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Old 10-11-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Hot Break Material vs Cold Break Material

Hey all,

Up until now I have been dumping all of the hot/cold break material from my all-grain brews into the fermenter, and I'd like to start leaving out as much hot break material as I can. I really only want to remove the hot break material, so I'm fine with all of the cold break material making it into the fermenter. But my question is, at the bottom of the kettle, what is the hot break material and what is the cold break material?

I know the stuff floating on the top of the wort is hot break, but in the coral-reef-looking cluster of material at the bottom of the kettle, which part is the hot break and which part is the cold break?

Thanks!

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Old 10-11-2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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Cold break is the proteins that form and drop out of the wort during the chilling phase.. They sort of coagulate and form in that corral-reef structure that you are talking about. Cold break, is pretty much harmless, although there are some people out there who have had better and clearer beers when filtering out the cold break... I personally have no experience with filtering out one over the other... but my next brew I will be racking to one carboy and then once the break has formed, racking into another carboy, just to test the theory.

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Old 10-11-2010, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Bowtiebrewery.

Is any of that stuff at the bottom of the kettle hot break material as well? Or is the hot break material only the stuff floating on the top of the kettle?

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Old 10-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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I use a CFC so none of my cold break stays in the BK. However, I do prefilter it through a strainer as it falls into the fermenter coming out of the chiller. I doubt I leave much behind though. It's pretty fine stuff.

I've made some brilliantly clear beers using this method along with Irish Moss and a Cold Crash and patience. If I had an IC I'd probably leave most of it behind. But I don't think it hurts the beer if you let it settle in the primary/secondary instead of the Boil Kettle. You can usually siphon the beer off the top of it when transferring.

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Old 10-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrostp View Post
Thanks Bowtiebrewery.

Is any of that stuff at the bottom of the kettle hot break material as well? Or is the hot break material only the stuff floating on the top of the kettle?
Hot break is created by boiling. Cold break is created by chilling the hot wort. Both are usually left in the boil kettle when chilling in the boil kettle (IC), or transferred into fermenter when using a plate chiller or CFC (normally).

The stuff you see floating on top might be hops. I think the hot and cold break normally settles down within a few minutes.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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Hm.. so I guess there's no way to lazily dump the whole kettle into the fermenter without pouring the hot break in as well.

Though, if cold break material in the fermenter is supposedly good for the yeast (and bad for clarity), then is there a trick for adding some of the cold break material and none of the harmful hot break material?

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Old 10-11-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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LOL! No, there is no way to magically dump it. I don't have a spigot on my BK yet, so I siphon, which actually helps.

I add hops at flameout, and stir them in, and get a nice swirling whirlpool going. I hook up my CFC. By the time I get it hooked up, the hops have been in for 5 minutes or so and the whirlpool has started to push all the hops and break material towards the center.

I siphon from the top, near the edge of the kettle. This REALLY helps keep the gunk in the kettle. I just move it down every once in a while as the level goes down. By the time it gets to the bottom, the break is usually in a nice mound at the bottom. I carefully siphon what wort I can get without getting much break material.

TBH - I am not sure if fermenting with some break material is going to hurt your beer. The objective is to MAKE break material, not necessarily leave it out of the fermenter. It will settle QUICKLY and will be left behind when you transfer. Most people would rather not have it in the fermenter, but I am not sure it is detrimental to the beer other than seeing it swirling around when the yeast are going crazy.

Not making break material means that it remains in the wort the entire time, which will lead to cloudy beer. But once it's coagulated into break material, I think you are OK.

Personally, I'd rather not have it either, but since I am using a CFC an not an IC I get some cold break. No biggie.

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Old 10-11-2010, 02:11 PM   #8
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Damn. Alright, I'll start doing the whirlpool trick and siphoning.

Thanks Homercidal!

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Old 10-11-2010, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jfrostp View Post
Hm.. so I guess there's no way to lazily dump the whole kettle into the fermenter without pouring the hot break in as well.
Actually I chill with my immersion chiller and then rack with an autosiphon into my fermenter. I leave it all behind, hop gunk and break material. What I do is when I start siphoning I gently rest the bottom of the autosiphon on one of the coils of the IC above the gunk and rack until all the clear wort is gone and I can see the bottom, then I lower the as closer to the muck and try to get as much of the remaining wort as well, leaving everything else behind.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Actually I chill with my immersion chiller and then rack with an autosiphon into my fermenter. I leave it all behind, hop gunk and break material. What I do is when I start siphoning I gently rest the bottom of the autosiphon on one of the coils of the IC above the gunk and rack until all the clear wort is gone and I can see the bottom, then I lower the as closer to the muck and try to get as much of the remaining wort as well, leaving everything else behind.
I once used my autosiphon to get my CFC going. Yes, I siphoned HOT wort through my CFC using my autosiphon. Once.

I love my NEW autosiphon...

(in case you missed it, the moral of the story is DO NOT siphon hot wort with your autosiphon...)
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