The science behind No Chill - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > The science behind No Chill

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-25-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
Edcculus
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
Liked 48 Times on 45 Posts



This thread isn't meant to be a discussion on whether the No Chill method works or doesn't. I haven't tried it, but many members and home brewers on more than on continent have proven it to work.

So why does it? Why does this method that seems to go against everything we were ever taught work so flawlessly? Why aren't all the no chill brewers drinking hazy beer that tastes like cooked corn/rotten cabbage and infected with botulism?

My guess is that most of the brewing texts older homebrewers referenced (IE Papa Charlie and JP) were written based on commercial production. On top of that, they were probably written for the commercial production of light lagers. I'm sure chilling quickly on a commercial scale is extremely important. Can you imagine how long even 20bbls of wort would maintain near boiling temperatures? I bet it would take a month for all of AB's wort to cool to pitching temperatures.

I'm willing to bet that modern chilling methods are based on the fact that commercial breweries originally wanted to reach pitching temperatures as fast as possible for quicker turnaround.

Granted this is all based on speculation. I have not done research on the history of chilling. Its kind of a chicken and egg situation. I think that commercial breweries ended up finding a benefit on larger systems (<20gallons) of fast chilling. Maybe even when lagers became commercially popular in Germany.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off?



 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 12:41 AM   #2
niquejim
Burrowing Owl Brewery
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
niquejim's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Cape Coral Florida
Posts: 2,378
Liked 51 Times on 40 Posts


It makes sense. For thousands of years of brewing there was no quick way to chill the wort and they kept on drinking it. I would guess that the improvements have made the beer better and more drinkable, although if you look at an old(1600-1700) recipe book they don't sound really tasty either



 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 12:41 AM   #3
The Pol
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts


Edd,

There is probably some truth to what you are saying. I mean, really who knows. It is like so many other things, as knowlege, equipment and materials evolve, so does the process and the product.

Some would argue that no chill is hazy and tastes like cooked corn, you just arent seeing it or tasting it... I am serious.

Maybe someone should ask one of the grandfathers of HB text to weigh in on the subject in the face of so much practical experience flying in the face of convention.

So, we need someone with a brewing science background to weigh in on this.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:07 AM   #4
dontman
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Philly, PA
Posts: 2,402
Liked 27 Times on 22 Posts


Are you saying that DMS is therefore, a boogeyman made up by commercial breweries, to justify the practice of quick chilling? I'm not buying it.

I am alternately convinced that DMS and slight haze are viewed by no-chill brewers as an acceptable, even desirable, "house" characteristic. Similar to certain commercial breweries who use clear glass bottles and whose customers expect a slight level of skunking, especially when counteracted by a slice of lemon or lime, or others who cultivate a small amount of diacetyl to achieve a buttery mouthfeel.

I am not really trying to be contentious here. Only a small percentage of tasters are able to pick up low levels of DMS anyway. And before it becomes distinctly corn tasting it actually adds a hint of malty sweetness to the brew. A plus in many circumstances or completely unnoticed in others, as in a very malty or hoppy brew. I had a training class where we added DMS drop by drop to a tasting glass of regular Budweiser and it actually improved the flavor at first. The thing was, there were only two of us in this class of around 16 people that could even taste the DMS until suddenly everybody was tasting creamed corn in the beer.


If you boil for 90 minutes and filter or fine with polyclar I would bet that you nearly eliminate the side effects of no-chill unless you are doing very light low hopped lagers.
As far as beers that were produced before quick chill was an option we are talking about a distinctly different time. We really have no clue how much DMS was in their beer but we sure do know that it was served quite cloudy even at cellar temps and for that reason there was no push to find clear glass vessels to serve it in. Only after there was clear glass was there a push to eliminate haze from beer.
__________________
On Tap: 1. Kelly R. IPA, 2. Roter Hund Hefeweizen, 3. Bud Killer Blonde, 4. Red Dog Pale, 5. Roter Hund Oktoberfest, 6. Pumpkin Ale, 7. McRed's Stout (with new nitro system and stout tap,) Cream Soda, 8. ESB # 3, & 9. Ordinary Bitter.


 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:19 AM   #5
The Pol
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts


I have to respectfully disagree with the cloudy "house" characteristic of no chill beer. Have you SEEN a no chill beer at 34F? There are a few photos here on HBT.

Have you ever brewed a no chill beer?

My no chills are EASILY just as clear as my IC'd beers of the past 4 years were. There is no "house" cloudiness. Then again, I have actually used the process.

Here is my cloudy "house character" beer



 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:26 AM   #6
chefchris
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
Gainesville, Florida
Posts: 1,713
Liked 21 Times on 21 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
Then again, I have actually used the process.
snap.
I'm sure you were curious of how I got away with so few characters in the post. Pat yourself on the back for solving this mystery.
__________________
staygoldBREWING

I think you are confuisng circle k with a reach around. - Denny's Evil Concoctions

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:32 AM   #7
The Pol
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by chefchris View Post
snap.
I'm sure you were curious of how I got away with so few characters in the post. Pat yourself on the back for solving this mystery.
I didnt solve a mystery... Aussies have been brewing this say for a decade or more as a normal process.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:32 AM   #8
beerthirty
big beers turn my gears
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
beerthirty's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Podunk, VA. Not far from the NC line.
Posts: 2,589
Liked 32 Times on 14 Posts


Having never used it I offer my opinion. No chill gives bacteria a longer time frame to inoculate the wort which in turn makes it harder for the slower growing yeast to get a strong foothold for healthy fermentation. It only makes sense to reduce the time spent in bacterias incubation temp range to reduce the chance of infection. I will not discuss Bigfoot.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:36 AM   #9
The Pol
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by beerthirty View Post
Having never used it I offer my opinion. No chill gives bacteria a longer time frame to inoculate the wort which in turn makes it harder for the slower growing yeast to get a strong foothold for healthy fermentation. It only makes sense to reduce the time spent in bacterias incubation temp range to reduce the chance of infection. I will not discuss Bigfoot.
I have had IC'd ferments take 72 hours to start, my no chills start in less than 72 hours. My glass carboy was not heat sanitized, my no chill fermentor is. This could be debated, but I think the OP made the point that this was not to be a debate on whether it works or not.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 01:36 AM   #10
JKoravos
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Chelmsford, MA
Posts: 1,203
Liked 73 Times on 54 Posts


If it tastes good to you, no worries.

There are very well documented benefits of quick chilling, you can't really blame anyone for doing it.



Ales Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NO CHILL beer, and chill haze... UGH The Pol General Techniques 62 01-16-2013 11:12 PM
science at its best Matt Foley General Beer Discussion 6 07-22-2007 10:42 PM
Using a wind chill of -5 to chill wort BierMuncher All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 23 02-08-2007 01:54 AM
Hop utilization - Here comes the science david_42 General Techniques 4 07-10-2006 06:34 PM


Forum Jump