ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Beer - Getting Wild With Yeast & Bacteria

Updated on October 28, 2009

While on the subject of wild yeast and bacteria, anyone who has read an introductory level home brewing text knows that the aforementioned practices would likely pose a serious risk of contamination. Allowing wort to sit uncovered for several hours after it's been boiled is a surefire way to get all kinds of funky stuff growing in it. Slow cooling also results in increased levels of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and its associated undesirable flavors and aromas. Although scientific knowledge was limited at the time, early brewers knew of the dangers of exposing wort in this way. They learned by trial and error what worked and what didn't, and took preventive measures where possible. But, in those days, the trusty coolship was really the only alternative.

In addition to problems with contamination, this method of cooling had a few other disadvantages. Because they were so shallow, these vessels had to be very large in order to have a sufficient volume to hold several barrels of wort. Thus, they required a lot of floor space. Because cooling time was largely dependent on the ambient temperature, brewers had to schedule brewing sessions based upon the weather. During the summer months brewing operations were often suspended. Occasional warm periods during spring and fall presented numerous challenges. Darkening of wort due to prolonged contact with air was another common problem.

As is the case today, however, problems often lead to solutions. Industrious brewers sought alternative means to cool their wort. Indeed, as early as the end of the 18th century, a cooling device that worked by pumping hot wort through pipes in a tank of cold water was patented. As alternative methods of cooling were developed, they were frequently used in conjunction with surface coolers to cool wort to pitching temperature.

Even after the development of refrigeration, however, the coolship still took up floor space in many breweries. Various improvements were designed to minimize contamination during cooling. Surface coolers were located in a separate room to minimize exposure to contaminants. The rooms housing coolers were often equipped with domed roofs and sloped walls, improvements designed to prevent condensation from dripping back into the wort. Instead, condensation was directed into troughs and, ultimately, to drains. In addition, large, specially designed fans were used to create strong air currents to remove condensation from the space above the cooler.

Once alternative cooling methods were developed, however, the coolship was largely relegated to the role of initial cooling and hot trub sedimentation. This was a role it was well suited for, and, as we will see later, one for which it is still being used today. In such a system, hot wort is pumped from the hopback to the coolship where it is held only long enough for the hot trub to settle. Depending on the ambient temperature, this takes from one to three hours. During this time the wort cools to 140 to 170 degrees F. From there, the wort is moved to a plate heat exchanger or some other type of cooler to cool to pitching temperature.

Continued In: Beer - Chilling The Wort

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)