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Old 06-09-2010, 06:24 AM   #1
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Default So much trub and boil off leaving not enough beer!

I was hoping that as I learned more this problem would go away, but on my 10th batch I am still wondering if my brews are abnormal. I have an 8 gallon pot, I'm maxing it out during the boil, and losing 2+ gallons to trub and 2+ gallons to boil off. I'm adding water to top off afterward and missing my target gravity by 3-5 points under every time.

I don't know what else to do. Today instead of coming in under my target gravity I just kept filling the carboy until I hit 5.25 gallons. After settling for an hour I have 2" of trub in the bottom of the carboy. I hit my gravity, but is this normal? Does everybody have to include cloudy wort in the carboy to hit their gravity AND volume?

I've done high gravity beers (1.082) and lower gravity beers (1.051) and had the exact same issue.

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Old 06-09-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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Yea trub is pretty normal. What I do is pour my wort into my fermenter using a screened funnel. The funnel clogs up a lot but allows me to get as much out of my wort as possible and take out as much trub as possible.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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2 gallons of trub?? You mean you leave 2 gallons in the boil kettle?? Trub is in the fermenter and 2 inches is not uncommon. Break material is the solids that form in the boil. I usually filter them out if I can, when I siphon into the fermenter.

Can you describe your normal process in more detail? There is some amount of "loss" in brewing, but honestly, it's to be expected and factored into the recipe to yield about 5 gallons of finished beer.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #4
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2 gallons of boil off seems high to me. I boil off about a gallon to 1.25 gallons in an hour.

The first question I have is about your volumes- I assume that since you have an 8 gallon pot, you're starting with 7 gallons? When I had a 7 gallon pot, I started with 6.25 gallons and watched it like a hawk!

You want a nice rolling boil, but you don't have to have the burner on full blast. Of course, if you're in a dry climate, you'll boil off more than someone in a humid climate. If you're boiling off so much, you can try turning your burner down just to maintain a rolling boil.

I can't imagine two gallons of break/hop material. It's very fluffy, though, and it'll pack down with the trub in the fermenter and you'll end up with a tightly compact layer. How much trub do you end up with in the bottom of the fermenter after fermentation?

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #5
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2 gal. of crap in the bottom of the boil kettle is excessive. Are you using a pound of hop pellets?

The easy answer is simply to add more sugar. Either add honey or DME or LME at the end of boil or separately, to bring your OG back up.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:28 PM   #6
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With all that loss you're saying you only put about 3 gallons of wort into the primary?

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Old 06-09-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
With all that loss you're saying you only put about 3 gallons of wort into the primary?
I am putting about 4 gallons of good wort into the carboy, then about 1.25 gallons of cloudy trub-filled wort to reach my volume.

Quote:
The first question I have is about your volumes- I assume that since you have an 8 gallon pot, you're starting with 7 gallons? When I had a 7 gallon pot, I started with 6.25 gallons and watched it like a hawk!
That is exactly what I do. Then as the boil progresses I can tell approximately how much I have lost to the boil off and I occasionally add up to a gallon more into the pot during the boil.

Quote:
How much trub do you end up with in the bottom of the fermenter after fermentation?
After fermentation the trub/yeast sit in about a 1" deep compacted layer at the bottom of the carboy.

Quote:
2 gallons of trub?? You mean you leave 2 gallons in the boil kettle?? Trub is in the fermenter and 2 inches is not uncommon. Break material is the solids that form in the boil. I usually filter them out if I can, when I siphon into the fermenter.

Can you describe your normal process in more detail? There is some amount of "loss" in brewing, but honestly, it's to be expected and factored into the recipe to yield about 5 gallons of finished beer.
I end up leaving ~1.5 gallons in the kettle. It breaks my heart every time.

As far as my process goes on this last one:
-I do a partial mash using 3.25 lbs of grains in a 2 gallon Rubbermaid cooler.
-Mash in with 4.25 qts of 162 degree water for mash temp of 154.
-After 60 minutes I batch sparge with 4 qts 170 water for 10 minutes
-I did a second batch sparge with 4 qts 170 degree water
-Now I have about 2.75 gallons of wort in the kettle so I top off up to 7 gallons and add 1 lb DME to start the boil.
-I boil on a turkey fryer. I set it as high as it will go to get the boil started then turn it down to a vigorous rolling boil through the remainder of the boil (Maybe I should go for more of a gentle boil?)
-At 30 minutes I begin slowly adding the remaining 3 lbs of DME. And I mean SLOWLY. It takes about 20 minutes to add it all, pouring a bit at a time as the boil continues.
-Also at about 30 minutes I notice my level has dropped significantly so I add another gallon of water to keep the level up.
-I do my hop additions on schedule at 60/15/5, one ounce of various hops each time according to the schedule. I use pellet hops and toss them right in without a hop bag. (I'm sure that contributes to the amount of junk at the bottom of the kettle.)
-At 15 minutes I add the chiller, Whirlfloc, and a yeast nutrient pill
-Flameout at 60 minutes, I start pumping water through the chiller. My tap water is at 60 degrees and it takes me about 25 minutes to get the wort down to 70 degrees.
-Once chilled I lift the pot up to a counter and use the ball valve on the kettle w/ a 3/8 hose attached to transfer to the carboy.
-With about 3 gallons in the carboy the cloudy wort starts to appear. By the time the wort reaches the level with my ball valve I am getting extremely cloudy wort. I still only have about 4.25-4.5 gallons in the carboy at this point so I tilt the kettle to get enough wort to reach just over 5 gallons. This process brings a lot of junk with it.
-I pitch the whole starter, about 1 qt
-I watch all the break material in my carboy dance around as it settles into a 2" thick layer at the bottom of the carboy
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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the sediment on the bottom of my carboy always looks like a LOT the first day a couple hours after pitching.... then the yeast storm happens, then when it all settles out for good, it's MUCH less... all nice and compact at the bottom.

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
I am putting about 4 gallons of good wort into the carboy, then about 1.25 gallons of cloudy trub-filled wort to reach my volume.
Quote:
-With about 3 gallons in the carboy the cloudy wort starts to appear. By the time the wort reaches the level with my ball valve I am getting extremely cloudy wort. I still only have about 4.25-4.5 gallons in the carboy at this point so I tilt the kettle to get enough wort to reach just over 5 gallons. This process brings a lot of junk with it.
I think you are worrying a little too much about 'Cloudy Wort' A lot of people put a filter in a funnel and dump the entire contents of their kettle through it into Primary. The 'junk' settles out.

Leaving 1.5 gallons or wort in your kettle should break your heart. You are wasting it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
I think you are worrying a little too much about 'Cloudy Wort' A lot of people put a filter in a funnel and dump the entire contents of their kettle through it into Primary. The 'junk' settles out.

Leaving 1.5 gallons or wort in your kettle should break your heart. You are wasting it.
Exactly, pour the whole kettle into the primary. That's all beer and the fact that it is cloudy has little to do with anything.
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