Post #2 made 8 years ago
I've no-chilled from my first AG (BIAB) and have never had any issues with it. I did toss 3 brews in a row a couple of years ago, as I thought they were infected. Turns out, what I was smelling was a part of the yeast profile...

Live and learn.
Last edited by hashie on 11 Apr 2010, 06:44, edited 18 times in total.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #3 made 8 years ago
Sometimes I no- chill, sometimes just pop the 19L stockpot in the laundry tub, each has its pros & cons.

Bob, I am struggling to remember my last infection! Ah yes, it was my very first batch of TTL so early last year- I was still very much a grasshopper and hadn't been taking the taps apart to clean them, so it was self inflicted. Man was I disappointed, like hashie says, live and learn.

Never had any issues with no- chill cube infections.
[center]Give me a beer and I will move the world. Archimedes[/center]

Post #4 made 8 years ago
I no-chill in a cube and I think that this is a better way than simply covering a kettle with foil. The reason is that the kettle has air in the headspace above the wort and as the wort and air cool, they will reduce in volume and draw air into the kettle. There are going to be some bugs in the air that will come into the kettle and there is a chance that this will infect the wort. Whether it ruins or even is noticeable at all is another question.

No-chilling in a cube eliminates this problem as the hot wort is put into the cube, filling it with only a little air in the headspace. The cube is then sealed completely with no chance for air to come in if the cap fits properly. The air in the headspace is pretty much sanitised due to the heat in the wort at the time of cubing it.

No-chill in a cube just seems a better practice to me. My 2c.

Post #5 made 8 years ago
Hey Dick, I allowed my first 1/2 dozen brews chill in the kettle o'night. Just draped a flannel cloth over the top. I had no problems with infection although, as you said, the wort continued to evaporate where no chilling in a cube eliminates this.

The brews chilled in the kettle were pitched in the fermenter the next morning. I certainly would not leave it more that 12-18 hours!
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #6 made 8 years ago
Yep, all quite good points Dick and hashie.

Chaps, I'm adding all this below for the OP, can consider for an article.

With in- kettle cooling (be it passive by just leaving it to air cool, or enhanced by water- cooling in the laundry tub etc.), airborne pathogens are a possibility in just leaving the kettle open, particularly where there's any grain dust or flying insects.
With a stockpot though, the lid is an excellent fit, so that's what I use. I've seen some folks put tape over the breather opening in it, but most of the time I'm happy to leave it open while the wort cools and also contracts. Not everyone can put a well- fitting lid on their kettle though and while foil isn't the most reliable way to keep airborne gunk out, that's about all some folks can do.

No- Chilling takes advantage of the heat from near- boiling wort to pasteurise the internal surfaces of the cube and its contents, when hermetically sealed by putting the lid on, then the wort cools either passively in air or enhanced by 'slow- chill' and putting it in a swimming pool or tub of cool water. The wort contracts as it cools and sucks the sides of the cube in, this is normal, while the obvious sign of an infected cube will be bulging a few days after filling (quite rare!). Brewers should check that the cube is made of HDPE (class 6?), which is usually considered 'food safe', likewise if the cube has previously contained some other materials then ensure that it is well- cleaned and rinsed (hot) with no residues remaining.

I've stored No- Chill cubes for weeks, while I've heard of folks leaving them for months. I'm fairly sure that Fresh Wort Kits (FWKs) are made up as No- Chill cubes and transported all around the country and beyond with very few problems.

With NC cubes, to be honest, I've never been overly concerned about excess headspace and will sometimes just half- fill a cube, however in that case I'll make sure the hot wort gets to all surfaces for a few minutes to ensure good sanitation. Brewers can minimise the headspace by pressing the sides in to expel all of the air before sealing. I always fit a tap to NC cubes, it helps when expelling the air and also at emptying, however it does need to be checked thoroughly during the cooling that the spindle doesn't pop out and also that the tap thread is correctly seated, also remember the tap is quite vulnerable to being knocked or bumped off as the thread is less likely to resist any abuse while heated.

I've even pitched directly into a NC cube of wort, but it needs some preparation in fitting the tap beforehand (although it can be fitted just before pitching too). Fill the cube as usual, when ready to pitch, take the lid off to release the suction and let some fresh air in, pour in the yeast starter culture and re- cap, shake it up a little to aerate, re- open and cling film over the opening and you're done- it couldn't be simpler! Also this introduces another use for the cube as a fermenter.

There is a way of letting the cube cool with the break material around the tap for removal before pitching, but I've only tried it once and it was just too wasteful to be effective. I'll report back when I have another go at that.
Otherwise, when I'm emptying a cube into a fermenter, we'll note that most of the break material and debris has settled to the bottom of the cube during cooling. Now is a good time to separate the good clean wort from that muck, so I'll gently run the wort out through the tap, trying not to disturb the layer at the bottom. A cube standing upright will have about 1.5 to 2.0L of 'deadspace' when the tap is open, so just leave it all in there!

I probably break a few rules with kettle- chilling and NC cubing, but that's just how I operate, when it come time to write up the article, we might care to exercise some editorial discretion! Plus I have written yet another verbose essay... :oops: !
[center]Give me a beer and I will move the world. Archimedes[/center]

Post #7 made 8 years ago
I've even pitched directly into a NC cube of wort, but it needs some preparation in fitting the tap beforehand ~~~ it couldn't be simpler! Also this introduces another use for the cube as a fermenter.
My first cube was an expensive one because I was worried about everything! I still use it as my first choice. Since then I bought two of the round type with extra caps. I drilled out and grometed the extra caps and fitted them with air locks. How nice it is to have extra fermenters or extra NC storage. I thought about taps just above the hot brake "Muck" line but I have been worried about heat and expansion issues. I have just been siphoning the wort off the bottom. Clumsiness has lead to some hot break in the fermenters but I think you need some for better fermentation anyway!
Last edited by BobBrews on 11 Apr 2010, 21:57, edited 18 times in total.
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tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post #8 made 8 years ago
I must be a rebel :)

I just dump the whole lot, hot break and all, into the fermenter.
I believe the break material acts as a yeast nutrient, as Bob mentioned above. So for me it's all good.
I also ferment in a conical fermenter, so I can easily dump the resulting trub after fermentation has kicked off.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #9 made 8 years ago
Many brews (25+) using no chill method without incident. Now using a plate chiller most of the time, but still do the occasional no chill cube. Good way of storing/stockpiling supplies for future brewing.
Everybody's waitin' for the man with the bag ... K Starr (1950)

Post #10 made 8 years ago
Here in South East Queensland, even in the winter the water supply can be too warm for effective plate or counter-flow chilling. Mate Pete up the coast is setting up a system whereby the copper coil is embedded in a solid block of ice like a frozen prehistoric specimen and he'll run his wort through that. My electricity bills are high enough as it is, I'll stick to NC. Never had an infection from it, and I normally pitch within 2 days anyway.
I'm moving house in a few weeks and may do a brew and keep it in the cube for a couple of weeks to start off the new brewery.

Post #11 made 8 years ago
I have no chilled in a cube since my first AG brew, and will never change. I have the flexibility of being able to pitch whenever I want, separate to brewing, which is good for me with such a busy life.

I throw the whole lot in the fermenter, as I figure that any break material will drop out anyway, and it may provide some nutrients in the process.

I siphon the beer from the fermenter, which helps to keep it clear, and then filter it into a keg. Then I add any late hop additions from a coffee plunger and gas and chill the keg.

cheers,

Matt

Post #12 made 8 years ago
Ralph,
How did you get a tap on your cube? don't you need to screw it in from the inside of the cube?
I use a jerrycan that was previously used for shipping LME so at least in know its food grade and any remaining odors will be beer related.
Cube:
fermenter: Sourdough Spelt Ale, Classic Lambic, Oud Brune, Barrel Aged Belgian Dubbel
Kegs: Bob's Black IPA, Blanc Blond, Soda...
to be brewed:

Post #13 made 8 years ago
General NC question. When I dump my boil into the cube I generally siphon off the wort within a day or two to ferment so I don't worry about all the trub. If I wait a week or two to ferment, should I move it to another cube or is that a infection invitation? What’s the thoughts on this?
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tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post #14 made 8 years ago
shibolet wrote:Ralph,
How did you get a tap on your cube? don't you need to screw it in from the inside of the cube?
I use a jerrycan that was previously used for shipping LME so at least in know its food grade and any remaining odors will be beer related.
Hi shibolet,
most of the cubes here come with the hole and thread in place. I just haven't got a picture, anyone else got one? Here's the usual sort of thing we use, just can't see the bung and thread.

For retro- fitting any flat- sided container, a bulkhead fitting might do (example), but they're probably quite pricey, and it would likely be cheaper to buy the right cube with a tap thread. Then there's the problem of actually doing the nut up inside the container! :?
Last edited by Ralph on 07 May 2010, 06:36, edited 18 times in total.
[center]Give me a beer and I will move the world. Archimedes[/center]

Post #15 made 8 years ago
BobBrews wrote:General NC question. When I dump my boil into the cube I generally siphon off the wort within a day or two to ferment so I don't worry about all the trub. If I wait a week or two to ferment, should I move it to another cube or is that a infection invitation? What’s the thoughts on this?
I don't think it is a biggie Bob, the trub is sanitary since it has had the living daylights boiled out of it.
I've heard of folks leaving cubes for months, that's the beauty of NCing. As soon as you transfer it to another container after cooling, that's when the clock starts ticking (and it should be pitched immediately), is unlikely to be sanitary any longer, no matter how good the container's sanitising process was.
Last edited by Ralph on 07 May 2010, 06:40, edited 18 times in total.
[center]Give me a beer and I will move the world. Archimedes[/center]

Post #16 made 8 years ago
BobBrews wrote:General NC question. When I dump my boil into the cube I generally siphon off the wort within a day or two to ferment so I don't worry about all the trub. If I wait a week or two to ferment, should I move it to another cube or is that a infection invitation? What’s the thoughts on this?
I'm not sure why you would want to rack to another cube, only to then rack to your fermenter just because it,s been a couple of weeks.

For my experience, most of the trub has settled after 12 hours in the cube. I can't see it being absorbed back into the wort.

I would just rack to the fermenter as per normal.

I may have completely missed the point of your question?
Last edited by hashie on 07 May 2010, 06:44, edited 18 times in total.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #17 made 8 years ago
hashie, Ralph.
Thanks. You answered my questions. I guess if I was going to leave the wort for a extended time(months) I might worry about some off flavor. I am not going to leave it that long anyway because I am eager to try every beer. I am just like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to trying a new beer! Some day I will brew a (Traditional) brew and an exact copy with BIAB/NC. I may even let the BIAB set a couple of weeks. Let’s see which of my mates in the brew club can ferret out the bag beer?
http://www.cenwisdb.org<-- My Brew club
Last edited by BobBrews on 07 May 2010, 21:33, edited 18 times in total.
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tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post #18 made 8 years ago
Hey, that's no sweat Bob! FWFW, I've struggled to keep a cube of NC wort out of a fermenter for a month, they usually get tipped in within a week of being made, but I use a couple of fermenting fridges plus have plenty of fermenters. The scope is there though for longer storage, it really does make life simple not having to worry about chilling the wort.

Oh and well aren't you the trouble- making BIABer then, hey Bob?! :P Seriously, blind testing should blow their minds away, I've been issued a challenge by someone who should've known better, so I'll be knocking up a manifold and an esky for a simple 3-V setup fairly soon, one recipe, same ingredients, two methods, processed side- by- side and at the end, pick the better beer (that's if there is one that is better, they could both be crap!).

BTW, I dig the "Draught Board" in your brew club's name (that's "Central Wisconsin Draught Board" for everyone too lazy to click the link), what a classic!
[center]Give me a beer and I will move the world. Archimedes[/center]

Post #19 made 8 years ago
Ralph,
One of the reasons I like NC is that I had my copper coil chiller leaked into my pot while cooling. May not a biggie for some but I have a well that is loaded with every bacteria known to man. Lost a couple of batches before I noticed the bad connection! No more! I qualified to enter my Saison in the "Golden Growler" finals. I am not going to say a thing about BIAB/NC until it's over! Then spring it on them! I only have enough beer left to use for the judges and some (all) is over carbonated! I have been lifting the cap trying to let out pressure without oxygenating the beer. I was kegging the beer and decided to use cartabs to bottle a few for entry into the contest. I blew it! The kegged beer was a smash hit even with the (Dudwieser) snobs.

http://www.bullfalls-homebrewers.org/ Golden Growler
Last edited by BobBrews on 08 May 2010, 20:43, edited 19 times in total.
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tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post #20 made 8 years ago
"Dudwieser" :D

I saw on your brew clubs website that you had been selected as a finalist, well done and all the best for the finals. I hope it knocks their socks off!.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #21 made 8 years ago
so guys, here's a puzzler:
we had this brew party last Friday. my team brewed an English IPA (BIAB of course).
We split the wort into two cubes (10L into each 23L cube).
I took one and my team mate took the other.
as the wort chilled the cube got sucked in on itself, which is to be expected.
Only last night did I get around to transferring my wort into a fermenter and pitching. everything went fine (as it did in previous NC brews).
Today my friend went to transfer his half of the wort to fermentation and discovered a bloated cube with stinky contaminated wort in it. shit. he claims that it looked fine last night (that is the sucked in on itself thing).
obviously the wort was the same in both cubes. they were both sanitizes the same way.
i guess some bug got in there during filling. the question is why it didn't start feeding on the wort until 3 days later?
Cube:
fermenter: Sourdough Spelt Ale, Classic Lambic, Oud Brune, Barrel Aged Belgian Dubbel
Kegs: Bob's Black IPA, Blanc Blond, Soda...
to be brewed:

Post #22 made 8 years ago
I feel bad about loosing the wort. Yeast's are a living thing and they are as different as you and I. No one knows how they will react when they grow. Maybe a bug did get in or a stray breeze blew in something. No way to tell. I have never had the problem myself and I hope I never do. The infection was probably growing from the start but took some time to build up enough pressure to show. Man oh man! I will be up all night thinking about that wort going down the drain.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

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Post #23 made 8 years ago
Shibolet,

it may have been that the lid wasn't on tight enough, and let in some air during cooling, or there may have been some plastic inside the cube that didn't get covered for long enough with boiling wort to get properly sanitised.

That sucks big time. The closest I have come to something similar was when I cubed a beer and noticed the cube leaking from the side. It had developed a split and had become unusable, so I quickly got another and transferred it.

It is a good idea to sanitise the cubes before use and to give them a dose of oxygen bleach every now and then to clean them up nicely, especially after a solid run of stouts through them!

Crundle

Post #24 made 8 years ago
Shibolet,
Another thing. I have been varying my sanitizers to keep the “wild things” from developing resistance to my normal (Star San) sanitizer. I suspect that if you keep using the same sanitizer over and over sooner or later one tough bug will win out and take root. I don't have proof of this but it is comparable to the hand sanitizer problem in hospitals. I bought some major brand sanitizers and some unscented bleach or oxyclean too!
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From United States of America

Post #25 made 8 years ago
BobBrews wrote:Shibolet,
Another thing. I have been varying my sanitizers to keep the “wild things” from developing resistance to my normal (Star San) sanitizer. I suspect that if you keep using the same sanitizer over and over sooner or later one tough bug will win out and take root. I don't have proof of this but it is comparable to the hand sanitizer problem in hospitals. I bought some major brand sanitizers and some unscented bleach or oxyclean too!
I agree that over time bugs get resistance to your usual tricks. I would rather be operated on in an open field than in a hospital, and a surgeon I know agrees with me on that point.

To be honest, most of the time my sanitation practices leave a bit to be desired. I give containers a swill of boiling water before anything beer related hits them, and they are given a good clean after brewing and given a squirt of water from the hose before being left to dry in the sun, but I am not super particular about sanitation UNTIL I get an infection, at which point I begin with oxygen bleach followed by a sanitation solution of plain bleach and vinegar, followed by boiling water immediately prior to wort or beer hitting the container.

I always turn my filled cube on its side to get the handle area in contact with boiled wort, and then leave it to cool on its base, and have never had an infection in the cube in over 50 brews now, but the cube must be airtight and sealed well. A bit of air inside the cube doesn't seem to have much effect as long as the entire inner of the cube gets a good chance to be in contact with near boiling wort for at least 10 minutes after the cube is filled.

No chill is a fantastic practice IF DONE CORRECTLY.

cheers,

Matt
Last edited by crundle on 12 May 2010, 11:53, edited 18 times in total.
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