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Old 08-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Question for No chillers and not pitching yeast right away

So I brought this up in another thread, but I wanted to ask the community here for thoughts on this.

One time my starter failed to take off. The wort had been sitting in the fermenter for 2 days with no yeast when I decided to make a new starter. For extra measure to ensure sterile wort, I crushed up 5 camden tablets and added them to the wort. I let it sit for another 30-ish hours to make sure the camden did its job and had stopped being effective, then pitched the new starter.

It helped me through a less than ideal situation...ended up working great and the end result was awesome beer. So I am wondering if this has and place in no chill brewing, or just those who can't pitch yeast immediately for whatever reason.

It got me to thinking...would it be a good insurance for no chillers to add 1 camden tab per gallon to the beer in the cubes or would this be a waste. Part of me feels like if something was going to get in the wort before pitching time, camden wouldn't do much since it is already sterile going into the cube, but if there is any merit to this it could be helpful to a lot of brewers!

What are your thoughts?


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Old 08-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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some people don't use a chiller and just let it sit (covered) overnight.


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Old 08-30-2011, 10:15 PM   #3
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Never used camden. Wort goes in sterile (immediately after flame-out) and the remaining air in the container likely gets sterilized by the steaming liquid. Cube is sealed and a vacuum occurs as the wort chills. Only had one batch (out of over a dozen brews) get infected while in the cube and that's because I broke the vacuum by draining a quart of cooled wort out several days after filling the cube so I could make a real wort starter (cube sucked in a big gulp of "basement air").
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by certaut View Post
some people don't use a chiller and just let it sit (covered) overnight.
I would be one of those people!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes View Post
Never used camden. Wort goes in sterile (immediately after flame-out) and the remaining air in the container likely gets sterilized by the steaming liquid. Cube is sealed and a vacuum occurs as the wort chills. Only had one batch (out of over a dozen brews) get infected while in the cube and that's because I broke the vacuum by draining a quart of cooled wort out several days after filling the cube so I could make a real wort starter (cube sucked in a big gulp of "basement air").
This is exactly why I made this thread. Since camden is used to sterilize wines and such since there is no boiling process involved, I am trying to figure out if there is any downside for using it in beer in the same manner.

What I am getting at is, What if you tossed 5 camden tabs in the cube before you squeezed the headspace out and sealed it back up...would that have taken care of anything that got in and prevented you from losing that batch?

Like wise, what if you boiled up a bunch of wort for yeast starters, transfered to a storage medium like a cube, canning jars, etc. Then hit with camden every time you draw some off to make a starter. I would much rather do that then boil wort every time for a starter!

Does anyone follow my logic or have I just gone off the deep end?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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Honestly? Seeing as though campden is used in wine making to halt fermentation, I have always been concerned with its affect on my yeast once I do finally pitch.

BTW, the batch that I lost went from fine to an ugly smelly monster puking nasty liquid all over my basement in a matter of a few hours, not sure if anything would have prevented the nasties that took hold and created that disaster. I also don't mind boiling my starters for a few minutes just to be safe (although I now reserve a portion for RWS before draining the kettle into the cube).
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes View Post
Honestly? Seeing as though campden is used in wine making to halt fermentation, I have always been concerned with its affect on my yeast once I do finally pitch.
Keep in mind that campden is not used to halt fermentation. It's used to knock out some wild yeast initially, which is way weaker than wine/beer yeast.

Campden in conjunction with potassium sorbate is used to inhibit further fermentation once fermentation is complete.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Keep in mind that campden is not used to halt fermentation. It's used to knock out some wild yeast initially, which is way weaker than wine/beer yeast.

Campden in conjunction with potassium sorbate is used to inhibit further fermentation once fermentation is complete.
Good to know (pardon my ignorance). Perhaps I shall add campden to my regimen...or at least see what the Aussies have to say on the subject.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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Yes, camden is used to help kill anything that is in wine before you pitch the yeast you actually want in the wine. It does not permanently stay in solution which is why I wonder if it could have helped thughes out in his situation.

Plus I always have tons of camden on hand because if I can't find it to knock the chloromites out of my water, I just jog 300 yards to the LHBS and pick up a new bottle for 2 bucks haha
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:17 AM   #9
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Very interesting thread. I am currently a no-chiller as well and I just let my beer sit overnight in its pot, covered (clamped down to prevent the lid from getting knocked off accidentally). Though I have not had any infections with my few no chills, I am always a bit concerned. This could be an additional level of anti-infection security.

How long would we need to wait before pitching yeast safely if we used camden?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:23 AM   #10
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I've been considering this with my lagers. I would still use my chiller to get it down around 90F, but at that point I would put it in my freezer and pitch the next day. Seems that everyone who does this reports that it works great, and getting my wort under 60F is really tough with my current setup.


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