I'll be brewing a small (1.5 gal) batch of beer soon, and in my quest for
laziness efficiency, I was thinking of brewing in a smaller pot, rather than in my 7-gallon monstrosity. However, my immersion chiller doesn't fit inside the small pot.
Would I be able to get sufficient chilling with an ice bath? I'll be trying a more hop-forward brew, and I'd still like to retain as much aromatics as I can, so I'd like to cool it quickly.
Some napkin math makes it appear that the bottom & sides of the small pot would have roughly 2/3 the surface area of the wort chiller, and would not have nearly the convective effects of flowing water through copper. But on the flip side, a smaller batch would have much less thermal mass.