Question about cooling and pitching yeast.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by PNW_IPA, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. PNW_IPA

    PNW_IPA Initiate (32) Nov 18, 2017 Washington

    So I did a batch of Bavarian Hefeweizen and I cooked the wort down to 100 degrees. Then poured it into my bucket. Then I put a lid on it and stuck it in my bathtub with ice packs and water up to the 5 gallon mark on my bucket. Then I let it sit in there till the temperature sticker dropped down to 72 and stayed there for a while before pitching the yeast. Is this the way to do it or do you just let it sit in your bucket/ carboy till it cools to pitching temperature?
     
  2. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I am not like most homebrewers. I'll give you my method below. But for completeness:

    Most homebrewers chill with an immersion copper coil while the wort is still in the kettle. The copper coil goes in during the last few minutes of the boil which sanitizes it. Then when the boil is done, they run cold water through the coil, which chills the wort down to pitching temperature within about 30 minutes for most areas -- if the cooling water is very cold, it can go faster, and in warmer climates, it can take longer, but generally less than an hour.

    Personally, I do similar to what you do. I chill in my kettle in my laundry sink which is tall and narrow, better than a bathtub. I fill the sink with cold water with the kettle in there, then let that sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then when the cool water gets warm, I drain it and fill with more cold water again. It accomplishes about the same effect as the copper coil -- I can get my wort cold in about an hour.

    Hope this helps. Cheers.
     
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  3. PNW_IPA

    PNW_IPA Initiate (32) Nov 18, 2017 Washington

    So
    Thanks for the advice. I actually chill it to 100 degrees with the chiller then I pour it in my bucket then I take it to the bathtub to chill more. So what your saying is that I can just chill it down to pitching temperature I don't have to stop at the 100 degrees that the directions say to do?
     
  4. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,260) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium

    I use an immersion chiller like mentioned above. I'm guess that is the most popular way, but it can work better for some than others. I'm fortunate because I am on a well for my water and it comes into the house at around 60 degrees (I'm guessing) which does an excellent job cooling 5 gallons in roughly 30 minutes to 65-70 degrees. If your water isn't already 'cool-ish' the efficiency will decline.
     
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  5. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,260) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium

    I don't understand directions like that. Yes, just cool it down to 65 with your chiller if you can.
     
  6. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Invest in an immersion chiller.
     
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  7. PNW_IPA

    PNW_IPA Initiate (32) Nov 18, 2017 Washington

    I have one just wasn't sure if I used it to cool all the way down to pitching or the 100 degree mark like the instructions said to do then chill it in the bathtub water. Anyways thanks for all your help next batch I will chill it down to pitching temperature thanks everyone.
     
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  8. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    How big a batch are we talking about....5 gallons?
    Are you doing a full-volume boil, or just a 3 or 4 gallon boil and topping off with water (and mixing well) to reach your batch size?

    I do the same as @Mothergoose03 and am also blessed with well water that's usually around 55° in winter and around 60° in summer.
    Doing 5-gallon extract batches I usually end up with about 3.5 - 4 gallons after the boil. Cooling that volume down first is quicker than cooling 5 gallons. I then add chilled top-off water to reach 5 gallons for the fermentor.

    I't's not clear on what kind of "chiller" you use, but If you use an immersion chiller that's similar in design to this one and your tap water temp is above than 65°, I'd suggest using that chiller to get your wort to about 85° and then go the tub/ice route.
    The final 10° - 15° to get to pitch temp can take a long time with tap water temp ^65°.
     
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  9. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (500) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Sounds funny. But, if it works for you. Keep at it.
    I don't move anything into fermentation until I'm ready to pitch and close up. So, I get to temperature BEFORE I transfer to cold side.
     
  10. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

    What kinda immersion chiller did you buy? If you can chill to pitching temps with that don’t even bother with the headache of an ice bath. I get my wort down around 75-80 with my immersion chiller. Then I’ll throw it in my keezer (another good investment) to help drop it down another 10-15 degrees, but mostly just in the summer heat. In the winter I can get in the mid-60s no problem just by its self. Don’t mean to rant but that’s my process.
     
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  11. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    If you can't get your wort to <70*F in 1/2 hour, you need an upgrade :confused:
     
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  12. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    I guess it depends on the temp of the water going into your chiller, but immersion chillers are typically more effective than sink or bath-tub water baths.
     
  13. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Stopping at 100 F is strange. Keep going down to the 60s if you can.
     
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  14. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (369) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    All chillers, no matter the design, are more efficient at higher wort temps than they are at pitching temps.

    In other words you'll drop the first 25 degrees a hell of a lot quicker then the next 25. And so on. The last 10 degrees will probably take as long as the first 100 if not longer. Of course the temp of the cooling water matters quite a bit.

    For immersion chillers, it helps to plunge the coil up and down. You want to be sure all the hot wort is constantly in contact with the hot wort. It's a chore but it makes a big difference. 5 or 10 minutes is all that is needed, so pull up a bucket. I let the discharge water fill my washing machine, and when it is full we are ready for laundry and usually down to nearly an acceptable temp.

    Don't get too hung up on cooling the wort quickly. You'll see many texts telling you to chill as rapidly as possible. That's is not a bad idea but also not crucial. It is important to avoid the contaminant danger zone, where microbes can establish a footing. But if you are otherwise sanitary it is not mandatory. Instead try to get to the best pitching temp, and make a plan to hold it at temp after pitching if you can. Fermentation temperature control will have a huge impact on the finished beer.

    Cheers.
     
  15. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    FTFY
     
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  16. PNW_IPA

    PNW_IPA Initiate (32) Nov 18, 2017 Washington

    If I remember correctly it about 10 minutes to get my wort to the 100 degree mark so I think I can get it down to pitching temperature in 30 minutes. I will try it out on the next batch I do. I have a Lefse Blonde that is about done. So I have to wait a while. 2 batches will take some time to drink up before I have enough bottles to brew again. But again thanks for the advice. I am in Washington so my water doesn't get to hot. I will check temperature of my water to see what it is tomorrow. It's supposed to be a hot one tomorrow so we'll see.
     
  17. PNW_IPA

    PNW_IPA Initiate (32) Nov 18, 2017 Washington

    Oh and yes it is an extract kit. So I get close to 4 gallons after all said and done. I keep my lid on when I boil because I have an electric stove and haven't invested in a gas burner. Waiting to get that all in one kettle so I can start all grain brewing.
     
  18. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Nice. That’s a good investment.
     
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  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,245) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I use a copper immersion chiller, a fountain pump, and ice water to get my beers to pitching temps quickly, and I don't waste 500000000 gallons of water in the process.
     
  20. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (369) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Roughly how much ice water do you need? 2 buckets?

    For those of us on well water we need to be mindful of drawing too much water for too long. I have an endless supply of water here in Upstate (gravel and mud too), just not all at once.
    Cheers.
     
  21. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    I'd argue that I can offset the water that I use in the immersion chiller by not showering on brewday. :-)

    More seriously, in dry weather we're looking at running the outflow into buckets to transfer to the garden water-butt.
     
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  22. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Trader

    My stove is a laggardly builders grade smooth top and it frustrates me whether making beer or hard boiled eggs. Weather permitting, my kettle goes outside on a propane burner...makes a huge difference.

    How To Brew touches on a possible undesirable result if leaving the lid on during the boil. Some say this is less of an issue with extract brewing but I haven't found anything definitive about the extent to which potential off flavors (specifically from DMS) are mitigated during the extract manufacturing process, which could vary among manufacturers.

    If you don't already have it, the print version of How To Brew is good to have around.
     
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  23. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,245) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I use about 20 lbs of ice, and 20 gallons of water in 2x 10gallon water coolers.
     
  24. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,260) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium

    I am also an extract brewer, and was also aware that extract does not have the same concerns for DMS as all-grain does, but I keep my lid about one-quarter open just in case. Having a small view also allows me to see any impending boil-over.
     
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  25. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Lid? No lid at my house. I've brewed ~150 batches on my kitchen stove top. Sure, it requires multiple kettles if I brew more than 3 gallons (about once a year -- otherwise I only make 2 gallons usually), but it's cheap 'n' easy and makes the house smell super nice for several days.

    Cheers.
     
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