Have you ever wondered about the “No Chill” method of brewing beer where you don’t quickly chill the wort after the boil to fermentation temperatures? Rather, the no chill method calls for transferring your kettle to a cooler environment and letting the wort chill itself via ambient temperatures before racking to a fermentor and pitching yeast. We ran an experiment where we brewed the same beer twice and chilled one beer rapidly and let the other “chill” overnight. Just to make things more interesting, we brewed with Sabro LUPOMAX hop pellets in a one gallon, Single Malt and Single Hops beer format. Check out the results of this Chill vs. No Chill SMaSH showdown!

The Brewing Process

Like I wrote above, we brewed the same beer twice but with just one little difference – how the wort was chilled. Here are the details for both beers:

Grains – 2 pounds (.9 kgs) of Rahr Standard 2-Row malt

Hops – 1 ounce (28 g) of LUPOMAX Sabro hops

Instructions – Heated 2 gallons (7.6 L) of tap water treated with a little sliver of a Campden tablet to 150°F (66°C). Mashed grain in a bag in a cooler for 1 hour. Transferred wort to kettle and boiled for 1 hour. Hops were added during these parts of the process.

0.25 ounces (7 g) at 15 minutes to go in the boil

0.5 ounces (14 g) at 0 minutes to go in the boil (Flameout)

0.25 ounces (7 g) at day 3 of fermentation

Fermented at 68°F (20°C) for 10 days using Fermentis US-05 (4 g). Racked beer to keg and carbonated to 2.5 volumes.

The Triangle Test Results

I tasted both beers and found them to be quite similar. The whole reason for this experiment was to prove that the No Chill method did not affect beer flavor in a noticeable way. Mike concentrated with all of his might and found the one that was different between the three cups presented to him.

If we’re splitting hairs, the beer where the quick chill process was employed we perceived to be smoother than the no chill beer. Mike said that if we didn’t have the beer to compare side by side, we wouldn’t have made that conclusion.

As I write this post, I wonder if we should have been comparing two beers where clarity would have been important. I think that where the chill method would have been easy to pick out from the no chill beer, and it would have been preferable.

Overall, I think the No Chill method is one that you can use in your own homebrewing practices. In terms of flavor for a hop forward beer, there wasn’t any drawbacks to the No Chill beer. You should experiment with the method if you’re looking not to use as much water in your brewing or just want to take time to sleep while your beer chills.

Besides the experiment, these beers were very enjoyable because of the hops. The Sabro LUPOMAX were awesome with lots of tropical fruit and peach! It was a good choice for a SMaSH.

Thanks for reading. BREW ON!