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Feb 5, 2008
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I brewed my first batch on superbowl morning. everything was going smooth until i realized that my pot was too small once i had all the malt in (had to pour a little wort out :(

og was 1.043 probably from pouring some out. i was worried that i didnt areate it enough before i pitched my yeast and i pitched a little too high (78 F).

sure enough though i woke up the next morning and she was bubblin away only 18 hours later.

I only have one question though, how much does it matter how fast you cool your wort? cause it took me an hour+ to get it down to 78. i used an ice bath in the sink too
it will be fine. the "cold break" is when you seperate tannins, proteins and other crap from your beer, so the faster the better. however, i've made some fine brews using the same method and time you did, so it's not absolutely necessary.
i think the reason to cool down fast is to minimize the risk of infection - between the time when the wort is boiling and you get the yeast in and seal the fermentor, there's a risk of infection. an hour is quite a long time - you might want to get a wort chiller - i got one and it's cut my time from about 40 minutes to 15, and it was only $50 off eBay.

edit: PS: my first 4 brews were done w/o wort chiller and turned out fine - probably no need to worry!
ok thanks ill be slowly upgrading my stuff as I move through the world of brewing
quick recommendation for ya next time.

try placing an oven rack into your tub, along with roughly 20lbs of ice. i was able to get my kettle cooled to 70* in roughly 25-30min using this. i think with the rack and the kettle floating slightly, alot more water was able to circulate around the pot. i also made sure to stir the work with my sanitzed spoon once every 10 min. seemed to work out great.
Does adding (previously boiled) COLD water to the wort (to bring it up to 5 gallons, say) have the same beneficial effect as the "cold break"?

I'n guessing no... but thought I'd ask as this is anyway a necessary step.