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Old 03-31-2014, 03:39 AM   #1
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Default How to filter break from brewpot to primary?

Hi all,

My group and I just finished our brew day for our first all grain, and it was definitely a more involved practice, but I'll be sticking with it!

We're pushing for clearer beers in the future, starting with this one, so we are wondering how you can efficiently filter out the break when transferring from the brew pot to the primary? We tried pouring it through coffee filters but the speeds were... less than desirable.

Should we not worry about it too much? We plan on cold crashing and using gelatin finings.

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:43 AM   #2
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Did you whirlpool at all? How about whirlfloc? Did you use it? Are you using a siphon or a ball valve/maximizer? What kind of chiller? If immersion did you disturb it at all after rescuing target temp?

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:45 AM   #3
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I just bought one of these for this purpose. Not sure if it is fine enough for break material, but I'll find out next week.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:57 AM   #4
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Just let it settle in the brewpot before you transfer. You're going to lose some volume but if you only want the crystal clear wort it works great.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:10 AM   #5
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Get a weldless ball valve and mount it at the 1 gal mark on ur kettle. I didn't think it would do much, but believe me, it makes a world of difference. I got another 1/2 gal of wort and almost no trub in my fermenter, versus not getting that 1/2 gal and getting A LOT of trub when pouring. Like I said, I didn't think it would make much of a difference, but it's insane how well it works
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:13 AM   #6
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Some will say it doesn't matter... pour it all in and let it settle after fermenting.
I'm in the school of keep it clean.
I have not found a filter that works at the homebrew level. The break is more of a gel that instantly clogs the screen.
Whirlpool does work. It seems to work best after the wort is cooled.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:49 AM   #7
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I whirlpool then let it settle 30 minutes. After transferring to the fermenter, the last 1/2 gallon or so left in the kettle I put in a 1 gallon pitcher in the fridge and once the trub settles, add that to the fermenter.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:08 AM   #8
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Try to get something with a lot of surface area, like the 5-gallon paint strainer bags that a lot of people use for BIAB grainbills, and don't go too fine on the material.

A coffee filter's not going to do much good; it would take hours to drip five gallons of chilled wort through an unclogged coffee filter, and it's so fine that it'll be clogged up at the first mention of break material. A paint strainer bag (or something similar) might let a little bit of break material through, but it's going to catch a lot of it, and you can shift the bag if it's getting clogged so it drains through an unclogged portion of the fabric.

Of course, if you're letting your yeast work for three+ weeks (assuming you're making ales and not lagers), then using gelatin and cold-crashing, pre-pitch straining probably isn't all that necessary, as flocculation, gelatin, and the cold should get the majority of solids to drop out anyway.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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^ This. Be aware that if you use a paint strainer bag, you might end up a little short on volume. I don't typically strain my beer, but if I do, I end up a little short (think 1/4 gallon or less). Of course, I could probably get that back by squeezing the bag, but I never mess around with that.

Of course, clear beer comes from other techniques too. Irish moss was mentioned - also, some yeasts take forever to settle out - I'm looking at you Wyeast Kolsch. I find that a flocculant yeast, good technique - which usually does not include filtering/straining - and time in the fridge - usually results in crystal clear beer. I'd pour one for demonstration, but it's 7:30am here and I need to work today.

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Old 03-31-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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The last beer I made, I wrapped a small section of pantyhose around the end of my hose when transferring it to the secondary. I was pleasantly surprised by all the crud that it collected...but my beer wasn't what I would call "clear" (then again, I used a pound of wheat in that batch, so that might explain my personal results).

Perhaps if you did some filtering PLUS a cold crash, you'd end up with something closer to what you want. I plan on doing this very same technique in 2 weeks with my current batch.

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