The Big Chill

ImageSo, thanks to the East Bank Holidays, I’ve got four whole days ahead to get my first batch of homebrew on, but after doing some reading and research in preparation for the big day, there is one piece of kit I’ve overlooked, which may deliver a fatal blow to my brew if I don’t sort it.

I’ve not got a wort chiller. Several books, blogs and webposts mention the need to coll the wort as quickly as possible using a chiller, before pitching the yeast, so I’m kinda thinking it’s a big deal.

If time was not an issue, I’d have a bash at making my own, because it sounds like the geeky fun sort of project I am into, but I want to get brewing in the morning.

I’m off on a shopping raid this lunchtime to pick up a final couple of bits of kit and my ingredients for brew day tomorrow, so I’m thinking I should pick one up.

So, I’m making a plea to any seasoned brewers out for some simple advice: “To chill or not to chill, that is the question?”

Any help, guidance or insight appreciated. I follow back and link to anyone who helps me out.




4 thoughts on “The Big Chill

  1. Pingback: Counting down the hours… | Jon's Homebrew Adventures

  2. Chilling is important for two reasons: (1) to ensure the yeast takes off quickly so they out-compete any other contaminating microbes, and (2) to minimize the formation of chemicals that may impart unfavourable flavour elements, such as dimethyl sulphide or diacetyl. If you have an opportunity to beg, borrow, or steal a chiller, you should. Barring that, you might try a longer boil (e.g., 90 min. instead of 60 min.), which could boil off some of the unfavourable chemicals. Either way, try to achieve pitching temperature as quickly as possible (snow, refrigerator, water bath, etc.) for best results.

    • Thanks for the advice. Unlikely I’ll be able to get hold of a chiller for this batch, so will go for longer boil and ice/water bath.

      Will a longer boil affect the flavour in any way, ie can you over-boil the wort to the point it loses flavour, or will it intensify (similar to when you’re cooking a red wine resuction)?

      • A longer boil will result in greater evaporative loss. You will need to account for the extra water loss either by starting with a greater boil volume or by using (sterilized) top-up water after the boil.

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