2nd AG in Fermenter - Couple Questions

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Mar 3, 2008
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Columbia, SC
Okay, I just got 5 gallons of BierMuncher's Black Pearl Porter into the fermenter and I've got a couple questions which I can't quite seem to answer definitely via the search.

1) I got practically zero hot break, maybe 1 cup. Maybe I don't know what hot break really is! I thought it was the frothy crap that floats to the surface during the early portion of the boil and tends to skin over. Do I have that wrong? If that's right, should I expect more than 1 cup's worth? It should be skimmed off and discarded right? If it goes into primary it can negatively impact the taste of the finished beer?

2) Boiler/trub losses. I used 1 tsp of irish moss and between that and my 50'x1/2" DIY immersion chiller + whirlpooling (stirring) I got quite a bit of cold break. I need to improve my whirlpool technique because it didn't stay in a cone but rather was pretty uniformly distributed about the bottom half inch of the boiler. A little got siphoned out and made it into the fermenter but I stopped and discarded the bulk of it which was 1.5 quarts (measured so I knew my real volume into primary). Did I waste perfectly good beer? Should I have poured all that into primary since it will settle out anyway? I'm planning on letting it sit in primary for 4 weeks anyway. I get the feeling I poured 6 cups of 1.074 down the drain for no good reason.


May 31, 2007
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Hot break is the full rolling boil. This basically causes a few things to happen. Condenses the wort, which evaporates water and concentrates the sugars (giving more gravity), isomerizes the hops which breaks the glands open and allows the oils to combine with the proteins and create bitterness, sterilizes the wort, and coagulates the proteins, which means they clump together and fall to the bottom of the kettle, helping to clarify the beer. The frothy stuff you are seeing is likely the proteins before they become large chunks and fall to the bottom. As for how much you had, I have never measured it, but I do get quite a bit of hot break myself. Just leave it alone. Nothing to worry about.

Are you saying you siphoned out the cold break? After boil, I use my auto siphon to rack the beer into the primary. I have hops and proteins left in the bottom. For me at least, some always gets into the fermenter. No a whole lot, but some. I don't worry about it. That should not hurt your beer. It never did mine.