Quantcast

Wort Chiller - Is it really necessary?

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

HeavensBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
118
Reaction score
17
Location
Italy
My 3rd question of the day. I don't have a wort chiller and have been avoiding the purchase (as I may go from my current set-up to a hopcat or similar). I just let the beer cool naturally before pitching the year the following morning.

Is this a fundamental mistake and I either need to get a wort chiller or take the next step ASAP?

PS. I went with a very basic system first as I wanted to truly understand the process. I'd just like to get good use of this kit before upgrading and making some of it redundant.
 

Cheshire Cat

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
2,446
Reaction score
1,674
Location
Warrington
As ever opinion is greatly divided on this forum so I'll give you my story. I kept getting spoiled brews especially in warmer months due to wild yeasts I think. Just let my brew cool overnight like you. Finally I went and bought a coil of copper piping from Wickes and made one. Connected it using garden hose. Never had a spoiled brew in the 6 years since.
 

Clint

Forum jester...🏅🏆
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
12,666
Reaction score
8,158
Location
North Wales
I chill my brews too. If you don't want to get one maybe look at a 25l HDPE Jerry can for doing overnight cooling.
 

Redwulf

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
166
Reaction score
114
Location
East Yorkshire
I cooled my first couple of batches in the bath tub of cold water. it took 2-3 hours to cool it down an extract brew post and involved carrying the a kettle/FV of hot wort round the house....Not ideal.

Kit brews I put the lid on the FV and then pitch the yeast 2-3 hours later. In the height on summer I did leave 1 overnight in the FV with an airlock and pitched the following morning.

Eventually I decided my time was worth £25 on a diy chiller.
 

Richard_H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
152
Reaction score
151
Location
Buckinghamshire
I currently use the 'no chill' method after a fair amount of research into it and it is very popular in Australia and warmer parts of America where the tap water is always warm. The general approach seemed to be 24-48 hours the wort was left in the kettle etc and anything longer the wort was transferred to a container where some left them for several weeks.

For me I find the wort chills down to around 40 in around 4-6 hours, I prefer to then transfer to the FV at this stage leaving behind the hot break which helps with the wort cooling naturally.

The downside to this is those who use a chiller are able to pitch their yeast an hour after flameout, for me its more like 12 hours and just means your brew day is actually over 2 days.
 

the baron

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,576
Reaction score
1,201
Location
castleford
I no chill every brew and ditched using the chiller a couple of years ago and have never had a spoiled brew. I put my brew in my FV at @ 75C then put on a airlock and leave to chill down sometimes it is ready the same evening for pitching if I have brewed early morning ( I also overnight mash so the brew part is just boil and hops on the following morning) and as I have said I have never had a problem and will never return to morning mashing or chilling, a much more shorter and pleasant brew day
 

Clint

Forum jester...🏅🏆
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
12,666
Reaction score
8,158
Location
North Wales
I've done it a few times using the fridge to get to temp...and forgot about it til the next day! Still,it works and it isn't a hardship pitching the yeast a bit later.
 

H0PM0NSTER

Regular.
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
221
Reaction score
70
Location
NULL
Question for those no chilling veterens: when do you aerate your wort? When you transfer it hot into the FV or once it's cold before pitching the yeast?

In the summer when the chiller is struggling to drop the wort temps because of the ambient temp of the tap water I've often been tempted to move wort to my brew fridge before pitching yeast, but never been sure about aerating the wort with a paddle in my dusty old garage.
 

the baron

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,576
Reaction score
1,201
Location
castleford
You can do both if you want but I just let the wort fall say a good 2 foot into the FV and do not aerate any further although some using the cube method will pour it from a height into the Fv prior to pitching
 

samale

Landlord.
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
3,100
Reaction score
2,603
You can do both if you want but I just let the wort fall say a good 2 foot into the FV and do not aerate any further although some using the cube method will pour it from a height into the Fv prior to pitching
I do more or less the same. I let the wort cool to around 80 and do a whirlpool ( stir with my big paddle ). Let it settle and transfer to my bucket to cool. Leave overnight to chill. Next day transfer to the fermentor at a height. Pitch yeast and it's good to go.
 

the baron

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,576
Reaction score
1,201
Location
castleford
I also do a whirlpool whilst it is cooling by just stirring with a large brew spoon it is quite effective and helps to leave most of the trub behind athumb..
 

H0PM0NSTER

Regular.
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
221
Reaction score
70
Location
NULL
Perfect. I use a robobrew but getting it down the last 10-20 degrees with the chiller takes so long. Because I brew up on a bench it's a good 3ft drop from the boiler tap into the FV and I stir with a paddle as it fills. I've just never been sure how long the liquid retains the oxygen if it's left to cool. However, sounds like I can pitch several hours later without any worry. Cheers guys.
 

Clint

Forum jester...🏅🏆
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
12,666
Reaction score
8,158
Location
North Wales
Chillers will become more effective as we head into the winter.
 

Clint

Forum jester...🏅🏆
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
12,666
Reaction score
8,158
Location
North Wales
No chill.
No aeration.
It's all bollocks for people who just want to poke their beer about.

Posted after having a convivial evening with my family.
What does convivial involve?
 

foxy

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
2,070
My 3rd question of the day. I don't have a wort chiller and have been avoiding the purchase (as I may go from my current set-up to a hopcat or similar). I just let the beer cool naturally before pitching the year the following morning.

Is this a fundamental mistake and I either need to get a wort chiller or take the next step ASAP?

PS. I went with a very basic system first as I wanted to truly understand the process. I'd just like to get good use of this kit before upgrading and making some of it redundant.
Not absolutely necessary, plenty of home brewers do it, if I didn't have water tanks I most likely wouldn't be using an immersion chiller even though its only a couple of dollars for 1000 litres.
When all grain brewing you would have to adjust the hops to suit no chill because of the isomerisation of the hops above the 70+ C.
You could also take out a couple of litres on wort on pitching day bring to the boil and turn off the heat and do a hop stand before adding it back into the fermenter and pitching the yeast.
Also if using dry yeast, there is no need to aerate. just sprinkle or re-hydrate. Make sure the yeast is kept in the packet with whatever container your wort is in to keep the temperatures similar,re-hydrate with the wort and pitch which ensures the both are at the same temperature.
 

phildo79

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
1,219
Reaction score
537
Location
N. Ireland
I brewed for 8 years without one but have now started fermenting under pressure. I want to get the maximum flavour and aroma from my brews and for them to last as long as possible. I got a chiller to maximise the effect of late addition hops and get everything done and dusted in one brew session. I have used it for 2 or 3 brews now and have been happy with the results. However I have not brewed a really hop forward beer in a while, planning to do one soon, so perhaps that will highlight any advantages.
 
Top