Break material, and dead space in boil kettle - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Break material, and dead space in boil kettle

Thread Tools
Old 09-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
Apr 2012
Posts: 10

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.


Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 04:22 PM   #2
Mar 2012
Ukiah, CA
Posts: 252
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
May 2012
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,331
Liked 388 Times on 326 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,884
Liked 8089 Times on 5645 Posts

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!
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
Obliviousbrew's Avatar
Feb 2012
Benidorm, Alicante/Spain
Posts: 1,567
Liked 230 Times on 161 Posts

Also that break material are proteins thatīs good for yeasties growth

Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
Jul 2012
Austin, TX
Posts: 122
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Forum Jump