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Old 10-28-2013, 11:29 PM   #1
Cincy17
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Default Need help with ridiculous amount of trub in fermenter

I brewed a pumpkin ale last week with 90oz of canned pumpkin and 3 lbs of graham crackers in with the mash. I had 2 lbs of rice hulls in there too, but it didn't matter and I had a completely stuck sparge in my cooler mash tun. In the process of getting the sparge going, the braided line in the bottom of my tun got destroyed and I ended up with lots of pumpkin and graham cracker powder in my kettle that I didn't have a way of clearing up before transferring to the fermenter. I know I should have taken the time to go get something to filter it before fermentation, but I didn't. So now I have about 3 gallons of loose trub in the bottom of my fermenter, and the other 2 gallons is really cloudy with lighter trub.

Is there any solution to save this after fermentation? Will gelatin and cold crashing outside help precipitate and pack down the trub when I'm ready, or can I get an inline filter that will work with that much trub? I don't want to have to dump it, but that and starting over is the only thing I can come up with.

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Old 10-29-2013, 01:15 AM   #2
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I would try gelatin and cold crash. You might not get as much But what you get should be fine.

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Old 10-29-2013, 02:45 AM   #3
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I starting reading your post and got to 3lb of graham crackers and just started laughing in wonderment that you were able to get that lautered....then I read the rest of your post. I have never tried it, but gelatin + cold crash would by my first thought if I was in your position. If you want to let it age some then perhaps just a cold crash and sit for 3-4 weeks. This should settle a decent amount of the particulate. Another thought would be to run it through a relatively fine mesh strainer as you rack to another vessel (would at least get some of the bigger chunks). The one drawback that I can think of with this is that it may introduce more oxygen than you want.

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Old 10-29-2013, 03:46 AM   #4
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I starting reading your post and got to 3lb of graham crackers and just started laughing in wonderment that you were able to get that lautered....then I read the rest of your post. I have never tried it, but gelatin + cold crash would by my first thought if I was in your position. If you want to let it age some then perhaps just a cold crash and sit for 3-4 weeks. This should settle a decent amount of the particulate. Another thought would be to run it through a relatively fine mesh strainer as you rack to another vessel (would at least get some of the bigger chunks). The one drawback that I can think of with this is that it may introduce more oxygen than you want.
It was a major challenge. Without constant stirring at mashout, it would have taken days to lauter ended up unintentionally fly sparging just to keep it loose enough to flow. Still took about 3 hours to get 6.5 gallons into the kettle. I had seen recipes of other people using graham crackers so I thought I'd give it a try. Never again.

I thought of straining it, but I thought the same thing about oxygen, especially since fermentation is basically finished at this point.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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You won't get too much oxygenation if you use a strainer. I wouldn't be terribly worried about the oxygenation from straining unless you are planning on aging this beer for a while. If you're going to drink it within a few months, you'll be good. This double mesh should work great to get most of your larger particles out:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You may also consider racking more than once- each time straining through the double mesh strainer.

Combine with above methods and I suspect you'll have a considerably clearer beer.

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Old 10-29-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Quick question...what would happen if he autosiphoned into secondary, let it finish fermenting out, then cold crashed.

I honestly don't know that answer, but was wondering if anyone thought this would help

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quick question...what would happen if he autosiphoned into secondary, let it finish fermenting out, then cold crashed.

I honestly don't know that answer, but was wondering if anyone thought this would help
Thats what I would do. Purge the vessel with co2 or another inert gas first.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:32 AM   #8
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Do you have a bottling bucket? Maybe you could rig up a filter on the inside of the faucet, rack into the bottling bucket, and then just open the faucet with a hose into a clean carboy. Let it sit all day and let gravity do its thing.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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Do you have a bottling bucket? Maybe you could rig up a filter on the inside of the faucet, rack into the bottling bucket, and then just open the faucet with a hose into a clean carboy. Let it sit all day and let gravity do its thing.
I think I'm going to try this by rigging up some nylon mesh on the inside of the spigot.

Thanks for all of the great advice, everyone. I may end up using several methods mentioned.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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I dump almost all of the trub from my kettle into the fermenter after cooling the boiled wort. I don't siphon into the fermenter, I just dump the whole thing as long as it fits with a little headspace. This is after my BIAB process. Now true, I usually don't get large particles into the wort because of the bag. However, I have found after 3 weeks of setting during fermentation, most everything settles into a compact yeast cake on the bottom. It is pretty easy to then rack from the primary without much sediment at all.
Times when I had a lot of floaters, like when I added fruit late in the process, I tied a mesh hop sack loose around the racking cane. This worked well.

Anyway, I've read a lot lately (including here) about trub. True, most don't want it floating around in your beer glass. But trub isn't poison and many claim it isn't going to spoil your beer if it sits in the fermenter. There was some discussion about yeast washing lately where people discussed why the need to wash the yeast at all. People found that pouring the yeast cake/trub with maybe a little water to make it less viscous into bottles for storage works just as well. The wish to wash and get rid of a bunch of trub seems to be more for visual appearance than for fear of flavor issues.

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