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Old 07-22-2009, 05:09 AM   #1
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Default What's a good way to rack to fermentor?

The first batch I did I used my fancy dancy new DIY rib cage IC and got this incredible cold break(right?). In order to put the wort into the fermentor I just poured it into the ale pale through a funnel. I know it worked great to aerate the wort but I just realized today that I totally undid or negated the cold break because all those proteins that fell out of solution just ended up in my fermentor. This finally dawned on me today while trying to figure out why my beer is not very clear at all. Anyway, I have a sanke keg waiting for me to install a ball valve and I'll be doing all my boiling in the keg. I wanted to use the ball valve to transfer the wort to the fermentor. My question is, since all the cold break junk falls to the bottom of the kettle, once I opened the ball valve I'd still be putting all the cold break into the fermentor. So what is a good method to use a handy valve to rack to the fermentor while still leaving all the cold break junk behind?

thanks for the help!

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Old 07-22-2009, 06:33 AM   #2
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It will simply drop to the bottom of the fermenter, you can usually notice this occurring within 10-15 minutes. It won't re-combine with the wort in the fermenter - the fact that it the cold break happened and precipitated out is what really matters.

I pour my wort into the pail also, even when I stir it up that cold break still falls right back down within minutes so I don't believe it is anything to worry about. I do get clear beer in the end.

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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ifish,

I thought having those proteins etc in contact with the wort could inhibit some clarity and even possible impart some off flavors. But it sounds like you get clear beer anyway. My beer isn't clear. In fact, this first batch of honey ale came out very similar in clarity to your avatar picture. Let's put it this way, I can't see from one side of the glass to the other and it's not a dark beer.

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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I don't have a ballvalve in my kettle, so I rack about half way, then pour the rest of the wort in. I usually don't strain at all, unless I've used a ton of leaf hops. I rack 1/2 and and pour 1/2 because I'm just too weak to lift 5 gallons and the keggle or the kettle. (I weigh maybe 135 pounds)
Here's a picture of my IPA:


I don't use any finings, except for whirlfloc in the kettle. The key is to get a great hot break and cold break. I have never had any off-flavors from not filtering the break material and hops sludge out.

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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Whilrpool and then rack from the side of the pot. The cold break/trub will remain in the center, and if you then rack from the very edge of the pot, you should not see an overabundance of proteins in your fermenter. I would be interested to know how well whirlpooling works with a ribcage immersion chiller, though. I would think it might be difficult. If you used recirculation to create the whirlpool, perhaps it would work, but I would be curious to hear if anyone has tried this. If you can't whirlpool, then the next best method is to use a screen of some sort to filter out the agglomerated pieces of trub.

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Old 07-22-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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Yooper,

Your beer looks great, very clear! I wonder why mine isn't very clear.

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Old 07-22-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beavdowg View Post
Yooper,

Your beer looks great, very clear! I wonder why mine isn't very clear.
There are several reasons- lack of a good hot break, lack of a good cold break, non-flocculant yeast, not waiting long enough before bottling, etc.

Like I said, I find that Whirlfloc gives me great results, better than Irish moss, and I never use gelatin or other clarifiers.

What's your procedure like?
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