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Old 03-07-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
leotrace
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Default Filtering the cold break?

Hey guys,

A friend of mine and I have gotten addicted to brewing recently, but we keep having a problem that we can't seem to work around: fully filtering the cold break. We've tried using a simple screen strainer and a funnel strainer but have had mixed results. The screen strainer was quick, but definitely didn't remove all of the cold break. The funnel was more efficient at removing it all, but took absolutely forever.

What do you all use? Is there a better way?

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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You don't have to filter out the cold break. Many people pour everything right into the fermenter once cooled. The break material will drop out to the bottom by the end of the fermentation. That said, if you want to leave it behind you can use some Irish Moss at the end of the boil to clump it up and siphon from your kettle to the primary. Using this method you can leave behind the good majority of it.

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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Don't worry about a little break material in the fermenter unless you are making a lager or something that absolutely calls for less break. For years I used a collander ( I make mostly ales) like you would use when making tomatoe juice and it has pretty big holes. It more or less just filtered out the hops (I use home grown whole leaf exclusively) and then when enough hops had built up it would start filtering out more break. If you don't leave the beer on the trub too long (more than 3 weeks) it should not cause any issues. If you are using a secondary fermenter....all the more reason not to worry. If you absolutely feel like you have to.....you can always get a big nylon paint strainer bag from hardware store or a nylon hop bag from local HBS and use that.

Hope this helps.....Cheers

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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False bottom and ball valve on your kettle. Leave 1 - 2 quarts behind. Problem, not that there is one, solved.

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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Neovox brings up a good point I hadn't thought of......you can do a whirlpool.....after cooling the wort...get the wort stirring good and then leave it sit for a few minutes. Then siphon off from the sides of the pot and most of the hops/break material will remain in the center of the pot in a cone shape and get left behind when siphoning.

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:57 PM   #6
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That's good to know. We used Irish Moss in the last batch and that seemed to do a better job at clearing up the beer.

Do you know of any other techniques to help with beer clarity?

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leotrace View Post
Do you know of any other techniques to help with beer clarity?
Time and cold crashing.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:14 PM   #8
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It takes hours at freezing temperatures to get all of the cold break to form, let alone remove it. Look into settling tanks or floating to see commercial literature on the subject.

The small part of the cold break that chilling to ale pitching temp will form in the kettle is not worth trying to separate. Either get it all like a German lager brewery or don't worry about it (I say don't worry about it).

Hot break, different story.

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard
Hot break, different story.
What would you recommend for filtering the hot break?
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leotrace View Post
What would you recommend for filtering the hot break?
Generally the same thing you do to separate hops should separate hot break. For whole hops this is typically a hopback or false bottom, the hops create a filter bed. For pellet hops this is typically a whirlpool.
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