Using Block ice to chill wort

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dpalme

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The last couple of times that I have brewed I've had to put the wort in an ice bath in order to cool it down fast enough and even then it still took me almost an hour to get 5 gallons chilled. I think we used something like four bags of ice.

I was thinking of buying a couple of gallon jugs of filtered water and freezing them and then after boiling the wort, just cutting the plastic off the ice and putting the ice directly into the wort to help chill it down.....

Anyone else tried this? I know contamination is an issue, but the water would be filtered and I would be using a sanitized knife to cut the plastic off.

Then again, I suppose I could just break down and go spend the 60 on a wort chiller.

Can't find 25' so it'd have to be either two 20' or a 50' roll and 50 is almost double the price of 2 20' rolls.
 

Double_D

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If you did a partial boil the ice thing would work. But I'd still lean towards buying a wort chiller. It's a good investment.
 

twistr25

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+1 to the wort chiller. If you aren't up at full boil batches that should work just fine for a temporary solution.
 
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dpalme

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Ok, another stupid question here but what is the difference between partial and full boil? Everything I've done has been a full 60 minute boil......
 

twistr25

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Partial boil is usually using around 2.5 to 3 gallons to boil all of your fermentables in. Full boil is actually boiling the full 5 or 10 gallons for a batch at once.
 

Frankiesurf

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A full boil is when you achieve your desired quantity at the end of your boil. If you want a 5 gallon batch, you start with enough water to cover the boil off and end up with 5 gallons at end of boil.

Partial boil is doing say a 3 gallon boil and adding top off water to achieve your 5 gallons.
 

henrybeggs

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That's really bizarre. I was able to cool a five gallon batch with just one bag of ice in my sink. I poured some water in, added the ice, and then a bunch of salt. The salt may have been the ticket, adding that makes it really, really cold.
 
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dpalme

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I did the salt trick too, just seemed to take forever to get it down to temp.

My sink isn't big enough for the kettle I'm using (10 gallon), so I have to use another chamber to hold the kettle and the ice and salt.
 

henrybeggs

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Are you stirring both the ice and the wort? Most important is to stir the ice, it ensures that there isn't a pocket of warm water between the brew pot and the cold water. Also, depending on the type of container you are holding the ice in, there could be a large amount of heat leeching in which will melt the ice. Is the problem that the ice is melting or just that it is not geting very cold?
 

CircusHooker

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I boil water, fill up sanitized gallon jugs and freeze it. My boil ends up at 3 gallons, I cut open the ice jugs and pour the wort on top. I got to 64* in about 20 minutes last night.
 

solstice

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I've been using 20 pounds of ice in a large cooler and adding water til the kettle floats then agitate til cool. I can get it from boiling to pitching temp in about 30 minutes.
 

lewishowardm3

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I just done a partial boil of 3.5 gallons, it took me around 45 mins to cool my wort. I put it in my sink with ice and also the night before I sterilised 4 pots and filled with cooled boiled water and then froze them. I put them straight in my wort. Hopefully it will turn out ok.

I'm currently bidding on copper tubing so I can make a wort chiller. I didn't think I would need one but it's worth it IMO. less to think about on brew day.
 

sww35

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I just saw an article on yahoo last week that even suggested adding salt to your ice water will bring down the temp an an average of 7 degrees as compared to if you have not added salt. I would also suspect that making sure your ice water has a respectable amount of water and not just ice would help and allowing all of those to sit together for a good 20 to 30 mins. prior to setting the hot wort into them.
 

DrewBrew08

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I do the same as henrybeggs. Little water + about a bag and half ice and some ice cream salt. Does the trick for me!
 

Brewnoob1

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I'm going to do the +1 to the wort chiller. I built mine in about 20 minutes. I only used 10ft of copper and do full boils in a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer. Even with only 10ft of coils, I can bring my wort to pitching temps in under 20 minutes. 10 or so bags of ice will pay for you to make one.
 

Keithww

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What about using two 20 foot chillers, one as a chiller and the second as a prechiller. If you run the water though a prechiller you can run it a faster and still get the temperature drop that is required. I have no testing results only my personal observations, a longer chiller only kicks in as the temp of the work gets closer to the temp of the water in the chiller. If you have 60 to 80 degree water entering the chiller and the wort is 200 degrees the water chiller will rise over 100 degrees in the first 15 or 20 foot of chiller. Once the wort hits 130 to 120 the delta between the input water and the wort lowers to the point that the chiller output water might be a littler warmer given another 20 foot of tubing and/or a slower flow rate. This is where a prechiller rules, lower the chiller input water to the 40s and you still have a pretty good delta between the wort and the chiller water.

Also the difference between a 20 and 25 foot coil is only 25% increase or a 20% reduction depending on which way you do the math. Also the efficiency of the heat transfer between the wort and the chiller is a product of the speed of the flow and the delta between the temps. The difference between a chiller and prechiller or a 50 foot chiller would be much greater.

That said I use a 20 foot prechiller and a 50 foot stainless chiller, but then why build when you can over build.
 

Bradyfumbled

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I use a little submersible pond pump I had sitting around in my garage, stick it in a bucket of ice water, and hook it up to my wort chiller that I found on Amazon for about $40. From boiling to 65* in about 15-20 minutes. (I use my tap water to get it down to 100 or so, then switch over to the pump and recirculate the water into there).
 

wood0966

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dpalme said:
Then again, I suppose I could just break down and go spend the 60 on a wort chiller.

Can't find 25' so it'd have to be either two 20' or a 50' roll and 50 is almost double the price of 2 20' rolls.
Honesty I got lucky and got a 50 foot wort chiller for 50 bucks used, and it only takes a few minutes to chill my wort to temperature, compared to almost an hour like you said. I honestly think it is saving me money now, because I no longer need to buy ice.

Buying a wort chiller and making my own stir plate have honestly been the best purchases for my beer. I say cough up the money now and save tons of time.
 
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