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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Break material, and dead space in boil kettle
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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I get huge amounts of break, and leave too much wort behind. I use a converted Sankey keg as a boil kettle, with weld-less fittings (fitted reasonably high as they don't sit we'll on the curved part of the lower wall) and a straight/level copper tube inside reaching to the centre, with a t-style bazooka screen stainless mesh. The screens sit pretty high off the bottom, and I'm losing a huge amount of wort (1-1.5 gallons?) when I drain to my fermenter. Granted, not all of that is actually liquid wort. Some is the whole hops debris. And there is so much break material that realistically I'm not sure how much more wort I could extract anyway without sucking it up. My question is thus: how much break material are others getting from a 5 gallon all grain recipe boil, and how concerned are you with some of it making it into the fermenter in exchange for being able to take more wort from the kettle? I have a copper elbow that I only used once (to drop the bazooka screens down to the very bottom of the kettle) but then they are thoroughly immersed in the thick break/hop gunk, and I sucked half of it up.

Would love your thoughts. I'm tired of filling my fermenter and being under volume, and I don't want to waste grain and hops by just upping my recipe scale to cater for the wastage.


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Old 09-26-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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I never leave the break behind, it all goes into the fermenter. The amount of energy that goes into removing it beforehand is a lot more than simply waiting for it to settle in the fermenter.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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I just toss it all in too. The beer clears up fine and tastes great.

If you want to separate it in the kettle, the standard method is whirlpooling. The debris settles into a cone in the center and you can rack from the sides. I've seen people make tight little cones with a recirculating pump, so I know it's possible. Personally, that never works for me. I can stir like mad and I still end up with a tiny bump in the middle and trub spread all over the place.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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I normally toss it all in, unless I have a ton of leaf hops that would clog up my pump. Break material will settle out with the trub. I have a CFC, so the cold break all ends up in the fermenter, even if I wanted to strain it out a little!
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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Also that break material are proteins that´s good for yeasties growth
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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I used to dump it all in because the wort loss irritated me. Now I use a paint strainer bag, which catches the hop debris and a decent amount of break material. I don't sweat the rest, as it will quickly be trapped by flocculating yeast.

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