Author Topic: Cooling a full batch extract brew  (Read 2801 times)

Offline ANDREW.GROGAN1

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Cooling a full batch extract brew
« on: June 24, 2014, 01:04:29 PM »
I’m gearing up to do a pumpkin extract kit this weekend.  I’ve always done my extract kits with 3 gallons of water.  I’ve been told I can improve the quality of my beer by doing a full batch boil.  I would like to be able to do a 5.5 gallon boil (An extra half gallon for evaporation).  My major concern with this is cooling it in a reasonable about of time.  I have a wort chiller but I’m concerned it will still take too long to cool down below 80 degrees

Offline Stevie

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 01:12:21 PM »
What is your concern and what do you consider too long? Depending on your water source, shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 01:25:04 PM »
I also question the whole quality increase with full boil thing. If it's not a hoppy brew then hop utilization isn't an issue. If it's a color thing, just add part of the extract towards the end of the boil.

then you can add ice made from boiled water to the pot to make up the last 2 gallons and be chilled almost instantly!
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Offline ANDREW.GROGAN1

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 01:28:40 PM »
It's not a hoppy beer and actually calls for a late malt addition so color shouldn't be an issue.  I was just told big boils make better beers.  If that's not true then I would be very happy to have a smaller boil.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 01:29:27 PM »
My chiller was still dropping batches from boiling to 67 deg F last weekend in 20-25 minutes.  Not as fast as when my ground water was 45 deg F but still reasonable.  I'm still hoping to get 2 or 4 more batches in before I have to give up until October.

With the weather we have been already this year that won't last much longer.  South Central Iowa has been very warm already this year.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 01:39:48 PM »
It's not a hoppy beer and actually calls for a late malt addition so color shouldn't be an issue.  I was just told big boils make better beers.  If that's not true then I would be very happy to have a smaller boil.

I can't think of any reason why it would beyond the greater hop utilization and the lowered color pickup. If you aren't careful with your water and use unfiltered that could cause problems but that would be an issue with full boil as well.
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Offline ANDREW.GROGAN1

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 01:49:04 PM »
Water quality isn't an issue.  Was more of a dilemma of cooling down a full 5 gallons but you've convinced me a 5 gallon boil is overkill for this particular beer.   

Offline mattybrass

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 08:02:51 AM »
how large of a wort chiller do you have and where do you live? moving the wort in the opposite direction that the chilling water is flowing can help a lot. This increases the contact area.

Offline happywanderer

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 11:33:01 AM »
Cooling quickly is a concern for clarity. 

I don't have a wort chiller and do partial batches (3.5-4 gal starting volume gets down to about 3 gal after evaporation). 

I cool in an ice bath and change the water/ice as soon as the ice is melted.  I can cool to about 100 degrees in 20-25 minutes. 

All that said, my first few beers were cloudy. 

Then I decided to add irish moss at 15mins left in boil (rehydrate the irish moss first). 

My last "Kiss Me I'm Irish Red" Ale turned out crystal clear and brilliant ruby red. 

So - try irish moss if you haven't.  It is cheap and easy. 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2014, 03:53:03 PM »
Obviously being able to chill a beer down to proper pitching temps (or even lower by a few degrees) is a must, but I don't believe that time is that essential.  I have an old copper immersion chiller I have been using since I started brewing (about 11 years ago).  On average it will take me about 1 hr to get the wort down to low 60's F on a 5 gallon batch.  Lagers will take me up to 1.5 hrs sometimes.  Yes, this is a lot of water usage and I occasionally use a pre-chiller to drop the last 20 deg. or so and the time does eat into the brew day, but the beers have not suffered. I brew in my garage and chill with the lid off for the entire time. I have no sanitation issues and even very hoppy IPA's come out great.  I liken this my slow chilling period to those who add a hop stand into their brew days adding an extra 20-40 minutes post boil to their day. 

Most definitely when I upgrade my brew equipment a better chiller will be in order, but until then the beers have been coming out pretty well and place well in comps.  So, I guess the moral of the story is to not be concerned with extra time it may take to chill your beer to proper pitching temps provided you get it under 140F fairly quickly (i.e. 10-15 min) to help reduce any additional DMS formation that might reoccur after the boil. 

Cheers to my crappy IC!!

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 08:26:55 PM »
One hour?  How much water are you using?

I don't generally worry about saving water, but that seems extreme.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2014, 11:55:21 AM »
I also question the whole quality increase with full boil thing. If it's not a hoppy brew then hop utilization isn't an issue. If it's a color thing, just add part of the extract towards the end of the boil.

then you can add ice made from boiled water to the pot to make up the last 2 gallons and be chilled almost instantly!

Just to clarify, are you saying for an extract kit that calls for a boil of three gallons (adding the additional water into the fermenter post-boil) will be the same as a full 5 gallon boil?
I'm interested to know as I can cool three much faster with 2 cold gallons of water added.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2014, 07:42:32 AM »
I also question the whole quality increase with full boil thing. If it's not a hoppy brew then hop utilization isn't an issue. If it's a color thing, just add part of the extract towards the end of the boil.

then you can add ice made from boiled water to the pot to make up the last 2 gallons and be chilled almost instantly!

Just to clarify, are you saying for an extract kit that calls for a boil of three gallons (adding the additional water into the fermenter post-boil) will be the same as a full 5 gallon boil?
I'm interested to know as I can cool three much faster with 2 cold gallons of water added.

more or less. as I said, there may be some value in adding part of the extract later in the boil. Also, if you are going to try it try the ice trick. ice will chill your batch much much quicker than cold water and you can be at pitching temp pretty much instantly.

check out this link for the math to determine your final temp

http://www.onlineconversion.com/mixing_water.htm
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2014, 09:21:48 AM »
Well the time spent cooling the full boil plus lugging around 5+ gallons in the boil kettle vs. 3 would be enough for me to do it.


Offline Stevie

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Re: Cooling a full batch extract brew
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2014, 10:43:00 AM »

Well the time spent cooling the full boil plus lugging around 5+ gallons in the boil kettle vs. 3 would be enough for me to do it.

Moving all that liquid just off the boil is sketchy for sure.