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This is probably an incredibly stupid question, but I thought I would ask anyway. While the wort is cooling down is it recommended to stir it to help the cool down process?

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I ended up not needing to stir it all that much. The ice bath in the sink did a better job than expected. Used a sanitized metal spoon for the job. Thanks for the answers! –  Tony Rufkahr Jan 3 '10 at 3:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It helps to get the wort moving around to cool evenly. You run the risk of introducing contaminates from the air or stirring utensil, but it's pretty low. Use a sanitized or boiled spoon.

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To sanitize the spoon you can leave it immersed in the wort for the last 10 minutes of the boil. –  Pete Hodgson Jun 28 '10 at 22:19

I create a whirlpool in my wort while it is still boiling, and then drop the wort chiller in. The whirlpool lasts for quite a while, and helps to clarify the wort. I also do this when I've had to use an ice bath. But I'd recommend a wort chiller :)

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I would really like to make one of these myself (probably immersion)--doesn't look that hard. Is yours DIY or commercial? –  Tony Rufkahr Jan 3 '10 at 3:42
    
I bought it. I don't think it's too hard to build them either. I really want a plate chiller, which I'm pretty sure I can't build. –  hookedonwinter Jan 3 '10 at 12:47
    
They're not hard to make. Get some soft copper tubing, vinyl tubing and garden hose adapters. The inner diameter of the vinyl should match the outer diameter of the copper. Form the copper around something and clamp together. –  Dean Brundage Jan 3 '10 at 17:32
    
"Form the copper around something" ... what might that "something" be? Coffee can? PVC tubing? –  Tony Rufkahr Jan 4 '10 at 0:54
    
@tony I've seen guys use a corny keg. Check out => youtube.com/watch?v=G8EolKTDZUQ –  excessiveparenthetical Dec 7 '10 at 4:55

I don't have a wort chiller, so I do an ice bath and occasionally stir just to get it to cool evenly. The most important thing to remember is sanitize the spoon. Everything the wort touches from this point forward needs to be sanitized.

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