor. Took 35 min to transfer 11 gal, so about .31 GPM. Chill water was 68 at inlet and 77 at outlet, flowing at 3 GPM. That’s 105 gal in 35 min. If you do the BTU math the energy balances close enough to support these values.

I am asking for suggestions because I agree that these numbers don’t look right, but measurements are accurate, so what am I missing? I am thinking the chill water discharge should be showing much more than a 9 deg increase. Could this be a CFC equipment problem or something in the operation that I am just not doing right from the above description.
I'll suggest recirculation back into the pot for a while at full speed, then going to the fermenter. What final temperature are you hoping to achieve? Theres going to be diminishing returns as temps near the source water temp. I still think you ought to be doing better than 80 with 68 degree source water when going that slow. That's just efficiency of the product though. It sounds like you've tried everything you can assuming a single pass.

All Ive got to suggest is recirculation to a certain temp, then single pass. Maybe factor in a prechiller without a pump, or pumping pure ice water.
 

catalanotte

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I'll suggest recirculation back into the pot for a while at full speed, then going to the fermenter. What final temperature are you hoping to achieve? Theres going to be diminishing returns as temps near the source water temp. I still think you ought to be doing better than 80 with 68 degree source water when going that slow. That's just efficiency of the product though. It sounds like you've tried everything you can assuming a single pass.

All Ive got to suggest is recirculation to a certain temp, then single pass. Maybe factor in a prechiller without a pump, or pumping pure ice water.
Would like to get to at least 72, understanding that I am limited to a few degrees above ground water temp without the use of added ice, which I’d like to avoid. Will try to recirculate down near low hundreds and then see if I can hit temp into the fermentor.
 

Jtvann

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Would like to get to at least 72, understanding that I am limited to a few degrees above ground water temp without the use of added ice, which I’d like to avoid. Will try to recirculate down near low hundreds and then see if I can hit temp into the fermentor.
Theres only so much that the chiller is going to chill. If you knock down the upper limit by recirculation, you might get closer to your goal. With recirculation, you dont need to throttle the wort speed down.

To me, recirculation is about the only apples to apples comparison that I can think of between immersion vs counterflow vs plate. You should use well less than 100 gallons though. If I had to guess, I'd approximate it around 15-30 gallons.
 

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In summer I generally stop cooling around 75F since it takes so long to cool any more. It takes my chest freezer fermentation chamber less than a hour to lower the temp to the low 60’s where I like to start fermentation. Should I wait to add the yeast until it’s chilled completely or is it okay to add the yeast at 75 knowing it will quickly cool to the right temp?
Mine started at 28c (82.4f) and it took an hour to cool to 24c (75.2f), its fermenting at a steady 24c now and as I am a new home brewer I am concerned it wont work as it says to get it to 20c. If it doesn't work I will wait until cooler weather to brew again
 

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If I think about it, I fill my 20L bucket nearly twice to chill 5gal, and my groundwater is cooler, so that's 40L or about 8/9 gal. My immersion chiller is homemade and has a small inner coil and wide outter one, but it's not very deep. I run it really slow and agitate the chiller constantly, and it still takes >20 minutes to get down close to the tapwater temp.
 

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This thread makes me happy do 1 gallon batches lol. I’ve pitched at 75 while Temps were going down with no off flavors I can attribute to it. But that is a slurry that sits out the entire brew time so it is almost around that temp itself
 

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Here’s what I do including just yesterday, used my chiller and got it under 90. Drained it to the fermenter, put it in my chest freezer with probe attached and set to 66. 3 hours later it was at 68 so I pitched.

Only problem I have with this is a little suck back through the airlock, but it’s filled with StarSan.

This works fine until I can redesign my chilling set up.
 
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mtnagel

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I brewed last week in 90 degree weather. Before brew day I always make 2 milk jug ice blocks in my freezer. I also make 2 batches of ice cubes in my refrigerator ice maker. Then I use an old cooler for my ice bath with a $48 utility pump from Amazon to circulate ice water through my single immersion chiller.

When I start my 60 min boil, I put about 4 gal of water into the cooler with the 2 ice blocks to start chilling the water. At 30 min and at 45 min into the boil I throw in a batch of ice cubes. At flame out I run tap water from my garden hose through the immersion chill for about 5 min to quickly cool down to about 115 degrees and to keep the warmest water out of the cooler. At 5 min I switch to the ice bath and trim on the utility pump. Last week I reached 62 degrees at 23 minutes total chilling time and pitched the yeast. I still had about half the ice in the cooler to dump out.
I've definitely thought about getting a pump to recirculate ice water through my immersion chiller, but haven't pulled the trigger. It looks like the one you linked to will connect to the garden hose fitting on my immersion chiller, so it should be pretty simple to switch from the hose to the pump and move the output tube to the bucket with the ice. I think you've convinced me to add this to my process.
 

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I'll pitch anytime in the 80s if it's already in the ferm chamber and headed south. It's going down to 68' shortly anyway. The yeast still has to wake up for a bit before it starts doing anything.
 
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