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No Money For Wort Chiller

I can’t afford a wort chiller right now. Is there anything wrong with refrigerating my purified water and adding the wort to the cold water in my fermenting vessel? It drops the temp very rapidly. I’m afraid the rapid decrease of temperature will result in bad beer.

A rapid decrease of the wort temperature is exactly what you want. When you say purified water, are you referring to reverse osmosis water or spring water? If spring, then get some distilled next time.

You could also put your boil pot in your sink of ice and water. If it doesn’t fit you could put it in a bathtub with cold water and ice.

Might want to try the DIY route when you have a few extra bucks. A box of soft copper and a washer hose cost me about 25 bucks for mine.

It will work, but it won’t get you all the way to pitching temps. Freeze the top-off water in advance. Equal parts ice and boiling wort will stabilize at ~55°F assuming you live near sea level.

Don’t be afraid. A plate chiller chills the wort almost immediately. Rapid chilling is not a bad thing.

On the other hand, there is such a technique as no-chill. Just leave the lid on the kettle until it cools overnight. It requires messing with hop schedules though.

micahkoll, if you don’t have any sort of chiller, a water bath around the outside of the pot and also freezing many 2-liter bottles of soda (cleaning around the neck, removing the labels) works well for me. I put a very tiny amount of Star-San to mix with the water, in case water leaks from the bottles as they warm up in the wort. (I also squeeze the bottles slightly, then tightly cap them. I feel squeezing the bottles makes there there is some space for the air to expand inside, instead of bursting).

Take them out of the freezer, sanitize the outside (again, star-san), then drop them in. John Palmer mentions this in his book “How To Brew”, which I strongly recommend. It helped me a ton: ... almer.html

Here is the page discussing chilling the wort:

By the way, the most important part of sanitzation is usually during the time when the Wort is between 150-70 degrees, before you pitch your yeast. So keep a lid on your pot and make sure no dust particles and bacteria is getting into it!

Let us know how it turns out!

Thanks for all the tips! I think I might just bite the bullet and get a wort chiller. I did watch a tutorial about making my own, but after supplies its almost as much as buying one pre-made.

Thanks again,


instead of buying ingredients for your next batch or two buy a wort chiller or make one for even cheaper

If you are doing concentrated extract batches and then adding water at the end, you can always put the pot in a utility sink or bath tube filled with cold water first. Leave it there until the cold water turns warm, then drain and refill with more cold water. Add some pre-boiled then frozen or chilled water to the wort and you’re there. I used this method for a few years before I got a chiller; it works well but once you have the chiller you’ll wonder how you managed without one.

By the way, rapid chilling results in better beer. The more rapidly you chill, the better the cold break which results in clearer beer. If you’re beer is heavily pils malt based, it can also help prevent DMS if you didn’t boil long enough to get rid of all the precursor compounds.

Is there any issue to adding a gallon of almost frozen water to the brew kettle right after boil ~ assuming you will be adding at least a gallon to achieve estimated volume?
Thanks, Mike

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]Is there any issue to adding a gallon of almost frozen water to the brew kettle right after boil ~ assuming you will be adding at least a gallon to achieve estimated volume?
Thanks, Mike[/quote]

no, but it does not do a whole lot (chilling wise) depending how much you are boiling

From a thermodynamics standpoint, you want to chill the wort as much as you can before adding cold water to it. That keeps the temperature difference high which drives heat out of the wort faster than if you were to add the water right away. However, from a taste perspective, you want to quickly get away from boiling temperatures so you stop the hops from isomerizing and lock in the bitterness profile assumed by the recipe. From a sanitation standpoint you want to get the beer to pitching temperature as fast as you can, to minimize the time that an unwanted microbe can multiply in the wort before it gets outcompeted by the yeast.

If you combine all this, you’ll see that you really want to get a wort cooler, and use it before you top up with water.

But finances are finances, and contrary to what most people do you really shouldn’t spend money you don’t have. Regardless of your chilling method, chances are you will still get awesome beer in the end.

PM me, i just upgraded my chiller and could negotiate something on my old 25 Ft IC. Not sure where you are at so shipping may be an issue but you never know…

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