Wort Cooling - Inspired Genius or Fools Choice

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DevizesKayak

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As a humble extract brewer, I don't have a wort chiller or similar device. In order to speed the process of chilling my wort I have been pouring it back and forth between my primary fermenter bucket and my mash kettle. Between pours I chill the kettle in ice water before pouring the brew back into it and vice versa. This effectively chills the wort from boiling temperatures to 64 degrees in about 10 minutes.
My question for you all is as follows:
Am I a fool for aerating the wort like this while it is still hot? Or is this simply an inspired way to quickly chill and super-aerate hot wort? I still haven't tried the beer that I brewed with this experimental method but as soon as I do I will let you know if it was a success or otherwise. Any opinions or ideas will be much appreciated!
 

Donasay

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If you get a wet carboard flavor once the beer sits for a while that is what is known as hot side airation. it usually takes place when the beer is airated between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

I wouldn't airate like that myself, but most people never notice flaws in beer so you might not even care.
 
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DevizesKayak

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Thanks Donasay. Not being the hugest fan of cardboard in my beer I'll stick to more traditional cooling methods in the future, cheers for the advice.
 

DuPuma

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Here's a wild thought -- What about freezing some quart or gallon ziplock bags with water, sanitizing them well, then putting them in the wort to cool it? Not sure if anyone has tried this, but if I didn't have a chiller, I'd probably give it a shot once or twice.
 

Arneba28

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that does work. I have frozen regular pop bottles then sanitized them and dropped them in the wort. worked quite well
 

solidghost

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then why not just pour very cold boiled water into the wort itself?
 

micsager

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That's what I do. 2.5 gallons for the boil, and 2.5 very cold (almost frozen) Doesn't quite get the wort cold enough though. I just put the primary fermenter in an ice filled sink. 10 minutes to 75 degrees. I don't think a wort chiller can beat that.
 

quickerNu

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Don't know if you have an apartment or a yard, but I have a little kiddie pool I fill with water (3.5' x 10" or so) and set my kettle in there. works very well in the wintertime, especially if you fill the pool the night before, and brew in the morning. I set the boil pot in the center of the pool and give the wort a good stir. Stir the pool around a bit, too. That is a lot of cold water I didn't use electricity to cool. I'll buy a wort chiller when it gets warm outside.
 

Jaeger48

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I live in an apartment and love the ice in sink technique. I took my wort from 170 to 68 in less than 20 minutes. I pitched my yeast and have bubbles less than 24 hours later. I won't be changing methods for as long as my living conditions stay the same.
 

MikeFlynn74

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I got a wort chiller for the simple fact that 10 gal brews will take far too long. Plus my ground water temp is about 40. So hookup to a hose 10 gal should take about 10 min to cool
 

logank

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I put some ice in a funnel under my strainer and pour hot wort through it into my primary, which already has a couple of gallons of ice-cold water in it. By the time it's all transferred, it's plenty cool enough to pitch. You have to refresh the ice once in a while, but I haven't had any problems with this method.
 

Revvy

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Jaeger48 said:
I live in an apartment and love the ice in sink technique. I took my wort from 170 to 68 in less than 20 minutes. I pitched my yeast and have bubbles less than 24 hours later. I won't be changing methods for as long as my living conditions stay the same.
Add some salt to the Icewater bath, it will give you a colder bath then just ice and water...(Old beer wine quick chilling trick).
 

Redweasel

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+1 on the salt/ice water bath. I use this technique at work to chill bottles of wine. The salt lowers the freezing point of water lowering the temp signifigantly.
(Learned this from Mythbusters when they were trying to cool beer quickly)
 

Revvy

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Redweasel said:
+1 on the salt/ice water bath. I use this technique at work to chill bottles of wine. The salt lowers the freezing point of water lowering the temp signifigantly.
(Learned this from Mythbusters when they were trying to cool beer quickly)
I remember that episode. They rock!
 

anderj

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pony up the thirty bucks and make a wort chiller, takes about ten min
 

DuPuma

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anderj said:
pony up the thirty bucks and make a wort chiller, takes about ten min
With copper prices so high, it's more like $40-45. At that price, might as well just buy a pre-made one (assuming it would work just as well as a homemade one). Of course, if you can get cheap copper, that would lower the cost significantly.
 
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+1 on the "almost frozen" bottled water. I place 2 1-gallon bottles of spring water in freezer when I start my brew, and when I am ready to transfer wort into fermenter, I sit my brew kettle in a sink of ice water for the time that it takes me to pour the "almost frozen" bottled water into the fermenter and then strain my wort into the fermenter. That gets me to about 72-75 degrees. Then I add enough water to hit my OG target and pitch my yeast!

Oh, the things we learn from reading all of our great friend's posts on homebrewtalk!!!
 

Jaeger48

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Redweasel said:
+1 on the salt/ice water bath. I use this technique at work to chill bottles of wine. The salt lowers the freezing point of water lowering the temp signifigantly.
(Learned this from Mythbusters when they were trying to cool beer quickly)
DOH! should have remembered that from my parent's icecream maker.
 

rwdr4

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I just made an American Wheat Beer today and to chill the wort I put two one gallon cleaned, sanitized, and now frozen milk jugs in the wort. Cooled the wort from boiling to 75 degrees in about three minutes. Seems like it work good for me. Anyone else do something like this???
 

rwdr4

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After the freeze I cut the bottle off the frozen water and then added it to the wort. Could this cause any issues??? Let me know. I am all about learning something so I dont scew up something. I got the idea from a walk around the Sam Adams Brewery in Mass.
 

quickerNu

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Naah, it'll get the job done for now. I don't think you will get as much cold break to precipitate out, but it will work.
I started out doing it the same way. Then I racked all of the liquid to the primary. Now I cool the whole boil pot and whirlpool. I leave a lot more material (cold break, hops) behind. My beers have gotten much better just by this.
 

wedge421

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Dude make a wort chiller out of some Home Depot coppet and plumbing equip. It cools a 5 gallon setup in like 15 mins. Well worth it.
 

Jaeger48

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quickerNu said:
Naah, it'll get the job done for now. I don't think you will get as much cold break to precipitate out, but it will work.
I started out doing it the same way. Then I racked all of the liquid to the primary. Now I cool the whole boil pot and whirlpool. I leave a lot more material (cold break, hops) behind. My beers have gotten much better just by this.
I've been curious about the cold break. when I boil my extract I pour straight from the brew pot into my carboy (with strainer to get loose hops) but I notice that the cold break precipitates out before my fermentation kicks on. How much off flavor can that contribute?
 

Yooper

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Jaeger48 said:
I've been curious about the cold break. when I boil my extract I pour straight from the brew pot into my carboy (with strainer to get loose hops) but I notice that the cold break precipitates out before my fermentation kicks on. How much off flavor can that contribute?
You WANT the cold break, because that's the "stuff" that can make your beer cloudy. It'll just settle out to the bottom with the rest of the trub, so you can rack off of it when you transfer. I've heard that the break material can act as nutrients for the yeast, too. I don't know enough chemistry to know if that's true, but I know you won't harm it!
 

quickerNu

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The beer goddess Yooper steps in! How do you tell between cold break, hot break, and all the other post-boil junk? I started whirlpooling and leaving everything that wasn't purty wort behind when I rack from the boil pot to the primary. Are you suggesting there is something there we need to identify and suck into the primary, too?
 

Yooper

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No, I'm not suggesting that you need to sort your junk.
(Well, that didn't come out right- but you know what I mean!!!)

My point is simply that anything left in the kettle that makes it into the fermenter (hot break, cold break, hop sludge, other miscellaneous floaties) will not harm the fermentation at all and some say it might even offer a benefit. I usually don't really bother whirlpooling much, just siphon the clear stuff, and then pour the rest through a sanitized strainer. Like you said, it ain't purty stuff! All that ugly stuff will just settle out in the fermenter, though, so even if you don't strain it out, it'll fall out eventually. To be honest, though, the only reason I do it this way is because I'm not really strong enough to easily pour 5.25 gallons of wort into a carboy.

PS- I like "Beer Goddess" as a title. You may bow if you want! :D
 

San_Diego_Matt

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a pint's a pound the world around.

If you aren't doing full 5 gallon boils, couldnt you do the math and add several bags of ice to the wort to cool it down and get it up to 5 gallons?
 

Hagen

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Well, I just spent around $70 at home depot for my wort chiller.
The difference is I got 50ft of 3/8"ID copper and made a double coil chiller. The first coil goes in an ice water bath in the sink, the second in the brew kettle. I'll post up times to cool a full batch after brewday this Saturday!

:mug: +:mug: +:mug: =:tank:
 

BobBailey

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I usually do a 2 gal. boil for a 5 or 6 gal. batch. I put the kettle in the kitchen sink filled with cold water (65F) and stir to form a whirlpool every 3 minutes, changing the water after 10 minutes. The Wort is down to about 80F. in less than 20 minutes .
I used a 7# bag of ice in the sink once and it only decreased the time by a couple of minutes.
If you're doing a bigger boil for more hops utilization, reduce the size of the boil and add most of your extracts at the end of the boil.
 

Bernie Brewer

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rwdr4 said:
After the freeze I cut the bottle off the frozen water and then added it to the wort. Could this cause any issues??? Let me know. I am all about learning something so I dont scew up something. I got the idea from a walk around the Sam Adams Brewery in Mass.

Last night for sh!ts and grins I watched Jim Koch's (founder of Sam Adam's) tutorial on how to homebrew. That is exactly how he chilled his wort. He cut the plastic water bottles off of two frozen gallons and dumped his hot wort on top of that.

I used to just take cold water straight out of the tap. You're going to top it off anyway, right?
 

HP_Lovecraft

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I used Jim Koch's method with my last batch, instead of using my chiller.

But I used a much larger laddle then he did in the video. Instantly chilled the wort, without aeration. I actually kinda liked the method, even though every here made fun of Jim when they saw the video.

Nick
 
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