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Old 08-05-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
kzimmer0817
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Default "No Chill" Containers

For those of you who no-chill, what are you using for containers?

Yesterday, I read thru the 130 page, 1291 post thread entitled, "Exploring No Chill Brewing."

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/exploring-no-chill-brewing-117111/

It is long and tedious but loaded with information. I commend Dr_Deathweed for his excellent explanation, but I sort of got lost towards the end of it - around midnight last night. In fact, I never really saw where the OP had completed his experiment. Anyway, there were several different HDPE vessels mentioned in the thread that would be useful for no-chilling:

1. The rectangular and round Winpacks from US Plastics
2. The blue Aquatainer from Walmart
3. A cube-shaped container that can be dumped out of
4. A cube-shaped container that has a spigot
5. Just leave it in the boil kettle.

Personally, I would prefer one that had a spigot so that I could simply drain into my fermentation vessel as opposed to picking up the container and trying to pour it into a funnel.

Before I purchase one of these, I would like to hear from any of you who have used these for no-chill. If you have experience with more than one container, I'd love to know which you preferred and why. For example, some were concerned about the blue Aquatainer from Walmart because the 2nd little stopper is one of those "push and pray" type.

I'd prefer not to go off on other no-chill tangents in this thread since they are well-covered in the original thread - including various no-chill techniques, hop schedule adjustment, fermenting in the container, and, even, recipe discussion.

I'd really like this to be a thread to which people looking to try no-chill can come to for quick information and recommendations on particular containers to use.

Thank you,
Keith

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:50 AM   #2
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I have a designated plastic BrewCraft bucket I use to hold the wort. But then I put it in an icebath. Slow-Chill? It's been working really well for me. The bucket is just your regular brew fermenting bucket. No spigot on this one, ice bath...
After about 3-4 hours & a change of water, I'm at cooling temp, I then dump the wort into another fermenting bucket w/ spigot holding the yeast. Shake like hell. Doing this method for a while now with no problems in my ferments. Just keep it ALL SUPER CLEAN. As usual.

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Old 08-05-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
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I use a corny keg; it's stainless steel, easy to clean, & seals tight. I have a spigot on my boil kettle so I drain right after flameout. Place the keg on my basement floor to chill; within 24 hrs I pitch the yeast.

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Keith,
Can you please post a link for each of these where one can get that type of "cube"

1. The rectangular and round Winpacks from US Plastics
2. The blue Aquatainer from Walmart
3. A cube-shaped container that can be dumped out of
4. A cube-shaped container that has a spigot

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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I use the round 5 gal Winpak container, and it works well for me. For hoppy beers I usually chill, but if I do a low hop session beer (blonde ale, lite lager, dry stout) I'll brew 10 gal and drain off 5 gal into the Winpak and chill the other 5. I do this because I only have room in my ferm fridge for 5 gal. I'll ferment the first 5 gal batch, rack to a keg, and then pour off some of the yeast cake into a sanitized jar. Then clean the fermenter and pour off the next 5 gal from the Winpak into the fermenter and pitch part of the yeast cake from the first 5 gal. I've got 5 gal of a lite lager waiting in a Winpak now - it'll get fermented in about a week when the first 5 gals is completed.

The only thing I don't like about the Winpak is they are very hard to pour from without wort splashing all over. The wort likes to run down the side and splash a lot. I guess I could use an autosiphon and rack it to the fermenter, that would probably be less messy. If you pour from a Winpak, do it outside or somewhere you can hose off any spillage.

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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round winpak:
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23285

Get the 6 gallon one. With a few drops of Fermcap and a less aggressive yeast you can ferment is this one too! You just need to have some type of aeration system to oxygenate the wort, then simply pitch the yeast, fit an airlock or rig a blow-off (or just wrap some foil over the opening), and let 'er go.

square winpak:
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=24733

this is the 7 gallon aquatainer, I bought mine at Walmart. As you can see the vent opening is sealed with a screw on cap that uses a silicone washer:
http://www.campmor.com/reliance-7-gallon-aqua-tainer.shtml

I have seen the push-and-pray style, wouldn't trust 'em. Make sure you find the ones with the screw on vent cap.

Hey Keith, you gonna git off the pot and brew something one of these days?

---Todd

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djt17 View Post
I use a corny keg; it's stainless steel, easy to clean, & seals tight. I have a spigot on my boil kettle so I drain right after flameout. Place the keg on my basement floor to chill; within 24 hrs I pitch the yeast.
I'm assuming you keep the keg pressurized, right? Else you'd create a vacuum as it cools and it would suck in air and you'd no longer have a sterile environment in the keg.

I did no-chill in a corny once too - I kept it under pressure as it cooled off, and it worked well. It's definitely a good option for no-chill.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes View Post
round winpak:
Hey Keith, you gonna git off the pot and brew something one of these days?

---Todd
Thanks for the links. I live 5 minutes from Walmart, so I'm going to investigate this container. I like to "watch" things, so I spent some money on a couple Better Bottles with the "Oh so special" valve in which to ferment. I like the No-Chill method because I don't have to be worried about getting my yeast ready (if I somehow think I need to rehydrate my yeast) at the same time I'm nearing the end of the boil.

I guess I could drill the cap on the Aquatainer as someone mentioned in the other thread and install a spigot. When I'm ready to transfer to the Better Bottle, I can carefully turn the container on its side and drain the cooled wort into the fermenter.

Regarding when I'm going to quit studying and start brewing, it's too darn hot right now. I'm slowly drinking up the B3 Stout I made (someone told me it was good, but I don't know) and the NB Pumpkin Ale along with a few store-bought beers (Samual Adams Summer Wheat and Blue Moon Seasonal Honey Wheat).

For the next brew(s), I want to do BIAB. I've found a few AG recipes for:
1. Honey Wheat
2. Honey Basil Ale
3. Ginger Beer (with lots of ginger)

BTW, I'm having trouble keeping a straight face when I read about "dry hopping" and "push and pray", and I'm afraid I'm going to make a Freudian slip. "Dry hopping" sounds too much like something a teenage patient told me many years ago that he and his girlfriend were doing. More recently, I asked a Christian young married couple what they were using for birth control, and the bride said "pull and pray." T.M.I.

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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FYI: the aquatainer does have a spigot, it's just screwed into the inside of the cap when you buy it. Works very well if you lay the container on the side and let it cool. When you go to drain it, all the crud will have settled into the bottom and the spigot is an inch or so higher so you don't get any crud in the fermenter (it leaves @ .75 gallon, so you have account for that in your volumes but you can always strain it through a coffee filter and salvage a quart of wort to make a starter with).

@bigljd: use a siphon, that'll let you get only clean wort and leave all the break, etc behind.

I have wrapped a plastic sandwich bag sprayed with starsan around the spigot in the pic below, but you get the idea.

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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I think it important to note the difference between 'no chill' and 'slow chill'.

With no chill people are planning on storing the wort for an extended period of time (weeks, months, years).

With slow chill people are letting the wort cool withou the use of a chiller and pitching the yeast when it has cooled (usually within a few days to a week at most).

It makes a difference in the container you can use. For slow chill that will be pitch as soon as it's cooled you could keep it in the kettle or put it into a typical primary fermentor (bucket, better bottle, carboy). For long term storage with no chill, a win pak or similar product that can handle the suck back and hold the seal is needed.

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