How important is cooling?

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I'm getting ready to make my first brew and I'm reading all the instructions. I just realized that my equipment kit doesn't come with anything to cool the wort with. I can try filling my sink with ice. Is that my best bet? Would I be better off in the long run buying a wort cooler? What will happen if I don't cool the wort fast enough? Thanks for any advice.
 

MikeG

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Using a filled sink with ice/water is a time honored tradition :). There are multiple benefits to using some kind of wort chiller but is not necessary at this time. Just make sure to get your temps down to 80F before pitching your yeast. :mug:
 

schweaty

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The theory behind cooling wort is the same applied to food really. Bacteria grows faster between 140 and 70 so you want to cool it as fast as possible. Also, you want to get it down to pitching temps so you can chuck your yeasties in there and let them get to work. Another thing I've personally found in cooling as fast as possible is the removal of chill haze proteins. These will make your beer cloudy at cold temperatures.

The sink with ice will work but I would recommend a submersion chiller made of copper. There are some "Do It Yourself" posts around here about that if you're interested. Otherwise you can buy them for $30-$50 from home brewing suppliers.
 

blowmax10

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What will happen if I don't cool the wort fast enough?
you will build up Sulfur compounds

but don't worry - I second the Ice bath Idea

I've used it several times without problem

If you really want to experiance a sulfur taste - put a lid on your brew pot during the boil

I did that by mistake my first few batches and found out the hard way where that funny flavor was coming from
 

schweaty

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Using a filled sink with ice/water is a time honored tradition :). There are multiple benefits to using some kind of wort chiller but is not necessary at this time. Just make sure to get your temps down to 80F before pitching your yeast. :mug:
70F would be better for pitching yeast because many yeast strains perform best under 70F. Once fermentation gets rumbling the temp is going to go up 5-10 degrees.
 

VTBrewer

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Before I moved to AG i would use ice as my top up/cooling solution. I would do a three gallon boil. To be extra safe you could sanitize some plastic jugs, boil a few gallons the night before, and freeze in jugs. Drops the temps very quickly.
 

The Pol

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Some people dont chill at all, but we are all going to die from it. But it is an option.
 

SumnerH

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For an ice bath I find it works best to:


---Near end of boil
1. Seal sink
2. Fill with 3 inches or so of cold water
----Wait for your boil to finish
3. Move pot to sink, put on lid
_then_
4. Dump in 16 lb bag of ice (or whatever you're using)
5. Top off sink with water. If possible, have the pot floating slightly (increases surface area for heat transfer).
6. Once water is off and faucet turned aside, remove lid and stir pot gently until cool.

If you put the ice in before the pot, it's sometimes tricky to get the pot into the sink.
 

boydak

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My 1st batch I waited all night for it to cool. Than I learned of the ice bath and have used it ever since.

I was lucky because that 1st batch still came out good.
 

McGarnigle

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The sink with ice will work but I would recommend a submersion chiller made of copper. There are some "Do It Yourself" posts around here about that if you're interested. Otherwise you can buy them for $30-$50 from home brewing suppliers.
You can buy a wort chiller for $30?
 

ChickenSoop

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Home Depot has copper tubing, 25 feet for about $20. Get some vinyl tubing, couple of hose clamps, a hose adapter, all for about $30. For indoors, HD probably has a faucet adapter.

I just built mine a couple weeks ago.

Cooled my wart down in about 10 minutes, just on minimum flow.
 

JLem

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Before I moved to AG i would use ice as my top up/cooling solution. I would do a three gallon boil. To be extra safe you could sanitize some plastic jugs, boil a few gallons the night before, and freeze in jugs. Drops the temps very quickly.
But be careful - I used ice on my first batch and it dropped my temp into the 50s and I had to wait for it to warm up to pitch the yeast.
 

JLem

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danorocks17

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fill your bathtub with cold water and dump all of your ice maker in that. works like a charm. the only thing i have against using a sink is that water warms up quicker because there is less water volume, so it takes longer to cool
 

dap325

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For me, having a chiller is just another step toward better beer. You decrease the chance for infection and for the price, why not build one yourself? I just picked up 50' of copper tubing from CopperTubingSales.com :: ICS Indsutries :: and tubing/hoseclamps/garden hose adaptor from Lowes. The whole thing came in just under $50.. for a 50'! They retail for over $100 prebuilt (plus shipping). As previously mentioned, a 25'er will be even cheaper. Go for it.
 

The Pol

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I used a chiller for years, and I just quit...
 

Munsoned

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For me, having a chiller is just another step toward better beer. You decrease the chance for infection and for the price, why not build one yourself? I just picked up 50' of copper tubing from CopperTubingSales.com :: ICS Indsutries :: and tubing/hoseclamps/garden hose adaptor from Lowes. The whole thing came in just under $50.. for a 50'! They retail for over $100 prebuilt (plus shipping). As previously mentioned, a 25'er will be even cheaper. Go for it.
+1 to this. I built my own the same way. I learned how to solder in the process, although I don't think that's absolutely necessary. It was a fun little project.
 

PavlovsCat

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If you're only doing partial boils, and using spring water,put the gallon jugs of spring water in the fridge overnight so it's chilled when you bring your volume up to your batch volume. I would use the ice water sink method to get the temp down to below 120 then add the wort to my glass carboy (it can't be too hot or the carboy may break), then add the 36 degree spring water to the carboy. Mix thoroughly and aerate, take a temp and get your OG, then pitch your yeast. I put the carboy in my extra unused bathtub and, depending on what fermentation temp I want, I'll add a water bath. When you go to full boils, obviously you have to have a chiller to cool your wort rapidly.
 

The Pol

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Man, I was going to come in here to promote your no chill, chiller, but looks like you have already informed them about the side effects.
Yeah, I am dead... 50 people told me I would die, or that the sun would not rise... and they were right. It is dark, cold, lifeless here.
 
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