• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

What is bad about long wort cooling off period?

Arizona500

Apprentice
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
My question is what does a prolonged wort cooling period do?

I am in the process of fermenting a Portland Pale Ale where I added hops 10 min before end of boil and another hops 1 min before end of boil (loose not in a bag).  Instructions stated to measure temperature in fermenter.  When brew pot was, what I though warm to the touch while in ice bath, I poured it into a glass carboy.  When I measured temperature in carboy it was still close to 100 degrees.  I placed the glass carboy in cold water but it appeared the glass was a pretty good insulator and it took 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 of an hour to get the temperature down to just below 80 degrees when I pitched the yeast.  It appears to be fermenting nicely.  I assume the elevated temperature allowed the wort to continue to cook so will the prolonged cooling off period make the final beer more hopy???
 

skeightley

Apprentice
Joined
Oct 6, 2012
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
One of the main issues of long cooling off period is a (greatly) increased chance of re-infection. The wort will stay at mid-high range temperatures for some time, perfect bacteria breeding range. If you have maintained high levels of sanitation throughout this probably won't be a problem. Probably....
 

merfizle

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
485
Reaction score
0
Location
Omaha, NE
None, IMO, for infection really.  Most breweries whirlpool for 30-60 minutes.  Lowering temps quickly does aid in beer clarity though.

Mark
 

tom_hampton

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
929
Reaction score
0
As mark said, not much risk of infection.  But, your handling of a glass carboy is risky.  Putting 100f wort into a carboy, and the placing that in a cold bath is inviting glass breakage. 

Carboys are made with very poor glass.  They are notorious for breaking very easily. Any minor imperfections can propagate into a disaster. 
 

Arizona500

Apprentice
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thanks everyone for your replies.  You have eased my fears about doing something very wrong.  Lesson learned is to use my thermometer while the wort is still in my brew pot which I will be sure to do next time.  Fermentation is proceeding as expected at day 6 with activity having decreased and foam is dissipating.  I have never transferred to a secondary before but plan to on day 12 to see if this helps with clarification. I suspect fermentation will have ended by then.  At the beginning of fermentation I placed a small amount of wort in a beer bottle as a  secondary fermenter and will check the SG with this sample.  Thanks again!

Keith
 

tom_hampton

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
929
Reaction score
0
Transferring to secondary will not improve clarity.

Clarity is improved by 3 things :

1. Time settle still without being disturbed. 
2. Fining agents
3. Filtering

 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
I don't know why people don't use ice more often to cool the wort.  I use my well water for the make up water in the fermenter which would be the same water I make ice with.
 

gtreloquence

Apprentice
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Leominster Ma
cooldood said:
I don't know why people don't use ice more often to cool the wort.  I use my well water for the make up water in the fermenter which would be the same water I make ice with.

Are you talking about adding the ice directly into the kettle?
 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Putting the ice in the fermenter and then pouring the hot wort into it. 
 

gtreloquence

Apprentice
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Leominster Ma
Most people stay away from that practice because the ice generally isn't considered sanitized. You can boil the water you're using and sanitize the tray but there's no guarantee you won't pick up something to infect the wort from the freezer.
 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
I personally think this is a good one for mythbusters .
I always add make up water into the fermenter to get to the correct volume.  This water is never boiled.  I am also not afraid of getting sick by drinking the water or using the ice.

When making extract beer the make water is never boiled
 

durrettd

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
392
Reaction score
0
I'm not the most disciplined with my sanitation, but I'd really recommend boiling your extract brews. In an earlier life I was a biologist, and it's amazing the things that live in our water without making us sick. When we don't kill those critters by boiling, then provide them with sugar and other nutrients they can out-compete the yeast we want eating the sugar. The results are often less than desirable. I'd love to see Mythbusters take this on; my experience says it isn't a myth.

When I started brewing in the late 80s, the owner of the local shop sold me a couple of kits that he assured me did not need to be boiled. They were highly mediocre. It took three sutures to close the gash in the back of my arm when one bottle exploded. After those two no-boil kits I always boiled and my beers improved. The homebrew shop went broke.

Please read John Palmer's "How to Brew". It's available as a book and on-line (free) at: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter1-1.html
 

ultravista

Master Brewer
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
My $.02 ...

Invest in a chiller. I use a plate chiller (30 plates) with a thermometer. By throttling the ball valve on my keggle, I can increase/decrease the flow to the chiller to get the max chilling throughput.

Through a slow drain, I was able to drop the work from 160+ to 62 degrees.

I would avoid ice in the fermenter.
 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
I appreciate all the input.  But at the risk of sounding cynical I still believe is is possible.  Coopers sells million of kits per year and they are no boil.  I would assume the market would correct that if there was a large risk.  I am in the food  manufacturing industry and agree there is an increased risk, but how much?  We hear everyday about people getting killed in car wrecks but we know the risk is low and still drive
I have read John's book and purchased his 3rd edition so I put a lot of value on what he says.
But in V1 You must transfer to secondary

V3  Secondary is highly over rated.  (just another myth proven wrong)

I would love to see some real data on the risk.

 

jomebrew

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
1,061
Reaction score
6
Homebrew sanitation and process practices help minimize the chances of an infections growing to detection levels.  There is wild yeast and bacterial everywhere and the risk for infection is 100% of every batch of beer.  How likely?  Pretty small. 

Why rapidly cool wort?  Mitigate some of the risk and make the likelihood even smaller.  Bacteria will survive 160F tend to thrive in temperatures below 140F.  Rapidly cooling limits the infection growth and pitching yeast at the proper pitching temp allows yeast to rapidly grow while the bacteria contamination is suppressed.

The problems with infections is that you wasted time and money making the beer.  Why not take the extra precautions to avoid an infected beer?

The risk of being in a car accident is pretty high.  Something like 65% of us will be in one someday.  How is the risk of dying affected if you don't wear a seatbelt and have no airbags?  About 55% of folks without restraints die. So, you are 50% more likely to be killed. With restrains, you increase survivability to about 75%. 
 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
I guess we can agree to disagree because all of this is anecdotal You are probably right about your driving data but that only supports my position. If 65 % will get in a car wreck and we average 50,000 trips in our lives that means on average 1 out of every 77,0000 trips I will get in an accident.  If I lose 1 out of every 77,000 batches I will be  happy. Since I brew 1 per month that is something like 6,000 years from now.    I deal with microbiology everyday so I have deep appreciation and knowledge of bugs.  There are bugs EVERYWHERE and yet we survive.  I would gladly pour a glass of water and leave it on the counter for a week and still drink it.  The yeast will virtually sterilize the wort in half that time.
My point is the risk is negligible.  And I would be happy for anyone to prove me wrong with real world results.  I will make you a deal use the ice method and if you get a bad batch I will pay for it  and buy you a beer.
 

tom_hampton

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
929
Reaction score
0
Since you don't seem to be the type to believe what the more experienced tell you....do the experiments yourself.

Make two containers of STERILE wort. Use a pressure cooker to sterilize it.  After it cools, put one ice cubes in one container, leave the lids on, but loose. 

See what happens.

I bet the ice cube batch will spoil, while the control will not.

Smell it, decide if you want that in your beer.

It is not a myth.
 

cooldood

Apprentice
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
That is a good idea.  I do take a lot of advice and glad others have helped me so much.  I do have a lot of experience with micros and that is why I question the science behind it.  I could do just like you say, I could do a quick experiment  I could take an extract kit and split it in half and do a TVC count on the ice versus cooled.
 

philm63

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
372
Reaction score
0
Location
Plain City, OH
+1 to smelling the results from the proposed experiment.

I had a pint recently that just flat had something wrong with it - a sour smell and taste, and it wasn't a Sour; it was a commercial Pale Ale from a well-known brewery here in the South and when I took a look at the bottle, sure enough - the signature ring in the neck told me there was an infection. It can happen to anyone.

This was a commercial beer, not a homebrew. I didn't get sick from drinking this beer, I DID get sick of that particular brewery, though.

It's mostly about the quality of the brew, not necessarily about the risk of foodborne illness. Folks just tend to like their beers better when they smell and taste right.
 

jomebrew

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
1,061
Reaction score
6
I drafted a substantial reply full of statistical data gathered from large commercial brewers, food producers, government agencies and brewing publications.  Then, I deleted it.  You are going to do what you want anyway.  That is what we all do.  Some of us can apply best practices without having to have deterministic testing on each process to determine the statistical likelihood of infection or whatever the process is supposed to achieve.  A few will question the processes because it interferes with their own and how they want to make beer.

For other brewers interested in the subject, the risk of  infections colonizing and affecting the beer quality from letting wort cool slowly is real and not worth the loss of your time spent and beer made.  There are at least a half dozen ways to cool wort safely and quickly.  Find one that you can afford and works for you and enhance it over time.
 
Top