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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > How fast do you have to chill?
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
cernst151
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Default How fast do you have to chill?

OK, we all know that you have to chill your wort quickly to get a good cold break, along with any number of other good reasons, but does anybody know HOW quickly you have to chill it? I've read countless posts on Homebrewtalk and other forums and plenty of articles about it. I've read through Joy of Homebrewing and other books and have never seen any sort of hard number, or even range.

Do I need to go from boil to pitching temp in 15 minutes to get a decent cold break? Will 30 minutes do? How about 60? Is it a sliding scale where 45 minutes will get you 50% clear but 15 minutes will get you 90% clear?

I know ultimately it doesn't matter a whole lot because my beer is delicious even when cloudy but I feel like someone out there has to have tested this right? Plus, leaving all those proteins in your beer reduces shelf life and I really like making imperial stouts and lambics which need to age.

Also, I've read differing opinions on whether to try to leave the cold break material behind in the kettle. Some say it provides nutrients to the yeast and will precipitate out when the yeast floculates. Others say it will get re-suspended and can't be removed later. What say you fellow homebrewers?

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Old 07-30-2014, 10:36 PM   #2
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Put it this way. Not chilling your wort is all the rage in Australia. They put it in a sanitized semi-rigid plastic cube immediately after the boil. They seal it airtight and wait until it's cool enough, then rack, aerate and pitch.

Sometimes they even store the cube for months prior to pitching. If it starts to "swell" the cube, they know it was infected anyway.

And this is good, clean beer they're making, I can vouch for that firsthand. No haze, DMS, etc. Needless to say, conventional wisdom here in the US is... a little different. I've considered trying it because, after all, less work is good. But I just can't bring myself to do it.

See also: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...o_Chill_Method

As far as break material goes. Different brewers are all over the board. To me that usually indicates an opportunity to do the less difficult method. Plus, if the Aussies are succeeding without chilling at all, it makes little sense to me that cold break could really cause that many problems.

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Old 07-30-2014, 10:53 PM   #3
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You still get cold break if you do no-chill, it just forms a little slower since the wort takes longer to cool. I use Whirlfloc, and I always have plenty of cold break material in my kettle (or bucket, depending on what I chose to do post-boil) when I get ready to pitch my yeast the morning after brew day. Maybe it would be a different story if I didn't use kettle finings, I really don't know, but I've been enjoying delicious, clear brews using the no-chill method since I first tried it at the beginning of this year.

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Old 07-31-2014, 01:54 AM   #4
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I am one of those Australians (now in the US) who uses the no-chill method. As boydster says you still get cold break in the cube with your beer as it cools down over what must be 10-20 hours so I don't know if there is a minimum time required to get a good cold break.

I thought part of chilling quickly was to minimize hot side aeration of the boiled wort. With the no-chill method you stop this from happening by squeezing all of the air out of your cube before tightening the lid.

For what it's worth I used to pour my wort off of the cold break but from a lot of reading and side by side tests that people have done I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't make any difference and I now pour the whole lot in. Some people say they think it gives them a better beer. This is just my opinion but to answer your question I don't think it matters too much how quickly you cool as long as you don't oxygenate your hot wort too much.

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:07 PM   #5
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Interesting. I can certainly see how you'd want (or be required) to be extremely conservative with your water usage in Australia. I've actually taken to using water from my rain barrels for the bulk of my cooling, then for the last bit to get it down below 100 degrees I plug it in to the house water which is cooler and I use the outflow from the chiller to refill the rain barrel. Of course, if you live somewhere that doesn't get rain... I have heard of some people chilling their beer and keeping the water for doing laundry and other things.

If the no-chill method works for you guys more power to you but I think I'll stick to chilling and pitching quickly so I can get the yeast going sooner rather than later.

Jester5, you, and some other people I've seen recently, mention that you want to avoid oxygenating your wort but the yeast need oxygen in the beginning. Some people even buy expensive equipment to oxygenate their wort before pitching. Personally, I just pour it back and forth between the kettle and fermenting bucket a few times and that's worked well for me. Without any oxygenating don't you have problems with stuck fermentation?

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:15 PM   #6
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IMHO the quick chill will some day go to the wayside like secondaries.
A WHOLE CONTINENT is doing it with great results but Americans just won't buy into it until someone like John Palmer says it is "safe"

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldood View Post
IMHO the quick chill will some day go to the wayside like secondaries.
A WHOLE CONTINENT is doing it with great results but Americans just won't buy into it until someone like John Palmer says it is "safe"
I completely disagree. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with what they are doing, but I brew a lot of hoppy beers, and I am unwilling to deal with the shortcomings of having my late additions steep in near boiling wort for an extended period. It will give me IBU's I dont want and change the flavor/aroma dynamics of the beer.

Before someone retorts with "...so you don't hop stand"

Sometimes I do, but I start those at 185, not boiling.

I'm also not waiting for anyone to tell me anything is "safe" I'll do my own bench testing and draw my own conclusions..there is a ton of misinformation out there, even from established talking heads.


@ the OP. I see no appreciable difference in the quality of my beers from winter to summer, where ground water goes from 40-70 and obviously drastically changes the time it takes me to chill wort.

I do see more cold break precipitate very quickly with cold ground water, but what's in the pint glass doesn't differ.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir View Post
I completely disagree. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with what they are doing, but I brew a lot of hoppy beers, and I am unwilling to deal with the shortcomings of having my late additions steep in near boiling wort for an extended period. It will give me IBU's I dont want and change the flavor/aroma dynamics of the beer.

Before someone retorts with "...so you don't hop stand"

Sometimes I do, but I start those at 185, not boiling.

I'm also not waiting for anyone to tell me anything is "safe" I'll do my own bench testing and draw my own conclusions..there is a ton of misinformation out there, even from established talking heads.


@ the OP. I see no appreciable difference in the quality of my beers from winter to summer, where ground water goes from 40-70 and obviously drastically changes the time it takes me to chill wort.

I do see more cold break precipitate very quickly with cold ground water, but what's in the pint glass doesn't differ.
If you change your bittering charges to compensate for the additional IBUs, you can still no chill (or slow chill). You just have to know your process and make sure your recipes account for what you're doing.

The main benefit of chilling quickly seems to be getting the wort down to pitching temps so you can get fermenting quickly.

Skin the cat however you like! Enjoy your bench testing!
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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I hop stand at 170-180. It just takes a little while for the wort to get there, so I wait. Late kettle additions go in later, often at or a little after flameout. The temp still keeps everything pasteurized throughout that whole process.

Do what works for you, I'm not out to convert anyone unwillingly. I'm just trying to say that you can get the same results as quick-chilling if you do a little tweaking to your process, but that is only if no-chill is something you are interested in trying.

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Old 08-01-2014, 05:00 AM   #10
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No minimum or maximum. No contamination is the key I think.

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