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Cooling Time For Wort

Is it safe to boil wort and put it inside a bucket and let it sit overnight to ensure the wort temp is 70 degrees. Last night i had an issue with cooling wort. The instructions said mix 2.5 gallons of wort with 2.5 gallons of cool water. after doing this and waiting an hour my wort was still to warm. I dont have a way to get a accurate temp but i could keep my hand on the vessel (It was warm) but when I opened the lid I could tell it was still about 90-95 degrees. I was told that it was safe to pitch if I could keep my hand on the outside of the vessel, so I pitched my yeast. Next time would it be safe to either get my water (the second 2.5 gallons of water and refrigerate it overnight to mix with the hot wort or boil wort and wait overnight and pitch yeast the next morning. or even break ingredients in half (do separate wort boils ) so I can do ice bath in sink (my sink is too small to do ice bath on large kettle, but I can do two separate ice baths and two separate boils and just mix together in fermenting vessel with refrigerated water.

Hi, whoever gave you that “safe to pitch” rule was wrong. For most people, something that is highly heat conductive like metal or liquid is painfully hot around 140-150F. Plastic or wood can be 200F without being painful. Glass is somewhere between, but closer to the lower end. Starting somewhere between 120 and 130, you start to kill yeast with the heat, with the hotter it is the faster they will die. At around 90-100, the yeast will be very happy, but you won’t be as they produce a lot of off flavors in the beer when the temperature is too high.

If you keep your wort in a sealed container (make sure it can take the pressure changes that will occur due to cooling wort), you can safely let it cool overnight. That is in fact the common practice in some other countries. Using a wort chiller is the best way to get around all these issues, but if you want to avoid that purchase for a while, think about putting the cover on your wort as soon as you take it off the stove, then setting the pot in a sink of cold water to cool it down. After that, pour it into your container and mix with cold water. Then pitch the yeast when the temperature is below 70F.

Oops, double post.

Have you considered doing a cold water bath in a bathtub (since it won’t fit in your sink)? Before picking up a chiller, I tried that a couple of times. I tried the “No chill” method (letting it sit in a fermentor overnight), but I’m too impatient. I like to cool things down as quick as possible.

I’ve heard that you ideally should cool your wort in less than an hour. Cooling overnight might not be ideal.

That is true, and you will get clearer beer if you have a big cold break, which is enabled by rapid chilling. But beer which might be a bit hazy is better than beer with off-flavors from warm fermentation, and sometimes people can’t buy all the equipment at once.

I’m mostly an extract brewer and have started doing partial mashes recently. I use a clothes basket size container I picked up at Big Lots for ~$5-6 to chill the wort.

I put just enough cool water in it so my BK isn’t resting on the bottom. Then I put a few 3 quart frozen water bottles in them before I start the brew day. By the time the wort needs cooling the water is low 30’s* and I take the bottles out. I put the BK in there and stir the wort once in a while and put the lid back on and swirl the water outside in the opposite direction for a bit of counterflow. When the water warms up I replace it with water in the formerly frozen bottles to chill it back up.

I also use a 2.5 gallon container of distilled or spring water for my top up water. It’s about $2.50 at the grocery store and has a built-in spigot. On the morning of the brew day I put it in the chest freezer so it’s good and cold when I need it. I spray some star san around the spigot and put about a gallon in the bucket when my wort is down around 100* or so. Then I pour the wort thru a sanitized strainer to aerate it a little (and remove some of the solids at the bottom of the BK). I top up with the remaining remaining water to get to 5.25 gallons.

Someday I’ll invest in a wort chiller, but for now this chills the wort below 70* in under a half hour. I also use the basket as a swamp cooler to maintain ferm temps.

I hope some of this helps. I’m pretty new also but got some really good info here just from reading a bunch of threads about other people’s problems and solutions. I would also strongly recommend getting a decent thermometer so you know what temp you’re pitching in. In my Mr. Beer days I didn’t know as much as I know now and fermented some batches at 80* or more. I had to pour out some really undrinkable batches. On the plus side I now know most of the things I was doing wrong and the beer is coming out pretty tasty now. Good luck & keep on brewin’!

That is true, and you will get clearer beer if you have a big cold break, which is enabled by rapid chilling. But beer which might be a bit hazy is better than beer with off-flavors from warm fermentation, and sometimes people can’t buy all the equipment at once.[/quote]

Cold break occurs as the beer cools, even when done slowly as with no-chill; so “hazy beer” with no-chill is a complete myth (check this older post:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115300
).

OP- look into no-chill if you don’t want to get a chiller, it’s a viable option. I used to have a very good chiller, but after getting good (and sometimes better) results, I sold my chiller and have been doing no-chill for the past couple years. My beers are always as clear as they were before with chilling, and I’ve never used gelatin or any fining agents of any kind.

YMMV, but before I got a chiller, I cooled in a sink over a couple of hours, or just let it stand for more hours, and I would sometimes get hazy beer. Clearer beer was in fact one of the things that amazed me when I got my chiller - that and the fact that my brew day got several hours shorter.

It is beyond doubt that there are a number of factors that can contribute to hazy beer, and it could be that rapid chilling by itself is not enough to cause a problem. If so, then you’ll get nice clarity if all your other parameters are tuned in.

A little diy info. I just made my own wort chiller for about $35. I got the instructions from youtube. Tried it out this evening and it cooled the wort to 76 degrees in in 20 minutes.

I have tasted “no chill” lagers that were crisp and clear.

Standard procedure for the ausie’s where water is scarce.

I used a plastic tub as mentioned above but with 2 bags of ice and my wort chiller and it cooled down a 5 gallon batch to below 80º in about 10-15 minutes. I’m actually freezing some purified water and doing a 3 gallon boil for my oatmeal stout. I’m thinking that 2 gal of ice will really cool it quick.

Used a standard wort chiller, a 5-gal bucket, a pump, and 20 lbs ice.
Boiling to 60F in 20 minutes.

I use a WC to cool it down to about 80 in less than 15 minutes and then I put it in a bucket and let it sit overnight to cool down further all the time and so far I have had zero issues. I then transfer to the carboy and pitch.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]I have tasted “no chill” lagers that were crisp and clear.

Standard procedure for the ausie’s where water is scarce.[/quote]

I bring in 2 5 gallon buckets and fill them with the line out. I then put that water in the yard and plants.

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