I was remembering a science project I had done when I was younger when I created homemade ice cream. It was the ziplock bag one where you put the ingredients in a small bag and that was put into a larger bag with ice and salt. The ice and salt created a reaction that made it much colder inside the bag. I was wondering if anybody had tried using the same idea while doing an ice bath in the sink? I am new to brewing and this site so I do not know if this has been done before.
Sure it will help, just don’t freeze the wort. Or you could make beer ice cream.
Before I bought my immersion chiller, I used to use the Ice bath in the sink, and sprinkled salt. It seemed to work ok, but still not as fast as the IC. Just make sure you don’t splash any salty water into your cooling wort.
the salt will make the ice water colder but that difference will not help much since your hot wort is going to turn your ice bath into warm water vary fast. the salt trick would work for a cooler full of homebrew though.
Let me mangle the science for you: In ice cream, you’re trying to freeze it, so you want the melting point of the ice cream to be higher than the surrounding surface. Salt lowers the melting point of water (just like salting an icy road), so the average temperature of the ice water slurry is lowered by including salt.
There may be a marginal difference in time with an ice water bath that includes salt as you’ll be lowering the surface temperature, but you’ll still have to accept that there is less surface in contact with the hot wort than other cooling methods. On the other hand, that’s all speculative, I’ve never tried, and salt is cheaper than copper tubing. Give it a shot and see what happens.
I didn’t actually try it today. It was my first brew and I did not really want to try anything too extreme because I’m just learning. Maybe my 3rd brew I will try it. Thanks for the advice everyone.
FWIW, i felt like life was so much easier when i switched to an immersion chiller. I no longer had to buy ice, which was costing me about five bucks every time i brewed. Buying the the chiller saved me money.
+1. Definitely get an immersion chiller. You’ll never look back.
Real cheep to make from lowes. Coil of 3/8 copper 25 ‘a couple of 1/2" clamps 10’ 1/2 inch plastic tubing and a barbed hose connector. Ask the guy at the plumbing dept. wrap the copper around a paint can, cut the plastic tubing into two pieces and attatch to the copper with clamps. The tubing slides right over the copper. Hook up the hose connector on one end, done. Soak it in oxyclean ,rinse. Keep it in your star San bucket on brew day and put it in when ready to chill. Some people put it in when the wort is boiling but that stops the boil. Besides putting a cold chiller in the finished wort starts the cooling process. Cost you about $30.
I’ve run the math before, the problem is that to get any significant temperature drop in a sink full of water, you would need at least a few pounds of salt. It begins to add some real cost to the brew for marginal benefit.