Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by mongey, 7/8/18.
Where do you live? The chemical factory I bought the cubes from are in Scoresby.
I'm in Newcastle but I'm good just bought a new one the week before last
so looks like the answer is maybe ?
so are the bunnings cubes linked to in OP ok for hot wort or should I be looking for something different ?
I just put a batch into a 25L Bunnings cube last brew day. I haven't pitched it yet but it's next into the fermenter. Others have used them without issue though so I'm not expecting any problems.
I definitely wouldn't let the wort cool in the fermenter or kettle. Asking for trouble if you do.
Why not ferment in a cube?
Buy a 25 litre cube/jerry can and transfer your hot wort into that, then seal it up and let it cool without any risk of infection. Once it's cooled to fermentation temperature, pitch your yeast.
Some sort of aeration would be a good idea also.
I've never done it myself, but plenty of others have. Just need to set up a blow off tube to let the krausen escape in an orderly fashion.
Edit: Just clicked on your link. That's precisely what you can use.
Why would a cube be any different from a sealed fermentor apart from maybe smaller headspace? especially if the fermentor has been fully sanitized?
Being able to easily squeeze all the air out of the cube would be the main difference and benefit.
Also as the hot wort cools it's likely to try and suck air in, a cube can be sealed air tight, not sure about a drum/ fermenter though.
This is what I found. The cooling FV sucked in air , nearly deforming itself in the process. Yet another drainpour.
You can manage the headspace effectively in a cube, and they are cheaper and more portable than FV buckets.
Couple of things to think about -
Bugs have been mentioned a couple of times already but lets think about one common beer spoilage organism Lactobacillus. Most of us heat our mash to over 70oC (personally to nearly 80oC) yet the expended grain will pong a beauty in 24 hours, shows there is plenty of lacto surviving even 80oC. Any gets into your wort and it will be quite happy spoiling your beer from 80oC on down until the beer is ruined. So sealing up your wort hot enough to kill bugs and not unsealing it until you are ready to pitch yeast is a good idea.
Good to remember hat most bacteria reproduce about 6 times faster than yeast, a very small count can get real big real fast!
Oxygen is only good for a wort during that very short time between aerating and pitching, where the yeast will take it up in less than half an hour. Fermenters tend to have much more head space than "cubes" so you will get more O2 uptake by the wort. That assumes you can really seal up a fermenter which I doubt, so as it cools air will be drawn in (hopefully sterile air but don't count on it)
Oxygen harms beer, especially highly hopped beers that are all the rage. It also contributes to staling in other ways to. So all steps taken to minimise O2 exposure after the boil are to the good.
No chill has some real advantages, but spend the small amount of dollars to do it properly. Or invest in the ability to chill your wort down to pitching temperatures quickly. Either way, it will probably wont cost you much more than one lost wort and nothing repays the lost time or the angst induced by tipping what could have been one of your finest.
Can you explain what 'doing it properly' entails? I've never done a hot cube but I'm keen to give it a try.
Plenty of articles out there, but the basic idea is that you match your cube size to your typical output.
You transfer your hot wort from your kettle tap into the cube via a funnel, or if your kettle has a barb fitting you can do it with a length of silicone tubing (highly recommend).
You CAN siphon it if desperate, but just don’t do that please.
You will aim to completely fill the cube. Compress the cube to drive out any remaining headspace, attach the lid and screw tight.
Knock the cube on its side and rotate it a few times to ensure the interior surface gets direct heat from the hot wort, so it is fully pasteurised.
Leave the cube alone until it gets down to pitching temps, usually 24-48 hours depending on ambient and beer style.
If pitching a lager, the cube might need some help getting down to your desired pitching temp, plan accordingly.
Pour cube contents into FV, leaving any sediment behind.
Clean cubes immediately and store them sealed with a star san solution until next use
Make sure the cube is completely filled, good idea to match batch size and cube. Might involve arranging for it to sit up at an angle - be safe - arrange something secure.
Squeeze all the air you can out, get the lid on quickly.
Lay it on its side for around half an hour so the "complicated" shapes (handle, around the lid, the lid...) are all soaked in very hot wort, flip it on its other side for a while - just make sure all the surfaces exposed to heat and time.
Leave it alone at least overnight, sterilising is achieved by both time and temperature.
When cool store in a cool dark place until ready to pitch the yeast.
Don't spill any on yourself it hurts, sugary wort burns much more than water. Gloves are good.
ΣOfAllBeers types faster, pretty much covered same points - hint!
Yup, those things are all pretty much what I do with my cubes. It's easy and I can store the wort for as long or short as I like/need to before pitching it. That's one of the things I like most about no-chilling - I can brew whenever and ferment it whenever, there's no rush or need to get the yeast pitched as soon as it cools down. I will concede that it does have its limitations in terms of big hoppy ales (although there are work arounds like cube hopping that I've found work pretty well), but if you are going down the no-chill route, I would agree with getting a cube(s) and doing it properly rather than risking infection leaving it to cool in the fermenter.
ok. I'll cube the damn thing. thanks all
how long does it take ot cool anyway in a sealed cube ? Id like to brew Saturday and put on Sunday . 24 hours enough ? can put it in my brew fridge to hurry it along if need be
Yep & yep. In this weather (Melbourne) I would say 24 hours is plenty. Might even get too cold.
Yeah usually 24 hours or so they're pretty much at room temp. I usually stick them in the brew fridge for a few hours before pitching depending on the time of year and what the wort is, e.g. for ales now I don't bother because they're already sitting at around 20 degrees. By contrast, in summer with lagers I might have to chill them overnight to get them down to ferment/pitching temp.
I only ever cool in fermenters. Cleaned and sanitised, pitch next morning with big active starter. Beer going in hot heats the fermenter up as well.
No issues. I have beers that are over 5 years old, still great.
I planned on using HEPA filters to filter out the bugs when cooling with the air being sucked in, but no infections have made me not worry.
My fermentations kick off kick, Krausen in a few hours. I remember when I just used to add yeast, no starter, would really take a day to get going. This IMO is worse just as risky to me as cooling in a fermenter.
to finish the thread I cubed. seemed to go fine . had a bunch of beer in me by the time I got to cubing,so may have been a little loose . I did flip the cube around on its sides to coat the inside but def not for half hour . thing was hot. took over 24 hours to get down and I still pitched a few degrees warmer than usual to get it done
was bubbling away 12 hours later so I made some kinda all grain beer . we'll see how it comes out
thanks all for the tips
I wouldn't think a lag time between pitching and krausen is worse than cooling wort in the fermenter. Even though you can't see anything on the surface, the little guys are still busy multiplying and dominating the brew.
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