Not just a phrase terrible people use to describe themselves on social media but also a pretty interesting brewing method. Developed by Australian homebrewers who struggled to chill wort down to pitching temperatures with limited water availability and warm ground water temperatures, the no chill method quite literally meant that these brewers would skip the chilling stage, opting instead to transfer the hot wort directly into a sanitary storage vessel (such as a ‘no chill cube’ or a jerrycan) and leaving it in there until it had naturally cooled down to pitching temperatures.
As the wort is just below boiling point at this stage you probably don’t need to sanitise your container but for the sake of spraying with some no rinse sanitiser I prefer to be safe than sorry.
There are some considerations for brewers who choose to try this method. As the wort is staying hot for longer there can be some variance with hop utilisation. Some advice I came across was to postpone all hop additions by 20 minutes (so 60 minute becomes 40 minute). Also, by not rapidly chilling your wort you potentially leave yourself open to issues such as DMS or chill haze. Many homebrewers use this technique with no issue though so it is well worth a go.
My no chill experience was brought about as part of work. I was running a ‘how to homebrew’ course at Sambrooks brewery where I brewed a beer with Sean, their head brewe, to demonstrate the process. I brewed quite a basic IPA (Maris Otter and 5% Crystal) with Citra and Galaxy hops. When the brew was done I sanitised a 25 litre jerry can and transferred the hot wort into it.
As the brewery is based in London and I’m not, the jerry can had to be transported by courier. I then left it in my car for several days because I’m lazy.
When I came to pour it into a fermenter there was a big froth – this wort had been massively aerated from all the transport and when I pitched the yeast (M44) it began fermenting extremely quickly. I would use this technique again just as an easy way to aerate my wort because the fermentation was fantastic. Incidentally this was one of the best IPA’s I’ve done and went down very well among people who tried it! Typical – now I’ll have to use this method every time I brew.
As a side note, the Sambrooks crew are some of the nicest people I’ve met and their beers are great – if you get the chance, try them!
Boil Gravity: 1.044
5kg Maris otter (95.2%)
0.25kg Crystal (4.8%)
15g Galaxy @ 60 minutes
50g Galaxy @ 0 minutes
50g Citra @ 0 minutes
50g Equinox @ 0 minutes
Allow 0 minute hops to steep for 20-25 minutes
Mangrove Jacks M44 US West Coast
Intense citrus fruit, particularly grapefruit and lime. Really appealing on the nose, strong fruity aromas. Malt and yeast characters are both neutral – a real showcase for the hops.
Deep orange colour with copper hues. A finger wide, white head with small, tight bubbles. Can see my fingers on the other side of the glass.
Intensely bitter like an old school West Coast IPA. Orange and grapefruit explode on the palate. The flavours are really strong. These hops are my absolute favorites and they have worked together so well. Finishes bone dry and dripping with citrus flavor that lingers long after the sip finishes.
Spritzy carbonation, nice bubbly sensation on the tongue – a nice carbonic acid bite that makes this really refreshing despite finishing so dry. Good body, not cloying which I normally find in IPA’s that are a simple pale/crystal malt bill.
One of my favourite beers I’ve done – the flavours really pop Everything is intense without becoming unbalanced and the citrus fruit comes through really strong. Will definitely re-brew this one!
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