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PeteOz77

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It's summer here in AUS, and quite warm. Not that that has a lot to do with this question, I just thought I would rub it in :D

Right, so when I boil 2L of water to start diluting my extract kits, then use more boiling water to get all the extracct out of the tins, if I just add cold tap water, I get a wort that's around 27-29°C (80-85°F)

This is too warm to pitch my started yeast, and if I were to just wait for it to cool, it would take hours, and risk infection. So what I have done with the last 4-5 batches is to use the boiling water to break everything down, then add about 10L cold tap water, then about 1/3 bag of ice , mix that in until it's dissolved, then fill the rest of the way with water, leaving me with around 24°C (75°F).

Then I put this in a tub of cool water where it is going to live for the next 8-12 days and add some blocks of ice to the tub. I pitch the yeast at about 70°F (roughy 30 minutes later) and then soak a bath towel in the water, leaving it hanging in the water and turn on a fan blowing slowly onto the fermenter.

Even when it gets as warm as 80°F in the house this method keeps the fermenter down around the 68°F mark for the duration of the fermentation process.

So here's the question.

Does anyone else use ice poured directly into their wort to cool it down?

I am guessing that even if I don't go to full boil process soon, a wort chiller would be a good investment, as I could snaitise it, drop it into the fermenting pail, and cool everythign down quickly before pitching.
 

cerberus9

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I think the biggest problem with using ice is that it tends to pick up flavours from its environment (most scotch gurus will shudder at the thought of adding ice from the freezer to a fine single-malt).

If you use commercial, bagged ice, you should be OK, although sanitiation may be an issue.
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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cerberus9 said:
I think the biggest problem with using ice is that it tends to pick up flavours from its environment (most scotch gurus will shudder at the thought of adding ice from the freezer to a fine single-malt).

If you use commercial, bagged ice, you should be OK, although sanitiation may be an issue.

I wouldn't DREAM of ruining a nice single malt by adding anything to it, I even thouroughly rinse a clean glass with warm water before pouring.

I have been using commercial bagged ice, but have now talked myslef into making my own chiller next weekend. It will definitely come in handy when I go to AG brewing soon, so why not use it now?
 

Jamo99

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A chiller would be a great addition to your brewing setup. Not only could you use it for full volume all grain batches, but you can do full boils with your extract as well.

With the wort chiller, you don't have to sanitize using a solution. Just drop it into your brew kettle during the last 20 minutes and the boil will sanitize it. You don't run the wort chiller inside your primary, but while the wort is still in the kettle.

Regarding adding ice to your wort to cool it, sanitation is the major issue there. Most people, before the addition of some type of chiller to their process, make an ice bath to bring the wort temperature down. In the sink or some rubbermaid container make up some ice water and put your kettle in there. Will cool it quickly like adding the ice, but you don't have to worry about picking up any nasties from the ice. Freezing will not kill everything harmful.

Oh, and two thumbs up to your method for maintaining fermentation temperature.
 
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PeteOz77

PeteOz77

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Thanks Jamo, you have confirmed what I was thinking. At the present time, I don't have a large enough kettle for a full boil (maybe in a few weeks) so in the interim, I will sanitise the chiller that I make by putting it inside the bucket with everything else when I sanitise, then cover it until 1/2 hour or so later when I need it.

Cheers!
 
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