During the brewing process after the boil has finished it is a good idea to think about trying to cool the wort down as quickly as possible. There are a couple of reasons to do this, one is that oxidation can occur when cooled over a long period as well as allowing possibilities of bacteria contaminating the wort. Also as the beer cools slowly it also produces a sulfur compound that won’t be boiled off but remain in the finished beer creating off-flavours.
This effect of rapid cooling is called the “Cold Break” just as bringing the wort to the boil is called the “Hot Break”. This cold break causes proteins to precipitate out of the wort. If the proteins remain in the beer which will occur if the beer is cooled slowly you will notice the finished beer will have a haze when put in the fridge. This is purely cosmetic however and won’t effect the taste.
What we are going to look at now are some of the most common ways to chill the beer quickly. First off I will look at the easiest way for the first time brewer, it requires no excess equipment and is what I used to do.