question about cooling wort with Ice

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question about cooling wort with Ice

Postby moondog » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:36 am

Like I said in a previous post I am new at this and this was my first attempt at home to brew.

I dont have a wort chiller (yet) so I planned my brew day, brewing 3 gallons of water with 2 gallons of water previously boiled and chilled to add to cool.
I cooled my water so well it was ice. I know it was 2 gallons though. I just read on the northern brewers page not to add ice directly to the wort.

Is there a reason for that?

The 2 gallons of ice melted and brought my wort from 195 deg to 100 Deg and volume up to 5 gallons. I used an ice bath and gentle stirring to knock it down the last 20 degrees. just an FYI I used either beertools or promash to calculate the concentrated wort OG and hit all Gravity measurements on the money.

Will ice really affect the wort in a negative way? now I am paranoid about it.

Thanks for the advice
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Postby jawbox » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:48 am

ice can harbor lots of bacteria so you don't want to add it directly to your wort.
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iceman

Postby moondog » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:53 am

Not disagreeing with you BUT How can ice harbor bacteria if it was from the boiled bacteria free water? If the water was bacteria free in a liquid state then I dont think any thing would change just from changing to a solid one.

However, Using unknown ice I would agree with you.

Thanks for the input, I think maybe that is what they were talking about in the instructions.
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Sanitized ice is okay; the concentrated boil is a problem

Postby billvelek » Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:27 pm

In my early days of brewing, I used to do as you've described, and I never had any infections; just be sure that you sanitize the containers which make the ice. As you've said, if the boiled water is bacteria free, and it's put into sanitized containers, the phase change doesn't make it unsuitable for use. While a very small amount of air _might_ be sucked into the container as a vacuum builds from cooling the water before it expands again while freezing, it should be negligible and far less than the common exposure from making a yeast starter without an air filter -- which probably the majority of brewers do without problems.

There is, however, a negative aspect to using ice: it requires a concentrated boil of the wort. As you noted, you boiled only three gallons for a five gallon batch. Unless you were using a kit which contained pre-hopped extract, you had to hop your beer during the boil, and because you did a concentrated boil, the hop utilization would be affected by it. This doesn't mean that your beer won't be good; it just means that, at a point, increased gravity causes less bittering units to be extracted from the hops. By using only 3 gallons for an intended 5 gallon batch, your gravity was 67% higher during the boil. That means that to end with 5 gallons at 1.050, your 3 gallons needed to be 1.083; I just used BTP to compare bittering using one ounce of Chinook (13.0%AA) boiled for an hour using Tinseth Gravity Correction, and at 1.050 gravity, the wort extracted 50.6 IBUs, but at a gravity of 1.083 it extracted only 39.6 IBUs -- a loss of more than 20% bitterness. Note that this is not 'exact' but only an estimate because it going to be affected by the gravity thoughout the boil which will vary slightly depending upon your boiloff rate which affects your starting volume.

Cheers.

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ice

Postby moondog » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:09 pm

Bill thanks for that, I never thought to take the hops utilization into account. I will be mindful of that in the future.

Until I get a wort chiller, I will be using the concentrated boil method. How do I figure the IBU loss rate so I can compensate for it. I own both BTP and Promash if I can use those to help.

thanks


......nevermind I re-read your post and you already explain to me how to do it.
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How to compensate for concentrated boils

Postby billvelek » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:15 pm

Apparently you figured it out from re-reading my post. I just arbitrarily selected Tinseth because it seems like I've heard it mentioned more than the others, but I don't really know that much about them to suggest which particular formula is most appropriate; I don't know if it's strictly a matter of opinion, or if one formula is actually better for high gravity vs. low gravity beers, or high IBU vs. low IBU styles, etc.

One other thing I will mention about concentrated boils; if you move up to all-grain brewing, limiting your kettle volume in order to allow room for ice later is probably going to drastically reduce your efficiency (the amount of sugar you extract from your mash) because you aren't going to be able to sparge enough. Of course, by the time you get to all grain, you ought to have some sort of a chiller.

EDIT: I got to thinking about this and thought that I'd mention that if you somehow get into all grain and still need to do concentrated boils, you could probably use the partigyle technique to improve your efficiency, and then blend the runnings into two kettles for a double batch. You ought to be able to achieve both that way -- good efficiency and still be able to do concentrated boils.

By the way, unless the plastic would melt, I don't see why a person couldn't use freezer packs to chill without the downside of diluting their wort. I've never tried it nor heard of it before, but it might work. If I were to do it, I'd soak the freezer pack in a sanitizer long enough to be effective but weak enough that residue will not hurt the yeast or beer flavor (no bleach), and then I'd put it inside of a zip-lock bag -- similarly sanitized on the inside -- and freeze it like that. Then you'd just take it out of the zip-lock bag and it should be sanitized enough to slip into your hot wort. The added advantage is that I _think_ that they also have a higher heat-density than water, but you might want to confirm that first. Also, I'd try putting one in some boiling water first to see if it will melt, and then I'd taste and smell the water to see if I could detect any plastic flavor or odor.

Cheers.

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concentrated boil

Postby moondog » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:46 am

I only did the concentrated boil because I was worried I wouldnt be able to cool it down quickly. It is winter here in Maryland but brew day was like 55 Degrees. I will be purchasing a wort chiller soon, but with the $400-$500 Ive already spent in the last few weeks. I thought I would improvise, the first batch and wait another payday or 2 before making that purchase.

Thanks for the info and ideas. I will let you know how the beer turns out.

BTW. I have read hundreds of posts in these forums and tons of people say they will report back how the beer was but I never see any followups......maybe I missed them. I will however report back.

Thanks Bill
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Postby jawbox » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:56 am

you could always make your own chiller.
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Immersion chillers are easy and don't cost much

Postby billvelek » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:54 pm

Immersion chillers are easy and don't cost much. All I did was buy a COIL of copper tubing and easily pulled it into a spiral and then used one of those tools that looks like a spring or very skinny slinky to bend the bottom end back up to the top, and then bend both ends out and downward so that they hang over the edge of my kettle. If you don't use the tool, which costs only a couple of bucks, you WILL kink your tubing, unless you go to the trouble of filling it with sand first. All I do is set it in the kettle and slip a length of plastic hose on each end -- one goes into the sink and the other goes to my bottling bucket faucet. I sit the bottling bucket on a milk crate to elevate it above the kettle, fill it with ice and water, and it works like a charm. Other methods, such as counterflow and plate chillers are faster, but I've never had any problems with DMS, and I'm happy. When I eventually move to a larger system with a converted keg, I'm probably move to a counterflow system at that time.

Cheers.

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Postby jawbox » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:10 pm

check out jamil's chiller set up, you might not need that counterflow chiller.
http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
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Wort Cooler

Postby bfabre » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:20 am

I purchased one made from 3/8" tubing at a local brew store for $35.00. I also made one from 1/4" tubing I had around for the heck of it. With the parts purchased I only had $10.00 into it. They both work really well. The copper you will need is called convoluted copper it is relativly soft and can be found at your loacal home improvement store along with the fittings and stainless clamps.
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Re: Wort Cooler

Postby billvelek » Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:46 am

bfabre wrote:snip ... The copper you will need is called convoluted copper it is relativly soft and can be found at your loacal home improvement store along with the fittings and stainless clamps.

Convoluted copper will work better than regular coiled copper because of the turbulence that it causes, but you don't "need" that type; it's probably nice to have ... if you can find it ... but 'regular' copper tubing works just fine. As for finding it, I can't remember ever seeing it at Lowe's or other home improvement stores; this fellow -- http://www.thegatesofdawn.ca/wordpress/homebrewing/wort_chiller -- couldn't find any so he made a simulation by soldering copper wire in a spiral along regular copper tubing. Actually, I'd like to know of a common source, if anyone knows of one. While Lowe's, etc., always have plenty of straight copper pipe as well as coiled copper tubing, I think, IIRC, that "convoluted" copper is used in certain types of air conditioning/refrigeration applications to carry refrigerant and isn't used commonly enough for regular stores to carry it. The cross-section is not round like regular pipe or tubing; it has a bulge that spirals along its length, for lack of a better way to describe it. This site -- http://www.packless.com/desuper/desuper.html -- has a picture along with a cut-away view. While the product is actually for refrigeration, it is actually a ready made counterflow chiller, although I'm not sure it is long enough. I'd also expect convoluted tubing to be a lot more costly than regular, and it's probably a real !@#$ to bend, even with one of those 'spring' pipe benders, because of its odd shape.

As for clamps or fasteners, they're essential if you plan to force water through the coil under pressure, but completely unnecessary if you are going to only use gravity flow from a bucket the way I do it. I just slide the plastic hoses on the end of the copper and I don't think I've ever even noticed them drip.

Cheers.

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Something easy and less ewxpensive

Postby hansolo » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:57 pm

When my friend and I brew an extract with a 2-3 gallon boil, we put ice in the sink and add enough water to float the ice. Then we put the brew pot with wort into the ice bath stirring occasionally. It usually only takes about 20 minutes to get it down to room temperature. Then we add room temperature filtered water to bring it up to 5 gallons. nothing glamorous but it works.
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