Ice Ice Baby

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Ice Ice Baby

Postby yooper » Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:33 am

Just a thought. When cooling wort can you use ice or is there any reason that would be a bad thing to do? I usually place the hot wort into the fermenter and then add the remaining water. My thought would be to use about a gallon of that water in frozen form to bring the temp down quicker.
Any thoughts again would be appreciated.
Thanks again
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Contamination

Postby andytv » Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:52 am

If my memory serves me correctly, you cannot use ice because ice can harbor living contaminates. I have used ice in conjunctin with a immersion chiller and a recirculating pump (ice in the reservoir) with good results. Also, perhaps a few milk jugs full of ice (cleaned with sanitizer would work.

Again; I'm almost sure that adding ice to your wort would be a bad idea. It would be safe however if you boiled the ice for 10 minutes first.

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hot ice!

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Oct 09, 2002 5:33 am

Whenever I try to boil ice, it doesn't want to stay ice fro some reason. Now, if you boil the water you plan on making the ice with, you'll be in buisness :-)

The surface-sanitized milkjug/2-liter soda bottle approach is the one I used to cool wort for just about my entire career as an extract brewer. I didn't move to an immersion chiller until I found myself with the need to rapidly bring 6+ gallons of wort to pitching temperature. I still use a sanitized 2-liter ice bottle to bring my hot liquor in the mash tun down to strike temp when I'm too impatient to let the temp fall on its own.

Nunc bibendum est
(now it's time to drink)
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Any better or any worse

Postby yooper » Wed Oct 09, 2002 5:45 am

Would the contamination of ice be of a greater concern than the water source you are using? Or is it because it may be uncovered during the freezing? And if that is the case, if you boiled the water prior to freezing and froze it in a clean closed container such as a gallon jug.
Again, just take alot of extra care. Do you think that would be O.K.?
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My assumptions

Postby andytv » Wed Oct 09, 2002 2:42 pm

I assume that the danger comes from airborne crappies in your freezer. It makes sense that if the water is clean, and it is frozen in a clean conatiner, then you would be OK. But a gallon conatiner with a wide open lid would be dificult to find (try to convince your wife/girlfriend/roomate that you need the ice tea pitcher to freeze some water). Why not use sanitized gallon ziplock bags??

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My take

Postby Monkey Man » Wed Oct 09, 2002 3:51 pm

This is something I have pondered recently myself. Water freezes at 32 degrees F. Which means that unless it has a significant amount of impurities, it won't get any colder than 32 degrees F, nor would you be using it to brew if it were. Bottled water in your fridge for a couple of days will have the same temp as your fridge, probably around 40 degrees. That leaves a temperature difference of about 8 degrees. Now, would it really make a big difference if you combine 32 or 40 degree water with 210 degree wort? I would speculate that not enough difference to risk spoiling the wort. So, I would recommend buying or packaging whatever kind of water you are going to use and put it in your fridge a few days ahead of time. It probably won't make that much difference if it is ice or really cold water. Either way supplement it with an ice bath.

On second thought..., but then again if the water were in ice form it would absorb heat as it changes stage form solid to liquid. So, ice would cool the wort more than ice water (water at 32 degrees in liquid form) So my hypothesis in the previous paragraph is already falling apart. Ice would cool the wort faster. So either boil ice and freeze it, as long as the container has been sanitized and as long as your freezer is void of rotting animal carcasses you should be safe. The freezing temps don't kill all bacteria, just slow them down and anger them a bit. I don't think their would be any harm in freezing water in a clean freezer. I say go for it!
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argh, physics!

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Oct 09, 2002 7:35 pm

You are right - that phase change from solid to liquid is way endergonic (50-cent word of the day?), and it will take a lot of heat out of your wort compared to mere near-freesing ice water.

As far as the contamination issue, I think it's a non-issue in this case. If you boil the water, you kill everything. If you then cool to freezing temps fairly rapidly you quickly run the entire gamut of the extreme thermophile microbes that exist on this planet. A majority of non cyst or spore state microbes will be killed when they freze solid due to cell wall rupture - assuming they even had time to infiltrate your pre-boiled water. Soon, the ice is going to go back into 200F water and that will severely shock if not kill anything that happened to be there. To cap it off, whatever microbes got it to your water would not have any opportunity to multiply, since pure water is a completely non-nutritive medium. This is in stark contrast to your highly nutritive wort. So, WORST case scenario, you end up introducing perhaps 10s or maybe 100s of thermally-shocked and therefore weak accidental microbes into wort along with the million+ healthy, active yeast cells from your active starter culture. Who do you think is going to take hold of the wort?

RDWHAHB!
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Just Toss it in

Postby dartedplus » Thu Oct 10, 2002 6:23 am

Just toss the ice in, I think that as long as you dont have all kinds of nasties in your freezer, there is no way that the few microbes that are in the water will stand any chance against the millions of yeast cells. It cant be any worse than the open container fermentation that some people here say they do.
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Aww You Guys

Postby yooper » Thu Oct 10, 2002 7:20 am

You guys are great. You all have said everything I was concerned about but thought would be O.K. if I just take precautions. So to make a long story short you made me feel better about what I'm gonna try anyway.
Thanks again everyone.
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This post gave me a great idea.

Postby HardcoreLegend » Thu Oct 10, 2002 10:22 pm

What about this? Fill a couple of small plastic bottles full of water, then freeze them. I'm not sure you could boil them unless they were glass, but I'm sure you could easily sanitize them before immersing them into the hot wort. I am an extract brewer with a small boiling kettle that usually boils about 3 gallons. I am going to remove the kettle from the stove and put it in the traditional ice bath, but I am going to immerse acouple of bottles of ice to see if that helps speed up the wort cooling. Maybe use this idea to come up with your own system. If the ice is in the bottles, it can't contaminate the beer. And the bottles would be reusable, without wasting the water like a wort chiller does. Think about it, and good luck.
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