Why Do Recipes Call For Cooling Wort?

Question

Interested to know why some recipes call for cooling the wort in the brewpot before adding it to the fermenter and others allow for pouring the wort into the fermenter with a few gallons of water and checking the temperature befor pitching the yeast.

It takes forever to cool the wort before adding it to some water in the fermenter and when I’ve tried it both ways, the batches come out fine either way. What is the reasoning behind that?

Answer

There are multiple reasons a recipe might say that.

If someone does a full boil then they should end up with a beer that is at the volume and gravity they want. In this case adding water would dilute the wort.

Another reason some people don’t add cold water is that they are using glass carboys. Glass can shatter from the thermal shock of adding hot wort to ice, or cold water to hot wort

A third reason is that many people don’t boil their top off water. While bacterial infections aren’t a certainty when topping off with unboiled water it does increase the chance of infection.

Many brewers, especially people who do full boils, just prefer to use a wort chiller. A good couterflow wort chiller can cool your wort very quickly. I prefer to use sanitized ice bottles to chill my wort since it works well for my batch sizes.

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