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Cooling my all grain wort

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After 8 batches of partial grain brews, I am anxious to try my hand at all grain brewing.  I have a big enough pot for a full boil.  My question has to do with cooling my wort.  In the past, with partial grain recipes, I have chilled by adding 1-2 gallons of chilled H2O to my carboy before adding the boiling wort and then using an ice bath to bring it down to the proper pitching temp.  I have been advised that with a full grain boil, however, a wort chiller will be necessary to bring the temp. down quickly.  Not that I'm a cheapskate or anything, but is that $50 - $100 really necessary?  What if during the last ten minutes of my boil, I kept a lid on the brew pot, turned off the heat and just let it sit until it cooled to the ambient temp. i.e. 70-80 degrees F?  Is there something else going on in a quick cool down that is important and that I would be missing?

Steve in TX:
Keeping the lid off while boiling and cooling the wort down quickly reduces the chance that DMS will be perceptible in you finished beer.

Buying a chiller is for sure worth the $50 investment.

A cheaper option is to buy 5 - 6 1 liter bottles of water, remove labels, freeze solid, sanitize and drop in the hot wort. You should be able to get 5 gallons of wort chilled quite quickly this way with a little stirring with a sanitized spoon.

No-Chill has also been done with little reported problems. In this method you get an airtight heat resistant container (traditionally done with brand new plastic fuel cans) as soon as the boil is over run off into this container and seal. Let cool overnight.


However it is important to remember that an ambient temp of 70-80 is still quite high for most fermentations. You could do a saison at that temp but just about any other ale you are going to want to figure out a way to chill down to the low 60's and maintain that general range (60-68) for at least the first 3-5 days of fermentation

A wort chiller is something you will use on every batch you brew - extract, BIAB, partial mash and AG. I think this is a good investment and worthy of your money.

I suggest getting a chiller. It is really "that" piece of equipment that is worth getting when making the move to all grain. I will also suggest getting one that chills 10 gallon batches. It's worth the extra 30 bucks... Unless you think you won't ever brew that much. I got mine from Free shipping over 50 or 100 bucks... I can't remember which


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