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No Chill

I’ve been reading about the Australians doing “no chill” in a water cube. Meaning they transfer the hot wort to a sealed container and let it cool naturally before pitching the yeast. Does anyone know if that would work with a regular white fermentation bucket? My concern is that the near boiling water would leach out a plastic off flavor into the beer.

I’ve done no chill in food grade buckets for a few years without a problem, and no off flavors. Lot’s of posts on this on other forums, food grade buckets use the same type of plastic as those Aussie no chill cubes. I don’t recall the exact temperature, but the melting point and “leeching point” if that’s a term, is well above boiling temps. Also, in theory anyway, the food grade buckets don’t have harmful compounds to leech. As far as plastic taste, it’s not a problem. If you’re still concerned, keep in mind there are brewers out there that use a plastic bucket as a boil kettle:

There are two problems that you do need to consider. First, the bucket gets slightly soft from the heat and easily deforms. So be careful while carrying it! I don’t trust the handle, and I always carry from the rim. Second, the Aussie containers are air tight, so once it’s sealed they coat all internal surfaces with hot wort to pasteurize. You can’t really do that in a non-airtight bucket. Also make sure to keep the bucket in a low-dust area of your house, because as it cools it will slowly draw in air as the wort contracts. I’ve used a sanitizer-soaked rag over the airlock hole as a filter, seems to work well. With the Australian method you’re supposed to transfer the wort the next day to a fermentor to aerate and transfer off the cold break. I never did this, I just popped the lid, aerated with a sanitized whisk, and pitched the yeast. I’ve never had any problems with chill haze or clarity with my no-chills.

Having said all that, I have recently switched to no-chilling in corny kegs because I’m experimenting with fermenting under pressure. I never had any problems with the buckets, so I’ll definitely use them again if I don’t have an empty corny.

:cheers:

I have done a few “light” chill brews myself by using the snow to get down to about 100 and then I just pour it into the carboy and let it sit overnight in the basement til it hits 65, which is usually the next morning and then I pitch my yeast. I think it tastes as good if not better than ones I use my IC on and I use far less water and time trying to chill it down.

Another thing I do though is a constant whirlpool for about 20 minutes while it’s cooling in the snow.

One problematic aspect of no chill is hopping schedules. You really dont have late additions, everything sits for an extended period in hot wort. Malt forward beers or simple early additions are fine.

Another is that cooling wort contracts and sucks air into a container that isnt airtight. The cans used can contract without letting air in that can carry bacteria. Might not be an issue.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]One problematic aspect of no chill is hopping schedules. You really dont have late additions, everything sits for an extended period in hot wort. Malt forward beers or simple early additions are fine.

Another is that cooling wort contracts and sucks air into a container that isnt airtight. The cans used can contract without letting air in that can carry bacteria. Might not be an issue.[/quote]

There are hop adjustment schedules floating around the forums for this issue. However, I’ve used these schedules and I think they change the hop utilization more than no-chill does based on comparisons of my chilled and no-chilled recipes. I now no-chill without hop adjustments with no issue. Worst case scenario you may have slightly more bitterness than anticipated, but that’s not a bad thing in my mind, and IME it seems like a theoretical concern more than anything.

@ Clifford, Thanks for the info. I have heard of people using electric heat sticks to heat up strike water in a bucket but I didn’t realize they would withstand boiling.

I wonder if I could use it in place of my brew kettle on the propane burner? Just kidding!

[quote=“Duxx”]
I wonder if I could use it in place of my brew kettle on the propane burner? Just kidding![/quote]

Ha! I request, no… I demand pictures of that experiment!

I bought a 5gal plastic container for no-chilling and have never used it. In fact I was just re-organizing the brewery and found it. Think I’ll try a no-chill this weekend.

I bought a 5gal plastic container for no-chilling and have never used it. In fact I was just re-organizing the brewery and found it. Think I’ll try a no-chill this weekend.

I don’t think the idea that volatile oils might dissappear if you don’t chill, is totally a theoretical idea. But with a sealed container I guess they might not be able to get out. I agree about bitterness, I can’t see where extra is bad.

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