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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Filtering break
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:43 AM   #1
jstofer
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Default Filtering break

So I'm pondering doing something...mainly just to see if it works. In my boil kettle, I have a bazooka tube and then I also run a kettle filter from Utah biodiesel. Normal process is to whirlpool after boil and run through my plate chiller into my fermenter. I was thinking instead of leaving the screen on the bottom that I would take it off and recirculate the hot break back through the kettle filter (dump the hops and trub out of it first) and then chill it. After chilling, I would normally dump it right into the fermenter, but I was thinking, why couldn't I run this back through the kettle screen to filter out the cold break. I know I could potentially increase my infection risk etc.... My beer is pretty good with some trub going into the fermenter, so it's mainly to see if makes a huge difference in clarity and to see if I can actually do it I'm not an expert by any means so that is why I'm asking if anyone can let me know if this won't work for whatever reason in advance.

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Old 02-04-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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I don't filter any break or hops. It all goes into the fermenter. I use whirfloc (irish moss) with 10 minutes left in the boil to coagulate proteins, carefully rack off the trub when I transfer, and cold crash for 3+ days in the keg before I serve.

Just those three items give me great clarity. I think all the filtering is a waste of time, because in the end you really need to do the above items anyway to get good clarity, and the filtering is about 90% more work and $$$ to achieve a very similar result.

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Old 02-04-2014, 06:19 PM   #3
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I'm with you...this is mainly an experiment to see if I can tell anything different or not. I take all the same steps...ie cold crashing, whirfloc, etc....this particular setup for filtering won't cost me anything but about ten minutes.
I just wanted to see if anyone saw a problem with what I was proposing.

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Old 02-04-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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Nope, doesn't look like it'd hurt. No real bump in risk of infection, and you'll even gain a little oxygenation by recirculating it one more time cold. I don't see any real drawbacks besides the effort, and I can tell you it isn't going to make any difference in your clarity

There are even plenty of studies, including one by John Palmer on the Brewing Network, where they indicate that having trub in the fermenter is actually better for yeast health, and filtering pre-fermentation can adversely affect the quality of your beer. Not to a large extent, but nonetheless.

So, do it if you want, but it is basically going to equate to a waste of time!

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Old 02-06-2014, 02:24 AM   #5
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Is a biofilter fine enough to filter out trub from wort when pumping? If it is, could it block up? I use a plate chiller and deal with the trub when it is in the conical. I remove the trub after it settles. Then I aerate the wort and toss in the yeast. I filter all light lager and pils after secondary fermentation. It's a cleaner way to harvest yeast from the primary. To some, filtering is a waste of time. IMO, it makes a finer end product. It's quick, it reduces aging time. I use a 1 micron tri-plate filter. It leaves enough yeast to work on speise. Usually, I wait until the beer is at 4% fermentable sugar. Then have no need to add speise, krausen or artificially carb.

Do the plenty of studies or Johnee Palmer ever mention what volume of trub is needed to maintain the health of yeast? Is a half liter, a liter, a few milliliters needed? Trub contains haze forming simple proteins, polyphenols, and sulfur. Along with other things called ketones. The best hot and cold breaks are useless when trub is carried into the ferment. Polyphenol in trub causes astringency, similar to what occurs from stripping tannin from the husk. Yeast cake laying on trub, begins working on simple protein in the trub, opening the door for fusels. More so, when the wort is under oxygenated. It's a sterol synthesis thing. Elevated fermenting temperature isn't the only cause of fusels. Trub probably doesn't matter in high octane, hopped to death beer, thrown down the belly two to three weeks after fermenting.

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Old 02-08-2014, 02:26 AM   #6
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I have contemplated this same experiment. After doing lots of research, I came to the conclusion that some cold break in the fermenter is probably good for yeast health. I listened to a podcast where several home brewers (I think the number was about 15 or so) did a side by side test of split batches - one with all break and trub removed before pitching and the other without. The result was split about evenly with half preferring trub in and half preferring trub removed.

I personally would want to remove as much hop debris but not worry about cold break.

The only thing that might be an issue is that the cold break could clog the hop filter or bazooka tube. Some reports of that on the stainless steel hop spider forum.

Other than that, I don't see much risk with running the experiment and would like to know the results.

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