Author Topic: Cooling/storing wort  (Read 3342 times)

Offline ckpash88

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Cooling/storing wort
« on: April 18, 2012, 08:26:10 PM »
My question is as this a two parter.

What would happened of I were to drain my wort into my fermenter (plastic bucket) without cooling it first and let it cool in the bucket then pitch the next day?

Could I store wort in my fermentor that is cooled (plate chiller used) while I am waiting for my starter to finish out. I am asking bc I plan on buying all my stuff in one day and I won't have the forethought to buy yeast a couple of days before hand.


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Offline bo

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 08:46:39 PM »
You risk oxidation by moving it when it's hot, but I suppose if you're careful, you could get by with it. As for waiting, you can do that too, but your sanitation process needs be top notch. 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 08:48:44 PM by bo »

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 07:24:08 AM »
Putting hot wort in a fermentor is a technique called no-chill and has found proponents especially in Australia.  The problem most often reported is that this changes hop character by increasing bitterns and reducing the flavor/aroma due to the lengthy period the wort is hot.  For a malt-forward beer this isn't a problem, for a hoppy beer you have to add more hops late and even then I'm not sure you get the same result.  In any case, putting hot wort in a bucket might not be a great idea because they are generally not really air tight and you'll suck air and possible contaminants into the bucket when the wort cools and shrinks.  People most often use plastic jugs that seal well and are flexible enough to collapse a little without letting air in.  Once cooled, you transfer the wort or just ferment in the same container.

As for storing cooled wort, I've often cooled to double digits then put the wort in the fermentor to let it get down to pitching temp, and pitched yeast the next morning.  You need to have good sanitation but I don't think theres a big down side to this.  I'd rather do this than pitch when the wort is warm or my yeast cell count was low, both of those practices are almost guaranteed to produce poor results.
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 07:26:53 AM »
My question is as this a two parter.

What would happened of I were to drain my wort into my fermenter (plastic bucket) without cooling it first and let it cool in the bucket then pitch the next day?

Could I store wort in my fermentor that is cooled (plate chiller used) while I am waiting for my starter to finish out. I am asking bc I plan on buying all my stuff in one day and I won't have the forethought to buy yeast a couple of days before hand.


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I put hot wort into a bucket with my lambics so they get some natural bugs and sourness...so I wouldnt do it for normal beers. Although I leave the bucket partially open as well.

I almost always store cooled wort in my chest freezer and get it to pitching temps, then pitch the next day, and have had no issues whatsoever. As mentioned just make sure your sanitation is top notch.
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-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline rjharper

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 07:45:17 AM »
You can also expect chill haze, because you're not going to get a good cold break from rapid chilling.  It's primarily cosmetic, but I do like a nice clear beer.

Offline ajk

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 07:59:49 AM »
Wouldn't no-chill result in a horrendous DMS problem?  Or is that overcome some other way?

Offline richardt

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 08:06:04 AM »
No chill method is fine.  Especially if it is getting late and I just want to go to bed--I'll just put the 5.5 gallon SS BK (with lid on it) in the beer fridge (True GDM-12F) and let it chill down to pitching temps overnight.
The risk of contamination is there if your process isn't completely sanitary.

Do not seal up the fermentor and attach a blow of tube to a vessel containing water or sanitizer unless you want to suck it up into the fermentor as the wort cools and the headspace volume (gas) significantly contracts thereby creating suction on the blow off tube.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 08:59:40 AM »
Wouldn't no-chill result in a horrendous DMS problem?  Or is that overcome some other way?

If you're boiling long enough, then almost all the SMM has been converted to DMS, and the DMS boiled off. Switching to no-chill would only be a problem if your boil wasn't quite long enough.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 10:57:24 AM »
The australian no-chill method seems to work. I have not tried it myself but also I have not read any major DMS horror stories about it. They seal the hot (near boiling/sterile) wort in a plastic gerry can and cap it to cool. There is very little worry about contamination because everything was at least sanitary when it was sealed up.

I do, fairly often put the wort in the bucket and stick it in my fridge to finish chilling to pitching temp though.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 11:11:22 AM »
SS kettles chill down faster than plastic buckets, but I'm not sure if the time difference is practically significant.  I can only fit the 5.5 gallon SS kettle (and not the 20 gallon SS Kettle) in the fridge.  However, I can fit all my buckets and corny kegs in the fridge.  Use what works.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 11:20:26 AM »
SS kettles chill down faster than plastic buckets, but I'm not sure if the time difference is practically significant.

The medium you're using to chill is going to have far more impact. Room-temperature water will chill the wort ~25 times faster than room-temperature air, for example.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 11:41:45 AM »
No chill method is fine.  Especially if it is getting late and I just want to go to bed--I'll just put the 5.5 gallon SS BK (with lid on it) in the beer fridge (True GDM-12F) and let it chill down to pitching temps overnight.
The risk of contamination is there if your process isn't completely sanitary.

Do not seal up the fermentor and attach a blow of tube to a vessel containing water or sanitizer unless you want to suck it up into the fermentor as the wort cools and the headspace volume (gas) significantly contracts thereby creating suction on the blow off tube.
headspace "volume" actually expands because the wort contracts  this causes a pressure drop which then sucks...
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Offline anje

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 10:46:26 AM »
Now I'm a complete newbie at brewing, but for the last 2 of my 3 beers, I cooled the wort just enough so that I was comfortable with the idea of carrying it over to the fermenter, then dumped it in and diluted it to the full 5 gallons with store-bought bottled water. (I'd be more comfortable with the whole thing if I could do a full boil, but I don't currently have the pot to do it, and I'm not certain the electric stove could manage it.)  Let it cool overnight to my pitching temperature of 64F, pitched the yeast in the morning.

I've had no problems -- the beer tastes good, oxidation and contamination haven't been issues, nor has DMS.  Yes, there's some chill haze, but I consider that to be cosmetic and a side-effect of not yet owning a good chiller.  However, if your sanitation isn't up to snuff, a long cooling period is risky.

ETA: I cover the hole where the airlock attaches with a piece of sanitized Al foil. You might be OK with an S-shaped airlock, but don't seal your hot wort with a 3-piece, as the liquid will be drawn into your fermenter as the headspace cools.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 10:49:19 AM by anje »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 10:48:16 AM »
Yes, there's some chill haze, but I consider that to be cosmetic and a side-effect of not yet owning a good chiller.

If you're doing partial boils there really isn't much reason to own a chiller. Just freeze the top-off water in advance and it will come down to pitching temp in a few minutes.
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Offline anje

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Re: Cooling/storing wort
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 10:52:32 AM »
Yes, there's some chill haze, but I consider that to be cosmetic and a side-effect of not yet owning a good chiller.

If you're doing partial boils there really isn't much reason to own a chiller. Just freeze the top-off water in advance and it will come down to pitching temp in a few minutes.
Hm, hadn't considered nearly freezing it.

I still have the problem of having an insanely small freezer, but I'll definitely consider it once I get a spare fridge to convert to a fermentation chamber. My simplified swamp cooler methods aren't likely to work to my satisfaction this summer.
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