Anyone can go down to the local bottle shop or beer bar and choose from any number of amazing craft beers, assuming one is of legal drinking age. But that’s not good enough for homebrewers. Sure, we’re as likely as anyone to check out the commercial offerings (perhaps even more so), but we relish the challenge of making our own beer for many reasons. One of those reasons is the opportunity to experiment, safe in the knowledge that the worst-case scenario is a few gallons of wort down the drain. And every now and then, such experiments deliver results that fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
Such is the case for no-chill brewing, a technique developed by pioneering homebrewers in Australia, where drought conditions often limit water availability. As a water-conservation measure, brewers Down Under developed a method of wort chilling that involves no chiller at all. Rather than relying on an immersion or counterflow device to rapidly cool wort post-boil, these Aussie brewers have found success (and won awards) simply by racking to a container of suitable size and, well, letting the wort sit there . . . until it’s cool enough to pitch yeast.
If you decide to give no-chill a try, here are a few tips to get you started.