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When Is It Safe To Stop Chilling Wort?

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phoenixdigital

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Now in the interests of saving time and water at the end of the boil at what temperature can I safely stop cooling the wort?

I am using an immersion chiller and just running normal tap water through it and stirring the crap out of the pot.

We have been stopping at around 45 degrees C and dont really bother trying to get the hops out as we transfer to the fermenter. Currently there have been no major issues with taste but I am curious if we are
  • getting extra bittering
  • losing zero minute addition aromas
  • introducing something else unwanted

It obviously should be noted that we then let the fermenter sit for 5 hours or overnight till pitching yeast.

Thanks
 

adryargument

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My understanding is that at around 86'C bitterness is no longer extracted and aroma/flavour oils are no longer evaporated.
To be sure i start chilling to 45'C after the 0 minute addition as fast as possible.

I have compared my Nelson Summer Ale to Ross's and have found them identical in terms of aroma and flavor, so its good enough for me.
 

bignath

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Now in the interests of saving time and water at the end of the boil at what temperature can I safely stop cooling the wort?

I am using an immersion chiller and just running normal tap water through it and stirring the crap out of the pot.

We have been stopping at around 45 degrees C and dont really bother trying to get the hops out as we transfer to the fermenter. Currently there have been no major issues with taste but I am curious if we are
  • getting extra bittering
  • losing zero minute addition aromas
  • introducing something else unwanted

It obviously should be noted that we then let the fermenter sit for 5 hours or overnight till pitching yeast.

Thanks
That sounds really risky to me mate. For my money, you either chill or you don't.

You won't be getting extra bitterness by doing what your doing, i doubt your zero addition aromas would change much, but you are certainly running a huge risk of introducing something else unwanted.

Any "bugs" flying around your brewery if your only cooling it to 45deg would love to get a hold of all that sugary warmth, particularly if you are leaving it in the fermenter for any length of time without yeast.

Ideally, you want to be either chilling right down and pitching straight away, or no chilling and throwing it into a cube straight away.

Both of these methods give the wort the best chance of allowing fermentation to get started without attracting any spoiling organisms to get a stranglehold on your potential beer first.

EDIT: I understand about wanting to save time and water, but there are some areas with our brewing we can take short cuts, and this isn't one of them.
I'd look at starting with colder water if you really want to save time and water. Or get a different chiller. If you have access to a small pump, fill a large container of water (laundry sink, another fermenter, keg etc) with an ice water slurry and use that for your chilling water.

Best bet though might be to look at plate type chiller? I am under the impression they are a lot more efficient than immersion chillers.
 

Blitzer

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I don't know how these immersion chillers work, can you not save the water in a bucket and do the flowers in your garden some good?
 

sponge

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I don't know how these immersion chillers work, can you not save the water in a bucket and do the flowers in your garden some good?
In an ideal world, everyone would have rain water tanks and could just recycle it back through there.

That is my ultimate goal once upgrading houses... for now, i shall remain a cubist!
 

black_labb

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So how are you getting the wort from 45* to pitching temp???
 

Nick JD

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The danger zone when chilling wort is < 45C. That's the bit when you want to be going fast.
 

phoenixdigital

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Thanks everyone for the responses. I understand what your saying with regards to infections I never did think of that. But 45 - 30 takes the longest and wastes the most amount of water in my experience.

I definitely wish I had a water tank or pool because I would recycle the water back in to that.

Garden and grass is also a good idea but as you said you need to store it in a container (maybe a big bin I suppose) until its at a temperature that wont kill your plants. Another hassle considering the amount of water needed.

I accept that I may lose a batch or two to infection but in the 20+ odd brews we have done so far using this method it hasn't happened. I will reassess the day it does no doubt. Now that I have jinxed myself I'll be posting back soon probably.

I just cant justify wasting that amount of water to get from 45 to 30 deg.

I will probably have purchased a counterflow wort chiller before I gain an infection anyway with any luck.

So putting infection aside and focussing purely of uninfected flavour, hop bittering and hop aroma it seems that if I am leaving it overnight to finish cooling then I probably only need to get it to just under 80 degrees and the hop flavours will remain intact?
 

donburke

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The danger zone when chilling wort is < 45C. That's the bit when you want to be going fast.
takes me half an hour to get to 45, then around another hour to get to pitching (~17deg)

for the last part of the chilling i recirculate iced water

those last few degrees are like watching grass grow, but patience is needed as i've pitched too warm before and it makes the beer tastes crap

i dont worry about bugs getting in because the lid is on the whole time, coil is internal and wort is recirculated through a closed system

hot water exiting the chiller is caught in the HLT and then later used to soak the kettle for cleaning

the iced water is then used to rinse the next day
 

black_labb

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1.5hrs to chill??? happier than ever to be no chilling here
 

donburke

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1.5hrs to chill??? happier than ever to be no chilling here
part of that time is offset by not having to soak cubes for cleaning and then rinse them

it makes a considerable difference in hop profile of certain beers that i simply cannot achieve with no chill, and for other styles it makes no difference, they are the ones i no chill
 

jyo

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Slightly off topic. I was at Masters yesterday looking at the rainwater tanks, dreaming.

People who use their rainwater tanks for drinking and are recirculating their hot water from the immersion/plate chiller back into the tank- What sort of return hose do you use?
I would imagine if it was bog standard garden hose there would be some pretty off flavours (and chemicals) coming from the hose at the temps the water leaves the chiller.

Cheers.
 

Spoonta

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I use the stuff plummers use for running the hotwater through houses now it this thick black plastic stuff got a coil for free of a plummer if you want some let me know
 

QldKev

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part of that time is offset by not having to soak cubes for cleaning and then rinse them

it makes a considerable difference in hop profile of certain beers that i simply cannot achieve with no chill, and for other styles it makes no difference, they are the ones i no chill

For the ones you no-chill keep the cubes full of napisan mix, nothing grows in it. When you want to use them a quick hose out and then sanatise.

QldKev
 

phoenixdigital

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Interesting responses but the main purpose of my question has really only been answered by one person

Putting infection aside and focussing purely of uninfected flavour, hop bittering and hop aroma. if I am leaving it overnight to finish cooling then I probably only need to get it to just under 80 degrees and the hop flavours will remain intact?
 

pk.sax

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Refer nickJD's response above.

Below 45 is a danger zone for infections. Yes, you got the hop thing right.
Trouble with overnighting the wort at that temp is that it will spend ages in the danger zone and pick up an infection one of those times.

What you are doing, 45C and then putting in the fridge is better. It's simply switching to a more efficient chilling mechanism as the tap water ain't able to handle it below that temp. Then pitch soon as it is done, a few hours at most.

If you are intent on absolute minimum chilling water, nickJD also advertises cling wrapping the mouth of your kettle, putting on the lid and sitting it overnight on concrete. Essentially a huge heat sink that sucks out the heat to take it below hop isometization temp and then it stays sort of sealed until pitching next morning.

I run tap water through a plate chiller down to 30 (seem to get there in ~20-30 minutes in cairns winter) and refrigerate before pitching an hour later. Better yet pitch a saison yeast at 30 :)
 

jyo

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I use the stuff plummers use for running the hotwater through houses now it this thick black plastic stuff got a coil for free of a plummer if you want some let me know
Cheers, mate. Again, sorry the off topic, OP.
 

CosmicBertie

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I chill with rainwater from a storage tank, through a cheapo garden hose pipe, through the immersion chiller, back through another cheapo garden hose and back into the storage tank. The water is used to flush the downstairs toilet and not for drinking. Try adjusting the speed of the water through the chiller to get the optimum heat transfer, to much of a trickle and its going to take longer...

I regularly used to chill down to approx 30C, pitch and then put in the fermenting fridge to chill to ferment temp. No off flavours with both lagers and ales.
 

phoenixdigital

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Cheers, mate. Again, sorry the off topic, OP.
No problems its good to know that stuff for when/if we get a water tank.

Seems like what I am doing is ok with regards to flavour but has a high degree of infection risk which I am willing to live with considering water use. I will change my tune when I get my first infection from this method.
 

bignath

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No problems its good to know that stuff for when/if we get a water tank.

Seems like what I am doing is ok with regards to flavour but has a high degree of infection risk which I am willing to live with considering water use. I will change my tune when I get my first infection from this method.
Each to their own but if it was me, I'd practise better brewing methods and work on flavour as I go. Example: in your position, I'd switch to no chill, and rework hop additions to suit, until you can find alternative cooling methods.
 

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