IPA mishaps

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patrick66

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I brewed my first extract IPA today and ran into some issues.... I guess you can say I learned a lot. Previously I have brewed extract Belgium Ales, Stout and Belgium White without issues.

The recipe called for 2oz of hops at start of boil, another .5oz at 30 minutes and a final 1oz. at 45 minutes. At 55 minutes I added a half tablet of the clarifier tablet (the recipe was not clear, but the packaging said to use 1/2 for 5 gallons). My boiling pot holds about 3.5 gallons of wort.
After I cooled down the wort I tried to siphon it into the 6-gallon carboy but the siphon tube kept clogging because of the thick hops and clouds of goop that were suspended in the wort. On my previous batches where it called for a clarifier (I used Irish moss in those), it had formed a layer on the bottom of the pot. This time there was no cloud on the bottom, the whole wort was full of it and made siphoning difficult. I finally poured the last half gallon from my pot through a sieve into a bowl and then into the carboy. My process was not very smooth, hopefully I did not introduce bacteria.

I have pitched the yeast and fermentation has started after barely 2 hours so it must like the food. There is already a 2" layer of whitish sediment on the bottom of my carboy.

What to do different next time?
Use a larger diameter siphon tube?
I probably could have just poured the whole pot of wort through a funnel into the carboy since the siphoning really did not leave anything behind in the pot.
Should I have used the whole clarifying tablet?
I see you can use bags for the hops, does that mean I should use three bags for each hop application?

I appreciate any insights / advise you can give me.

Patrick
 

wepeeler

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I use whirlfloc in every boil. 1 tablet is fine for 5 gallons. I use 2 for double batches. It knocks out the stuff you don't want suspended in your fermentation.

I would suggest getting something else to ferment in. If you're using a glass carboy, it's not the safest. It can crack due to pressure, and obviously if you drop it, well, you know. If you switch to a bucket or a stainless steel fermentor, you can dump your kettle right in, vs siphoning.

Forget hop bags. You want the hops freely suspended to get the best utilization.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I don't worry too much about the trub (the "whitish sediment"). You can try to leave it in the kettle, but you will likely also leave behind a lot of liquid. The layer of trub will compact down in the fermenter. The exact impact that trub has is debated, but I have seen enough data that says that at least a little trub provide nutrients needed for fermentation.

On the other hand, I don't want a bunch of spent hop debris in my fermenter. I generally add my hops loose into the kettle, then send the wort through a coarse strainer to remove more of the hop matter. Plenty of people use either hop bags or a hop spider in the kettle to contain hops.
 

marc1

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The recipe called for 2oz of hops at start of boil, another .5oz at 30 minutes and a final 1oz. at 45 minutes. At 55 minutes I added a half tablet of the clarifier tablet (the recipe was not clear, but the packaging said to use 1/2 for 5 gallons). My boiling pot holds about 3.5 gallons of wort.
After I cooled down the wort I tried to siphon it into the 6-gallon carboy but the siphon tube kept clogging because of the thick hops and clouds of goop that were suspended in the wort. On my previous batches where it called for a clarifier (I used Irish moss in those), it had formed a layer on the bottom of the pot. This time there was no cloud on the bottom, the whole wort was full of it and made siphoning difficult. I finally poured the last half gallon from my pot through a sieve into a bowl and then into the carboy. My process was not very smooth, hopefully I did not introduce bacteria.

Your hop times sound maybe a little odd.

The convention in most of the homebrewing community for recipes is to list times as how long things are boiled. So something put in at the start of the boil is a 60 minute addition, something put in when you turn the heat off is a 0 minute addition.

Complicating this is that kits sometimes change this to make the directions more like cooking recipes (after it has boiled for 45 minutes, add x)

For your next one, check that the hop additions are correct.

You can let the wort settle a bit after you cool it and then transfer after it dropped to the bottom if you want. Your beer should be fine, though.
 
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patrick66

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Thanks. It is fermenting vigorously this morning. The mangled hop times are on me: I re-arranged them to the cooking formula. It was 60 minutes boil for the 2oz, 30 minutes for the .5oz and another 1oz for the final 15min. The half clarifying tablet was for 5min, but did not seem to do anything. The recipe said not to try and strain the wort, but I had to once my siphon tube kept plugging up.
 

Murph4231

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Whirlpool your wort after its chilled down to pitch temperature. Give it time to settle then transfer to your fermenter.
 
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patrick66

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I popped the first bottle of this batch last night so it is time for an update. The beer turned out great; a nice IPA with enough hop flavor for my taste.
This was my first IPA and the struggle for me was dealing with the hop sediment. After the fermentation was finished I did siphon it into a secondary carboy because I did not want the beer to sit on the "old" hops. By that time I had an auto-siphon tube which seemed to be a lot better at dealing with the trub that otherwise would clog the racking tube. I also cut a square of mesh from an old grainbag and secured that around the bottom of the tube with a rubber band. Worked great. I let the beer sit in the secondary for about a week, then dry-hopped for another week. I used the same method to transfer to my bottling bucket.
The reward is a fine IPA. Next IPA batch I will probably not bother with a siphon to go from the kettle to the fermenter carboy, but use a strainer and a funnel and just pour it in. Proost!
 
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