Any ideas for "clearing" without secondary?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

burton178

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
83
Reaction score
0
Location
Virginia Beach
I'm going to be bottling at some point over the next few days... It's my first brew and I didn't have the cash to get a secondary yet.
Are there any tricks to "filter" some of the crud out that is sitting in my primary right now? I'll be going straight to the bottling bucket.

I've had interesting (probably dumb) ideas of sanitizing a coffee filter and rubber banding it to the end of the outflow end of the siphon tubing... There are probably a lot of things wrong with that, but I just wanted to get your input on other ideas.

Thanks!
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,856
Reaction score
12,687
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
There are no such things as dumb ideas! It takes some ingenuity to make beer sometimes.

But, don't use a coffee filter or anything like that, and don't filter it through cheesecloth or anything.

The best way to bottle from the primary is first of all time. Make sure you allow at least 14 days in the primary, so most of the "stuff" can fall out. That'll make a difference. Also, put your fermenter up on the counter (or wherever you're racking) the night before so everything has time to settle after being moved. Try not to shake it up when you remove the lid because you don't want the trub stirred up. Then when you rack, rack from above the trub. I start pretty high with the racking cane or autosiphon and get a good flow going and then gradually lower it deeper into the beer. I like to see the end of the tip of it so I can make sure I'm not sinking it into the trub. Most autosiphons and racking canes come with a black tip on them that helps keep out the crud.

Another idea is to place the fermenter on the counter the night before, and put a book or wedge under one end. This will force the trub to collect on one side and you can rack off the other side. I haven't done this, but know some people do. You can use a hops bag (sanitized of course) over the racking cane, but it's not necessary unless you've made something with a ton of dryhopping.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
938
Location
St. Louis, MO
I’ll echo Yoopers suggestions.

Another thing you’ll find, is that if you allow the bottling bucket to sit for a while (several hours) after transferring, the remaining particulates will fall out faster because the liquid is essentially “thinner” now that you’ve racked it out of high concentration environment.

You actually do have a secondary…your bottling bucket. Just let the beer sit for half a day (covered) after racking and you’ll end up leaving behind even more sediment.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
188
Location
Oak Grove
Chill the fermenter, if you can. Rack to the bottling bucket, add the primer and let it sit cold for a day. Bottle & store around 70F to allow the yeast to revive & carbonate.
 

ScubaSteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
91
A couple tips that I have either discovered or picked up from this awesome forum:

1) At each step in the process, i.e. mashing, vorlaufing, boiling, etc. Try to "leave behind" as much as you can. So, make sure you vorlauf very thoroughly and leave behind husks. When you transfer to the BK, put a fine mesh bag over your hose and leave behind even more sediment.

2) Use fine mesh hop bags, and keep hop sediment out in the first place. A hopstopper is great, but it doesn't allow you as much control and still passes some sediment. Don't worry about "hop utilization", your beer will be plenty bitter/aromatic.

3) Use whirlflock/polyclar/irish moss, etc. Gelatin is not usually necessary.

4) Make sure you cool your wort as fast as humanly possible (research the beth methods for each chiller type). Your cold break will separate from the wort and settle on the bottom. This will really help get rid of some of the proteins that cause chill haze.

5) Important: Whirlpool! Get a strong whirlpool going after the wort is cool, and cover. Wait at least 20 mins to form a cone of sediment in the center of the kettle. Gently siphon/drain away from this cone, and the wort will be CRYSTAL clear.

6) "Crash cool" after fermentation is verified complete to 38F for at least 2 days. This will drop a lot of proteins/yeast out of solution. Gently rack after a few days.

These may seem like a lot of steps, but if you make it part of your routine, it's not much work at all and you won't BELIEVE how clear the beer is.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
938
Location
St. Louis, MO
PseudoChef said:
On the end (input) in the kettle, not the output.
Oh that.

I've done that for filtering dry-hop junk from the primary.

I’m not sure that the cheese cloth is fine enough to capture suspended yeast and other floaters.



Hopstopper_2.jpg

Hopstopper_3.jpg
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,856
Reaction score
12,687
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Yeah, I was thinking about cheesecloth being used as a filter and that wouldn't work because it's not fine enough and the risk of contamination and aeration wouldn't be worth it. I wasn't thinking about from the kettle at all- the beer is already in the fermenter and trying to rack through a filter would probably cause lots more trouble.
 

PseudoChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
117
Location
West Chicago 'Burbs
Well, that's good. I want that yeast there as I bottle. But I want to start the no secondary method and see exactly how clear I can get my beer.
 

faber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Bozeman, MT
I used to use a (sanitized) copper mesh scrubbing pad (a Chore Boy). It was good enough to catch all the chunky stuff. But, that's when I used to try to rack out every last drop of wort/beer. Since then, I've learned to brew a healthy amount, e.g. 6.5-6.75 gals pre-boil for a five-gallon batch.

The first suggestions given are the best. TIME. Rack, then wait, and wait some more. This is good to do after any time you agitate the wort/beer, move the fermenter, etc.

On brew day, once I chill the wort to pitching temperature, I let it sit for about four to six hours in the kettle before I rack. Just brew extra to allow for a healthy layer of trub/cold break, i.e. don't try to rack every drop of liquid out. Let al the solids settle and lerave it there rather than trying to filter it out.

Then I rack it to the primary (and I do it in a way to aerate it-poke a few holes in the tubing below where it meets the racking cane), then pitch.

When it's time to rack from the secondary to the bottling bucket, same thing. Rack (without aerating, of course), prime, then let sit for two to four hours, then bottle.

The most effective clarifying period is letting it settle in the kettle before racking to the primary. That does about 95% of it right there.

My beers get *really* clear, like "retail" beer. I don't use Irish Moss or anything like that.
 
Top