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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > not much cold break
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default not much cold break

So, I started using hop bags, and I discovered something. I am getting very little cold break, which explains my very hazy beer. I've tried irish moss in the kettle and gelitin in the carboy, still have chill haze.

I typically do a single infusion mash at about 154 degrees, batch sparge at 170 - 175, and boil for 90 minutes.

I am using an immersion chiller to get down to about 100 degress in about 20 minutes, then an ice bath to get to 75ish after about another 20 minutes.

I get maybe 2 tablespoons of cold break, which, judging from pics on this site, is pretty low.

Thoughts?

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Old 11-20-2007, 06:46 PM   #2
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Boil a gallon of water to kill nasties. When you sparge, keep your total volume down to 5 gallons. Do your boil as normal. start your chiller up and smoothly poor in the gallon of now cold water. You'll immediately see big globs of gook floating around. BTW Even without doing this you should be getting a lot of break. Are your boils vigorous? If not, you may be missing a strong hot break. Also, are you whirlpooling like your life depends on it before racking to primary?

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Old 11-20-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
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With what you are doing, you should get a good break. At least, you ought to get better than two teaspoons. Especially in Houston, I find the key to getting that good break is in the early part of cooling. Let the water run through your chiller as fast as possible as you feel comfortable without blowing a hose off, and move that coil around in the kettle to get better convection effect. I don't know how long it takes me to get down to 100F, but it seems like it takes far less that 20 minutes.

In fact, it seemed like it took me only about 20 minutes (if that) to get down to about 85F on Sunday with my immersion chiller. Of course, that probably wouldn't happen in the Summer.

You could also try a protein rest, but I imagine you are only set up for a single stage mash. I'm in a similar situation, but you can give decocting a shot to get your temps up. It's not that tough or that much of a worry, especially if you go with highly diastatic malts.


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Old 11-20-2007, 11:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys.

To awnser questions:

1) I get great hot break. I have to watch that kettle like a hawk, or a foamy explosion will kick out a ton of my wort when the boil starts.

2) I boil pretty vigerously. I usually lose almost a gallon of water in 75 - 90 minutes, which seems to be a lot if you live in Houston.

3) I whirlpool pretty vigerously as well. Enough that if I do any more, I will probably lose wort out of the top of the kettle.

I have been considering a sump-pump ice water addition to my chilling equipment, and if 20 minutes seems a bit long to get down to 100, I will probably make the plunge. I think home depot has them for like $30.

I have also thought about decocting, but I have just got the all-grain thing together repeadly pretty recently. I just added a grain mill to my brewery, and want to try my normal mash schedule a few times to check for differences in my efficiency.

I might try the one gallon cold water infusion to see if I get a noticable cold break, but I was under the impression that boiling with 5->4 gallons would increase my hop utilization as compared to 6->5 gallons. Am I going to make my beer a bit more bitter if I do this?

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Old 11-20-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerAg
Thanks for the help guys.

II might try the one gallon cold water infusion to see if I get a noticable cold break, but I was under the impression that boiling with 5->4 gallons would increase my hop utilization as compared to 6->5 gallons. Am I going to make my beer a bit more bitter if I do this?
I'm sorry- I don't understand this question about hops utilization. Could you explain this a bit more?

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:59 PM   #6
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You aren't going to get much cold break forming unless you get to below 60f

You'll get better ultilization from boiling more wort VS less wort.

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Old 11-21-2007, 12:14 AM   #7
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Your hop utilization drops slightly as your wort gets more concentrated. But if you do the math with a beer calculator, then you find the difference between a 5 gallon boil and a 6 gallon boil are pretty small. Dumping cold water into the pot after flameout is a powerful way to precipitate break. The overall temp of the wort won't drop a whole lot, but in localized pockets, the temp drop is dramatic and lightning fast making big globs of break form. The last thing I have for you is this: Do you leave the pot to sit and settle before racking? I leave mine for an hour or so, and end up with an inch and a half of nasty chunky stuff in the bottom of the pot. We're missing something simple in your process. The chiller alone should do a very good job of forcing precipitation, but in your case it isn't. This must be a procedure problem. We'll figure it out, keep feeding us info and I bet it will be obvious.

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Old 11-21-2007, 04:13 PM   #8
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To awnser the question, I usually swirl, rack the wort, areate and pitch as soon as the temp hits the 78 degree range. I was under the impression that letting 75 degree sugar water sit around was a great way to invite infection or wild yeast.

Also, once the boil is done, I am usually ready to finish up pretty quickly so that I can start sampling previous brews in earnest.

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Old 11-21-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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I let sit 30 minutes after chilling and whirl-pooling to settle and get a ton of break. I do make sure to cover everything very well and make sure there isn't any breeze blowing through to kick up dust or nasties. You should be ok letting your set a little longer to settle better, but I have no idea why you didn't have a bunch of break to begin with.

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Old 11-24-2007, 02:07 AM   #10
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Another option, I've considered is to rack into a carboy and let it sit for a day, then rack to another and pitch. Easier to keep it protected in a carboy. Consider boiled wort to be pasteurized to the max, so if you're sanitary it could keep that long.

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