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Frozen water bottles instead of wort chiller?

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kindogg

Post Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:09 pm

Frozen water bottles instead of wort chiller?

Has anyone ever tried this? I assume it would work well if you scrubbed off the labels and sanitized the bottles. I would think that 4-6 frozen water bottles would probably cool 5 gallons pretty quick (at least as quick as a water bath or maybe with a water bath to speed the process).
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treeboy

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Post Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:26 pm

I have never tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, particularly for partial boils. Just make sure the outside was very clean and sanitized.
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twocylndr

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Post Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:37 pm

This was discussed some time ago. Others have said they used ice in bottles. One said they froze water in zip lock baggies, peeled the baggie away and put the cubes in the wort.
"The beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad;
So, I had another for dessert."
Johnny Cash
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Pseudolus

Post Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:16 pm

I use water bottles WITH a wort chiller. I stir the wort with them to keep it moving around past the coils, plus providing some additional cooling area. I scrub the bottles well when they come out of the freezer and also let them soak in starsan for a few minutes. They speed up my cooling substantially and I haven't had any infection problems yet. (Knock on bucket.)
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johnplctech

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Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:45 am

Water bath chilling can be very fast if you follow the directions on this page.

John
Tun Scraper
Duck Butt Brewing
My Home Pages
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BrewerJeff

Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:02 am

The general concern is those bottles can have very smalls scratches that are a great place for bacteria to hide out. Even if sanitize, it's still difficult to ensure the solution actually gets inside of the those little cracks and the bacteria can survive.

With a water bath, stirring is your best friend. Both the wort inside the kettle and the water surrounding the pot. Similar to the method John mentions about removing the pot and adding new water to the sink, the rubber stopper for our sink has a slow leak in it, so the water naturally drains. Just keep piling the ice or snow into the sink and stir. If you can find a cheapo pond pomp, this alleviates the stirring.

If you are trying to cool a full 5 gallon, I'd really suggest some type of chiller (immersion, cfc, plate). that will really speed up the process.
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HD4Mark

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Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:13 am

I used frozen bottles of water with an immersion chiller for years. Just dunked them in no-rinse sanitizer for a minute before carefully placing them in the hot wort. Make sure your bottles are not scratched up and get sanitizer under the cap by placing them upside down in it. Them swap them out for new ones when they become thawed.

What ever you do don't use ice cubes from a tray in your freezer. The inside of fridges/freezers is not a sterile environment by any means.

Now I use a counter flow. One of my best home brew investments.
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Ernest Hemingway
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oshinnluv

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Post Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:47 am

I used frozen (or nearly frozen) water bottles in a different way. When brewing extract, I would always fill up three gallons of water and place them in the freezer. By the time I had finished the boil and was ready to top off the carboy, the three gallons of almost frozen water would usually bring the temp down close to where I needed it. I'd place the carboy in an ice bath to drop it down lower if needed. I'm sure a lot of other people do the same thing. I tried an immersion wort chiller, but the water bottle method seemed to work better.

Now, with all grain, I use a Chillzilla, and I could never go back.
"Happiness is how, not what: a talent, not an object." --Herman Hesse

http://www.deeperrootsbrewing.blogspot.com
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Pseudolus

Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:26 pm

BrewerJeff wrote:The general concern is those bottles can have very smalls scratches that are a great place for bacteria to hide out. Even if sanitize, it's still difficult to ensure the solution actually gets inside of the those little cracks and the bacteria can survive.
I've heard stuff like that, but it doesn't make all that much sense to me. Bacteria, while small, are still a helluva lot larger than sanitizer molecules. So I would think that anywhere bacteria could get to, sanitizer could easily follow. Anyway, the bottles work for me. If I ever start to have sanitation issues I'll revisit my methods.
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ApexBrewing

Post Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:00 pm

I did two extract brews with the ice bath method. I then decided since I was doing a partial boil and adding water at the end anyway I could add ice just as well. The day before the brew I filtered water into two large pots and got it to a rolling boil. I then sunk a clean ziplock plastic container and lid into the water for several minutes. I pulled the container out of the water keeping the boiling water in it . Sat the container on the counter to cool, put on the lid and put it in the freezer. I did that for five containers so that gave me 5 blocks of nice clean ice. After placing the boil kettle in the ice bath I drop in one or two ice blocks and stir. When they melt I add another block and repeat until I hit target temp or 5 gallons. So far so good.

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