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Using ice to cool wort

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Kephren

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I'm still fairly new to brewing. I've made about 10 batches, mostly extract. Just recently, I saw an episode of "Good Eats" on the food network suggesting using a 7 pound bag of ice to cool the wort. This adds volume and cools wort quicker. Not to mention, I don't have to pull out the copper wort chiller, clean it, etc.
I figure it has to be at least as sanitary as tap, which I have used with no problems, so I tried it.
I brewed up a partial mash oktoberfest - about 3.5 gallons of wort. I dumped a bag of ice into my bottling bucket, then the wort on top of that, followed by enough bottled water to make 5 gallons. I went from boiling to 75F in about 3 minutes - talk about a cold break! Then I opened the spigot and let it flow into my glass carboy, thus aerating the wort. Pitched a liquid San Francisco Lager yeast and got a nice fast start (about 6 hours or so).
Has anyone else tried this method? I'll let you know how it turns out. It's been 4 days in the primary now, then to the secondary next week. Then the hard part - a month in the beer fridge for lagering. Should be a nice crisp summer brew.

P.S. My first post! Lots of good info gathered just lurking for the past week :)
 

Janx

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Hey welcome to the forum! :D Hope you stick around

Using ice has been discussed once in this thread:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=514

with followup in this thread:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=572

Seems like a good idea if conditions dictate that you do a partial boil. It really is better to boil all of the wort volume if possible, so I'd think about a bigger kettle. You get better hop utilization and many other flavor benefits by subjecting all of the wort to a good rolling boil.

But if you can't, then ice seems a good idea for chilling and bringing up the volume at once. Cheers! :D
 

ryser2k

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I always just did the ice water bath in the sink, but I saw that Good Eats show also and was intrigued. I haven't tried it yet, but if I get a larger pot maybe I'll give it a shot... I'm all about making the process as easy as possible.
 

homebrewer_99

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I usually boil 1-2 gals.

I put the remaining water (in 1 gal containers) in the freezer 3-4 hours prior to boiling. Then top off with this water.

I get under 70 F as soon as it's all in there. Once I went down to 54 F.
 

AlaskaAl(e)

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I don't know if there is a better way for my situation or if I'm just lazy to come up with something better, but I use a 6Gal pot and boil the whole mess and cool it in the bathtub with ice and water. Takes awhile but it's not like I have to babysit it, just check the temp every 30 min or so. Works for me. Forgot to mention that I transfer it to a glass carboy first to minimize contamination risk. I do my primary in a 6G carboy and secondary in a 5G carboy.
 

SwAMi75

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My only concern would be the bag....no telling who has had their mits on the thing. Just hit it with some sanitizer first, and I think it works great.

Welcome to the forum!

Sam
 
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