Stir in cold water to the wort during cool down. Good/Bad/Risky idea?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

MrClint

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
95
Location
Lake Balboa, CA
Probably nothing new under the sun here:

What if I brew a small batch of beer, let's say one-gallon (because that's what I'm doing right now), and I make X amount under the 1g of wort and add some cold (sealed from a bottle) water during cool down to get up to 1g? We can assume that the bottled water will be sterile and instantly drop the wort temp. Stir it around thoroughly, get the temp down where it needs to be, and add it to the fermentor. It sounds too right to be wrong (I think). Good/Bad/Risky idea?
 

Konadog

Bird Call Brewing
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
1,057
Location
Long Beach, CA
Years ago when I took a beginners brewing class, they made a beer using LME and only half of the water needed. Once the boil was done, they added the rest of the water exactly as you mentioned. It was chilled to 35deg and added to the existing wort to bring things down to the desired OG, and aided i cooling things down to pitch temp.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
1,485
Reaction score
1,281
Location
Minnesota
It's fine if it's clean water from a clean source. Maybe not good enough for heart surgery but good enough for a gallon of beer.

That small of a batch could probably cool off on it's own quite fast without it, or be set in an ice bath of moderate size, but - yeah this works too.

Keep in mind you could possibly undershoot your target temp then find yourself raising it back up.
 

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,827
Reaction score
950
Location
West Coast Island in the Bay
depends on what you're brewing. if you're making something hoppy, with a lot of kettle or whirlpool hops, adding that water is going to introduce a ton of dissolved oxygen and kill off a bunch of the hoppy goodness.

there's really no way around it unless you're gonna add a bunch of oxygen scrubbers like metabisulfites, ascorbic acid, etc. or if you're going to boil it and chill it before adding it. although at that point, why bother? just add it in during the boil and chill the whole batch down.

if you're doing something that isnt hoppy, or maybe something thats practically all dry hop, then it wont be so bad as the yeast will take up the oxygen before its time to dry hop. it wont affect the dry hops at all.
 

Bassman2003

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
1,334
Reaction score
662
Location
Arlington
It is a good idea and helps with oxygenation as well. I say this as I see adding the cold water while or in place of chilling. You would be adding oxygen at the end of this stage anyway for the yeast. Unless you purposefully do not oxygenate for hop reasons.
 
OP
OP
MrClint

MrClint

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
95
Location
Lake Balboa, CA
That small of a batch could probably cool off on it's own quite fast without it, or be set in an ice bath of moderate size, but - yeah this works too.
For sure, chilling is not that big of a deal with this size. I use large cold packs that come with meal kit delivery boxes. I have an endless supply as two of these come every week. Even so, shaving off time on brew day without risking badness is a good thing.
 
OP
OP
MrClint

MrClint

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
95
Location
Lake Balboa, CA
depends on what you're brewing. if you're making something hoppy, with a lot of kettle or whirlpool hops, adding that water is going to introduce a ton of dissolved oxygen and kill off a bunch of the hoppy goodness.

there's really no way around it unless you're gonna add a bunch of oxygen scrubbers like metabisulfites, ascorbic acid, etc. or if you're going to boil it and chill it before adding it. although at that point, why bother? just add it in during the boil and chill the whole batch down.

if you're doing something that isnt hoppy, or maybe something thats practically all dry hop, then it wont be so bad as the yeast will take up the oxygen before its time to dry hop. it wont affect the dry hops at all.
So far with what I'm brewing the wort would be oxygenated for pitching yeast. I'm probably not brewing anything complicated enough for this to be a concern.
 
OP
OP
MrClint

MrClint

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
95
Location
Lake Balboa, CA
It is a good idea and helps with oxygenation as well. I say this as I see adding the cold water while or in place of chilling. You would be adding oxygen at the end of this stage anyway for the yeast. Unless you purposefully do not oxygenate for hop reasons.
That was my thinking as well. I want to do it in conjunction with external cooling, speeding up the process.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
4,322
Location
St Louis, MO
All-grain? You're efficiency will take a hit, so will your hop utilization. You can account for both.

Extract? You can reserve half your extract for the flameout and preserve your hop utilization.
 
OP
OP
MrClint

MrClint

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
95
Location
Lake Balboa, CA
All-grain? You're efficiency will take a hit, so will your hop utilization. You can account for both.

Extract? You can reserve half your extract for the flameout and preserve your hop utilization.
That means a chance of watery beer at the expense of a faster cool down with all-grain. Might not be a good trade off.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
4,322
Location
St Louis, MO
Yep. You're pretty much going to halve your pre-boil volume with the same grist size. By percentage of strike volume, you are going to lose more to grain absorption thereby lowering your lauter efficiency.

In your software, consider the reduced boil volume as your full batch. Then the late water addition is a dilution which lowers gravity and IBUs proportionally.
 

Zambezi Special

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
186
Reaction score
124
Location
In the hot Zambezi Valley
I figure it's very well possible.
Actually, I have done similar the last 2 or 3 brews.
Size of my pan is not big, so I heat water, mash, rinse grains with enough water to roughly get back to start water volume.
Boil and add hot water if there is too much evaporation.
Then cool in a waterbad till the water doesn't heat up much anymore (I got no access to ice, cool elements etc).
Check gravity and add cold water (previously boiled) to get to required OG, cooling the wort to pitching temperature at the same time.
Only requires a couple easy calculations (metric) ;)
I biab. I think it would be a lot more tricky with any other process
 

Leezer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
475
Reaction score
307
I've done similar with ice added to 2.5G Biab batch. The wort temp only needed to be brought down to the high 90s for the yeast I was using so adding the ice accomplished all the chilling. There were some calcs needed to make it work. I have to admit I used this method with guidance from my homebrewing friend who also did the calcs. But it did work well and is a time saver.
 

balrog

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
5,362
Reaction score
7,036
I've done similar with ice added to 2.5G Biab batch. The wort temp only needed to be brought down to the high 90s for the yeast I was using so adding the ice accomplished all the chilling. There were some calcs needed to make it work. I have to admit I used this method with guidance from my homebrewing friend who also did the calcs. But it did work well and is a time saver.

Ya beat me to it; I was gonna say exactly this. It really made for an easy brew day, but required calculating thermal heat difference between wort and ice (fusion and temp diff) to make it work.
 

DannyBoy270

I Drink and I Know Sh*t...
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
143
Reaction score
201
I admit I haven't tried this alot, but each time I have I've felt the beer came out a little thin. And that makes sense when you think about it because instead of having your full volume of wort, you're diluting a portion of it ,granted probably planning for higher OG and IBUs to account for this, but I feel like you still just lose some in body/mouthfeel when you top up with water. Just my experience with it; may work out fine for you, but personally I prefer to just wait on my chiller to do its thing 😁🍻
 

bwible

I drink, and I know things
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
2,150
Reaction score
4,254
Location
Oxford, PA
That means a chance of watery beer at the expense of a faster cool down with all-grain. Might not be a good trade off.
You just have to account for the water you add. If you’re boiling a 1 gallon batch for an hour and half a gallon boils off, then you can add 1/2 gallon at the end and you’re right back where you started. No loss of gravity or anything watered down.
 

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,827
Reaction score
950
Location
West Coast Island in the Bay
So far with what I'm brewing the wort would be oxygenated for pitching yeast. I'm probably not brewing anything complicated enough for this to be a concern.
thats the catch22. yeast are happy with o2 added. but from the time the o2 gets in the wort until the time the yeast take it up, its hanging around oxidizing your wort. killing the hoppiness.

if you're not doing hoppy (or a super pale lager) then dont sweat it.
 
Top