Ask Mr. Wizard

Sorting Through Contradictory Brewing Advice


Thomas Wood — Nicasio, California asks,

Please comment on some seemingly contradictory pieces of brewing advice: 1. It is commonly advised to chill the wort as quickly as possible post-boil to avoid hot-side aeration or bacterial contamination. Yet hopstands delay chilling, and, if you stir to create a rotation, don’t you risk introducing O2? 2. I’m told that once the mash is mixed to let the grain bed settle without disturbing it to form an efficient filter bed and avoid a stuck sparge. Yet people also advise stirring the mash for batch sparges or to stir the mash halfway through the mashing period. So what happens to the filter bed?

The world of brewing is full of seemingly contradictory advice, Thomas. Thanks for asking about these two rules!  Part One: Wort Chilling  You are correct that conventional wisdom is to cool wort
Response by Ashton Lewis.