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Old 03-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
Hophazard
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Default Hop Sludge

So I'm about to rack my second extract batch from the primary to the secondary, and I can't help but notice the surprising amount of hop sludge floating in the beer (much more than my first batch, which I assume is the result of using 2 oz of hop pellets as opposed to only 1 oz). Won't the majority of this sludge be transferred to the secondary?

My concern is that, even if this stuff settles in the secondary, when I add priming sugar in a few weeks and stir before bottling, all of this sediment will be stirred up and end up in the bottles. I decided against using a bottling bucket to avoid the extra oxygen exposure, but I'm starting to rethink that approach in light of the amount of sludge.

If it matters, I did use a tab of whirlfloc and a collander to strain the wort prior to adding it to the primary, but I think most of the pellet sludge made it through (I was also using a hop plug that I wanted to strain).

I was thinking about using a nylon bag over the tip of the tube when racking to the secondary (which I've read can clog), but first wanted to see whether anyone had any other suggestions other than cold-crashing or tips for reducing the amount of sludge next time. Do people just bottle this sludge with the expectation that it will compact at the bottom of the bottles during conditioning? Thanks.



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Old 03-11-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hophazard View Post
I decided against using a bottling bucket to avoid the extra oxygen exposure, but I'm starting to rethink that approach in light of the amount of sludge.
Yes, that approach doesn't make any sense. A secondary is nothing but a clearing tank, so if you stir it up just before bottling, you'll have achieved nothing at all.

If you want to minimize transfers, do an extended primary and then go straight to the bottling bucket without doing a secondary. The hop particles will settle out. If they haven't yet, that simply means that the beer isn't ready for bottling.


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Old 03-11-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Use a bottling bucket. Thousands of homebrewers do, and have for a long time. You simply aren't going to oxidize your beer from it sitting in an open bucket for ~20 minutes.

If you transfer your beer to secondary, and let it sit long enough, all that sediment should settle out. Without seeing what's going on, I'm not 100% convinced that this sludge is hops. I've always seen the residue from pellet hops settle out rather quickly at the top or bottom. How long has your beer been in primary? How long do you plan on leaving it in secondary? Did you reach your FG?

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Old 03-11-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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I do some pretty hoppy IPA's (over 16oz in the brew and over 4 ounces in dryhopping alone) and just use a bottling bucket. I have never had any problems using this method. I think you are too worried about the oxygen exposure.

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Old 03-11-2009, 04:51 PM   #5
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Use a bottling bucket. Thousands of homebrewers do, and have for a long time. You simply aren't going to oxidize your beer from it sitting in an open bucket for ~20 minutes.
Wait until you see the revolutionary new Australian technique, Bottle from a Bag! People will be raving about it soon.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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If you transfer your beer to secondary, and let it sit long enough, all that sediment should settle out. Without seeing what's going on, I'm not 100% convinced that this sludge is hops. I've always seen the residue from pellet hops settle out rather quickly at the top or bottom. How long has your beer been in primary? How long do you plan on leaving it in secondary? Did you reach your FG?
I assume that it's the hops, but could be mistaken. I moved it last night before realizing that my new secondary had a crack, so I suppose I could have disturbed some of the sediment that would have remained settled. I'll take a picture when I get home. It's been in the primary for 9 days and it's been at final gravity for at least the last two (was out of town prior to that). My plan is to leave it in the secondary for about 2 weeks.

I was planning on using the spigot from the bucket to transfer to the secondary, but wonder whether it would be better to use the autosiphon to leave behind as much as possible.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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So I think I figured out the culprit. This time, before taking a sample for a hydrometer reading, I let the primary sit for a few minutes so anything stirred up by the move had time to settle. I think Llazy was right that the sediment wasn't hops - I'm pretty sure that the first sample I drew from the spigot sucked up some of the trub that shifted when I moved the primary. Here's a picture of last night's sample, which has almost no sediment (albeit a little cloudy).



Thanks to all for the advice. As usual, the remedy appears to be RDWHAHB, but that's hard to do when none of them are ready yet.

Here's the brew post-racking:



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