Originally Posted by srl135
About a week ago I moved the beer over to the secondary fermenter and learned a valuable lesson... When i initially dumped my boil pot into the primary i did not strain out ANYTHING. (That has never been an issue for me since i brew mini-mashes with the steeping bag that is removed at the appropriate time) During the boil I added the pumpkin that I quartered and roasted, and then with about 15 min left in the boil i added the canned pumpkin hoping it would break down but not remove all the flavor. Soooo... jumping to the day I moved it to secondary. This was a train wreck. My siphon kept plugging up with the stringy pumpkin that had broken down through the boil but was now everywhere, some floated, some sank, and some suspended. I had to fight that battle at the same time as trying to figure out how best to get all that crap out without sacrificing sanitation. Lets keep going... Once i fought past the pumpkin and my siphon that wasnt working too well anymore, i had moved about 2.5 gallons into the fermenter (out of 5!!) when my siphon all together quit. After a good bit of cussing I came up with a plan to dump the whole damn bucket into my boil pot with a strainer over it to hopefully catch the rest of that pumpkin giving me issues. Upon doing so (and creating one hell of a mess) i realized that the siphon was plugging off because the remaining 2.5 gallons of my beer had turned into unusable trub (no doubt from that damn canned pumpkin). My secondary fermenter got 2.5-3 gallons of beer in it, i added water to top it off to 5 gallons but of course i have extremely watered down beer. Now i know i could have just left it alone at whatever volume came out but i was so pissed off at this point i didnt really care; i just want to try my watered down failed pumpkin attempt.
I guess there has to be a 1st for all of us... this was hands down my first ultimate failure.
So of all my wrongs, I'd like some pointers.
1)Do you all strain out the boil as you pour into the primary to avoid dumping in things like pumpkin? If so, do you do so with a strainer or siphon or what?
2)If you left it in the primary did you get the same results as mine??? If not, wtf went wrong?
3)Anyone ever topped off that much water? (nearly another 2 gallons) How did the end result turn out? Oh and I really dont care about ABV at this point because my water is gonna throw it off so much.
I would like to try another pumpkin but clearly need to refine my plan (and probably refrain from drinking so much) before doing so.
1. I always use a strainer when dumping into the primary. To me it makes sense even if you do a partial mash and everything is in a bag that getting as much of the things that get into your beer out will make for a better beer.
2. I just made a pumpkin spiced beer last weekend. I put the pumpkin in the mash with some rice hulls and I wrapped my manifold with cheese cloth to prevent a stuck sparge... still got a stuck sparge but it was minor. I try not to put anything into the boil such as fruits because when you strain it into the primary it is just way more work to get everything out.
3. Sometimes I top off with a gallon of water if to much evaporated out of my boil. Ill take a gallon of water, boil it for 10 minutes and then add it to my wort. In the end I usually hit my targeted O.G. I then cool my wort to fermenting temps before I add the yeast.
So far I've enjoyed my pumpkin spiced beers. The only thing I would change about my process would add more rice hulls. When brewing a pumpkin ale you can never have to much rice hulls.