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Adding Ice to wort to cool it

My last couple of batches I just bought a big bag of ice and cooled it in the sink. The ice I get is made from filtered water (where I get my brewing water). Could I just dump the filtered water ice into the hot wort to facilitate cooling it down quickly. I realize that I would have to monitor the ice as to not put too much in and go over 5 gallons of product.

I’m saving my pennies for an honest-to-god chiller but for now… Thoughts?



Ice machines can and do harbor wild yeast and bacteria. Not a great idea.


I wouldn’t trust that all of the equipment used to make the ice and the freezer the ice is stored in to be sanitary.

I cool wort in the kitchen sink. I start with just cold water. When the water warms in a few minutes refill the sink with more cold water. When this warms fill the sink with ice and cold water for the final chill. I’ll gently stir the wort to speed cooling when just using the cold water. Wort is usually around 58°F when I top off the fermentor. I’m using our well water which is about 49°F. I don’t think everyone has source water that is as cold though.


Fair enough…I didn’t think of that!

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Bagged ice from the store is considered food so it should be sanitary. You have to trust the bag has no holes in it though.

You can freeze your own ice, even boiling it first if you are worried. I used to freeze plastic soda bottles of water then dunk them in no rinse sanitizer before dunking them in the wort. That worked but nothing works like a wort chiller. Might be a good next brew toy.

One fella I know does that too… He’s not had a bad brew… yet… Sneezles61

Make your own ice blocks with pre boiled water in sanitized jug then cut open it and use that if you want to add ice into your wort to cool.



I have to type more so I can post this!

Not a bad idea. How about using gallon zip lock bags. No rigid bottom to freeze bulge and crack if they are not over filled. Would just need a bucket of sanitizer to dunk them in before cutting open.

I was using ice cream buckets to make ice blocks for chilling blanched green beans. Lost three of them because the bottom bulged and cracked. I thought starting with a one-quarter fill of water would prevent this.

I usually brew all-grain, but I do get the occasional 5-gallon extract kit. When I do extract kits, I put the ice in the wort, it works fine.

So it’s true, commercial ice machines can harbor some gross stuff. But seriously, the makers know people put that ice in their kid’s sodas at parties. So they don’t want to risk getting their asses sued off by being too gunky. Here’s an experiment, go grab a Q-tip from the bathroom, and swab under your water faucet. It’s probably grosser than the commercial ice maker. And you top-off your beer with that water!?

Any nasties on the ice or in the tap water will be quickly out-competed by your yeast.

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