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Cooling 3 gallon wort to 80 degrees question (5 gallon brew)

I’m making 3 gallons of wort, adding it to my fermentor and topping off with cold water to make my 5 gallons.

The cold water being added is about 55 degrees. If I cool the 3 gallons of wort to 90 degrees, I should reach 80 degrees or less almost instantly by mixing it with the new water in the fermentor.

Is there any bad side to this?

The alternative is waiting a lot longer to cool to 80 degrees because I still haven’t purchased a wort chiller. (I’ll get there eventually)

But, for now, I don’t see a downside to this, except that if I don’t reach 80 degrees, it’s much harder to drop the 6 gallon carboy in a bucket of ice.

You will make better beer if you pitch the yeast into wort in the 60s. To get there, you could put the two gallons in the fridge and chill to 35F and get the wort to 85F before mixing.

Yes, do this.

[quote=“CasperKat”]I’m making 3 gallons of wort, adding it to my fermentor and topping off with cold water to make my 5 gallons.

The cold water being added is about 55 degrees. If I cool the 3 gallons of wort to 90 degrees, I should reach 80 degrees or less almost instantly by mixing it with the new water in the fermentor.

Is there any bad side to this?

The alternative is waiting a lot longer to cool to 80 degrees because I still haven’t purchased a wort chiller. (I’ll get there eventually)

But, for now, I don’t see a downside to this, except that if I don’t reach 80 degrees, it’s much harder to drop the 6 gallon carboy in a bucket of ice.[/quote]

I brew three gallon batches all the time and chill them down to 70 in less than 30 minutes without a wort chiller.
I freeze 5 or 6 one gallon milk jugs filled with water. I add them to my bathtub as I fill it with cold water. I put my brew pot in the tub with the lid on and swirl the water around it every couple of minutes. Every 5 minutes I lift the lid just enough to gently swirl the wort with the floating thermomoter that’s in it after checking the temperature. When the incoming water is really cool in winter it can go as quickly as 20 minutes.

[quote=“Rookie L A”][quote=“CasperKat”]I’m making 3 gallons of wort, adding it to my fermentor and topping off with cold water to make my 5 gallons.

The cold water being added is about 55 degrees. If I cool the 3 gallons of wort to 90 degrees, I should reach 80 degrees or less almost instantly by mixing it with the new water in the fermentor.

Is there any bad side to this?

The alternative is waiting a lot longer to cool to 80 degrees because I still haven’t purchased a wort chiller. (I’ll get there eventually)

But, for now, I don’t see a downside to this, except that if I don’t reach 80 degrees, it’s much harder to drop the 6 gallon carboy in a bucket of ice.[/quote]

I brew three gallon batches all the time and chill them down to 70 in less than 30 minutes without a wort chiller.
I freeze 5 or 6 one gallon milk jugs filled with water. I add them to my bathtub as I fill it with cold water. I put my brew pot in the tub with the lid on and swirl the water around it every couple of minutes. Every 5 minutes I lift the lid just enough to gently swirl the wort with the floating thermomoter that’s in it after checking the temperature. When the incoming water is really cool in winter it can go as quickly as 20 minutes.[/quote]

I do this also. On my last batch, I did a full boil and used this same technique with frozen bottles in a storage bin instead of a bathtub. I was able to get the wort down to pitching temps in less than a half hour.

Do the jugs stay frozen the entire time? Do you have to replace the water?

I did ok last night in the sink with ice and replacing the water 4 or 5 times. It still doesn’t cool as fast as I’d like, but I liked my brew last time and I keep getting better/faster.

Who the heck has room for 6 frozen milk jugs in the freezer?!? I need to buy another fridge…

Thanks, guys.

I’ve got 2 “extra” fridges with freezer on top. One for bottles and one for kegs. The freezer space is dedicated to just frozen jugs. I use frozen water bottles to fit in the spaces between the milk jugs. The extract jugs from the kits work awesome too!

I don’t replace the water but I have to replace the ice jugs once. There is not enough thermal mass in a sink. I don’t know about your sink, but I can only safely get about 3-4" of the pot in there. With the storage bin, I can match the level of wort in the bk.

If I don’t decide to do a wort chiller, I’m definately looking for a nice sized container to do what you do.

Sometimes, it’s ok to be frugal!

I had been very close on getting the copper to make an IC but copper is damned expensive. Reusable frozen jugs are low cost and will chill the wort as fast as an IC without having to waste 1,000 gallons of water. The freezers are going to run anyway so I’m not wasting electricity to freeze them. Its not frugal…it’s practical :mrgreen:

Just freeze the top-off water in advance and then mix in the fermenter (unless you’re using glass). 3 gal of wort at 210°F and 2 gal of ice at freezer temperature will stabilize at about 70°F.

[quote=“CasperKat”]Do the jugs stay frozen the entire time? Do you have to replace the water?

I did ok last night in the sink with ice and replacing the water 4 or 5 times. It still doesn’t cool as fast as I’d like, but I liked my brew last time and I keep getting better/faster.

Who the heck has room for 6 frozen milk jugs in the freezer?!? I need to buy another fridge…

Thanks, guys.[/quote]

The jugs should stay mostly frozen in a large container of water.
I have a fridge in my brew room with room for 6 jugs and a bunch of hops. There is also a very large freezer in the laundry room that has plenty of space.

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