Wort cooling with ice

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I am new to home brewing, or I will be after Christmas ;-). The thought
of using a wort cooler does not appeal to me mostly because I am cheap
and lazy. So, I thought, why not just fill the fermenter with ice and
just port the wort over the ice? After googling and reading what John
Palmer said about the subject I have some questions (not all, or even
any of them practical):

1. OK, the ice in my freezer has stray organisms that can ruin the beer.
Can you use a sanitizer to pour over the ice and get rid of the
bacteria? Aren't there sanitizers you don't have to rinse off? I suppose
the presence of sanitizer in the fermenter when you try to pitch the
yeast would not be a terribly good idea.

2. John says boil some water and freeze it in Tupperware to avoid the
organism problem. What about just sanitizing the water instead and then
freezing it. Does the sanitizer still remain active after freezing? If
this crackpot scheme would work, what would be a good container to
create the ice in? Something the size of frozen juice containers would
be just about ideal.

I guess the answers to the above depend on the sanitizer chemical. If,
for example, the sanitizer produces ozone to do its job, does the ozone
dissipate quickly? Bleach is not good because the NaOCl remains in
solution and is harmful to yeast and people. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,


Re: Wort cooling with ice
Frank wrote:
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Sanitizers require contact time that would melt your ice.  Other than
bleach (which I don't use), the most commaon sanitizers are Iodophor
(iodine based) and StarSan (acid based).

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If your water is good, there's no need to preboil it to dsanitize it,
although that's the safest thing to do.  You can sanitize a plastic
container internally, fill it with water, freeze it, then cut awya the
container to use the ice.  A PITA, IMHO.

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Well, you could just do it the easy way and set the pot in a sink full
of ice water...I did it that way for years before I goa a chiller.


Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_dot_g_dot_conn_at_ci_dot_eugene_dot_or_dot_us

Re: Wort cooling with ice
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Yes, you are supposed to immerse stuff in the sanitizer for a little
while. Not practical with ice cubes. I kind of figured this one was off
the wall.

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Only if you use a container that has an opening smaller than the rest of
the container would you have to cut it away. That was never my intent, I
like reuse.

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I don't think my wife would let me get away with this. I am too clumsy
and would spill stuff all over the kitchen.

Thanks for the reply,


Re: Wort cooling with ice
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 11:34:11 -0800, Denny Conn wrote:
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It's a lot easier to use crushed ice than 2L chunks.  Here's our current
ice procedure.

At least a day before brewday, fill some sanitized 2L bottles about 2/3
with clean water.  We use charcoal filtered tap water and seltzer
bottles rinsed with a little peroxide.

Put them in the freezer until they're almost frozen solid (overnight for
us).  There should still be some water in the ice's core.  The ice will
have expanded to nearly fill the bottle.  Crack them open to let out the
extra pressure.

Seriously whack the bottles all around with something blunt and heavy.
I use the bottom of a large ceramic mortar.  Instant sanitary crushed

Put the bottles back in the freezer if you're not ready to use the ice.
Whack them again in an hour to loosen the ice.  I'm not sure if this is
necessary, but it's still new enough to be fun.

When ready to use, whack them again to loosen up the crushed ice.  Cut
around the tops where they start to taper, and pour.  Much easier than
cutting away the container, and there's no huge chunk of ice to manage
without touching or splashing.

4 bottles seems to be more than enough for a 2 gal.  boil.

  16:58 - 212F - Turn off heat; add finishing hops.
  17:09 -   ?  - Finish adding 3 bottles crushed ice to brewpot.
  17:14 -  84F - Begin racking to primary.
  17:37 - <65F - Finish racking wort through 4th bottle's ice.
  17:47 -  65F - Topped off to 5 1/2 gal. with filtered tap water.

Rocco Caputo - rcaputo@pobox.com - http://poe.perl.org/
Re: Wort cooling with ice
Rocco Caputo wrote:

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This is exactly the kind of info I was hoping to find. I really
appreciate the temperature cooling information. Thank you for your help.


Re: Wort cooling with ice
Frank wrote:
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This has been such an interesting thread that I have to add my two cents.

I have been home brewing for 7 years and once in a great while I get
the urge to use some bottled water, BUT, most of the time I just go to
my local 7-11, where they make and bag their own ice, and I have NEVER
had a bad, i.e., a spoiled batch of beer.  I keep everything else pretty
clean, using iodine solution and good techniques, but I have never had
a problem with the local cheap easily available ice.

Get Thunderbird <http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/>

Re: Wort cooling with ice
On Fri, 19 Dec 2003, Frank wrote:
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    Boil the water and let it cool till the pot is cool to the touch.
Add to new ziplock bags, seal and freeze.  The bags are sanitary and
shouldn't introduce any bacteria into the nearly sterile water.  You can
dump the ice chuncks in the beer to cool it.
Warren Place

Re: Wort cooling with ice
Warren Place wrote:

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Thanks for the idea. I took it a step further and looked online for
those Ziploc reusable containers. They have the added benefit of being
tapered with the wide end at the top so forcing the ice out *should* be
easy. It's the boiling water part that seems tedious. I guess at some
point it is not worth cutting corners. What about bottled water, like
Crystal Geyser? I can get a whole flat of them for $3 at Costco.


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