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Lots of dispersed break material despite whirlpool efforts

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waldzinator

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So I did my first AG batch the other week, creating a semi-clone of Yooper's APA. My set up is a converted keggle HLT and BK and a 10gallon Tun with copper manifold. I set up the BK to have a side pickup so I could use my homebuilt immersion chiller and stir like a madman tg create a whirlpool effect. I got a decent whirlpool going, or so I thought, but 30 minutes later when I went to transfer to my carboy, I noticed the last 2 gallons or so had a lot of cloudiness. I didn't really check for a cone. I shut my valve off and took the reduction in volume to avoid sucking the junk into my carboy.

Here's my question(s):

  1. Short of buying a pump, can I get an effective enough whirlpool by stirring?
  2. I quite frankly don't like leaving behind THAT MUCH wort! Does it really hurt anything to move it to the secondary (let's say leaving behind 1 gallon)?

Thanks for any help you can provide. I have an IPA coming up and I would like to avoid having to boil 8.5 gallons just to yield 5.5 gallons (factoring in above-mentioned wort loss).
 

grathan

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Was it just break material or was it hop pellets as well? What about tipping the keggle towards the siphon to get more liquid?
 

D_Nyholm

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I have never gotten a good whirlpool no matter how much I stir or how long I let it sit (even an hour or so). I just transfer everything into the carboy and then cold crash and end up with about .75 gallon of trub in the fermenter. I do have to use blow offs often though based on the excess in the carboy or I use 8 gallon buckets so that I don't have to worry.
 
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waldzinator

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Was it just break material or was it hop pellets as well? What about tipping the keggle towards the siphon to get more liquid?
This was a hoppier beer (by my standards -- 44 IBU), but I did use hop bags for all my additions with only pelletized hops. There may have been a small amount of hop material, but it had the whiteish cloudy look of break.
 

Jamming

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I would put it in the primary and let it settle out then maybe do a secondary. Try using warflock tablets helps a ton in the boil of coagulation of proteins. 1 tablet for gallon batch last 15 minutes.
 
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waldzinator

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I would put it in the primary and let it settle out then maybe do a secondary. Try using warflock tablets helps a ton in the boil of coagulation of proteins. 1 tablet for gallon batch last 15 minutes.
Hey Jamming...I do use Irish Moss in the last 15 minutes of my boil. Do you find Whirlfloc works better? I've never used it. Generally, I do a secondary on all my beers, but especially ales I want very clear. If the beer is still cloudy, I'll use gelatin finings (and if winter, cold crash it on my sunporch).

Does transferring all the break material into the carboy affect flavors? I've read that the cold break doesn't matter, but the hot break does. Then again, I believe the hot break doesn't really remain suspended in the wort like the cold break does.
 

grathan

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I don't think it effects flavor. I have transferred all of it until recently. It will compact better in the ferementer.

They make funnels that you can pour through that will help filter the break material.

What would the cost difference of an extra gallon be? i know I have shunned this idea in the past, but really never fully considered it.
 

BigFloyd

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I used to whirlpool after chilling, but stopped doing so in favor of simply covering the kettle and giving it 15-20 min to settle things out before pumping into the fermenter bucket. I do use Whirlfloc @10 min which I like a somewhat better than Irish Moss (used that previously).

That plus cold crashing 4-5 days at 35*F produces some pretty darn clear beer. If I keg it, I sometimes put gelatin solution on top of the cold beer, but the kegs w/o it are still quite clear.
 

funnycreature

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I used to whirlpool after chilling, but stopped doing so in favor of simply covering the kettle and giving it 15-20 min to settle things out before pumping into the fermenter bucket. I do use Whirlfloc @10 min which I like a somewhat better than Irish Moss (used that previously).

That plus cold crashing 4-5 days at 35*F produces some pretty darn clear beer. If I keg it, I sometimes put gelatin solution on top of the cold beer, but the kegs w/o it are still quite clear.
What's the benefit of just waiting instead of letting the pump run and just taking out the chiller?
 

eric19312

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I use whirlfloc on all my batches and am still struggling with this issue too. 25 all grain batches and yet to get a satisfactory whirlpool result.

I've tried straining with a fine meshed china hat strainer. Works ok on the pellet hops (I don't use bags) but lets most of the break through.

Got a good deal on a couple carboys so started fermenting in those. They make it harder to use the strainer (could strain into a bucket and then transfer into carboy...bleh) so I've been trying the whirlpool again. Lately I am experimenting with whirlpool plus transferring to fermenter via siphon which seems to help a bit. But I don't like leaving wort behind either so I still probably take at least half the break into the fermenter.

All this said I like my beer, have gotten positive feedback on it from competitions (got a second place BOS in a club event), and clarity is generally pretty good. I have had most success working on clarity by paying attention to packaging and serving steps. Cold crashing before bottling and refrigerating bottles 1+ weeks after carbing before serving seem to have biggest impacts. Recipe can also have an impact, I like rye but beyond a small addition it messes with my clarity.
 

Johnnyhitch1

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My process is the exact same as yours.
Some sort of a tip maybe, get a coupler with about 8inch length of tubing. This allows the head to be higher and create a better suction.
Also start by just cracking the valve and avoid creating a huge siphon and stiriing up the trub that you had dropped.
As the wort starts to clear then you can open the valve more and as you get towards the end narrow it again to avoid the large suction.

Ive learned to deal with and and tilt the last little bit towards the valve. I pick up a ton of protien and dont mind since i use clarifying agents to clear with no problem..
I will say that i do leave about a quart of thick hop sludge in the kettle.
 

BigFloyd

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What's the benefit of just waiting instead of letting the pump run and just taking out the chiller?
Because if I just let my pump continue to recirculate, all of the stuff in suspension (like what the Whirlfloc has grabbed hold of) never gets a chance to settle out to the bottom of the kettle below my dip tube. When I do turn the pump back on, I have the valve turned way down so that it doesn't suck that stuff up.

On my system (single vessel recirculating E-BIAB), I use a plate chiller and recirculate back into the keggle while watching the temp on the PID controller. After I've fully chilled and begin transferring out to the bucket, I'm pulling from the bottom keggle valve, through the Chugger pump, into the plate chiller and out to the bucket via the 1/2" silicone tube (with a camlock) that normally goes to the top keggle valve.
 

funnycreature

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Because if I just let my pump continue to recirculate, all of the stuff in suspension (like what the Whirlfloc has grabbed hold of) never gets a chance to settle out to the bottom of the kettle below my dip tube. When I do turn the pump back on, I have the valve turned way down so that it doesn't suck that stuff up.

On my system (single vessel recirculating E-BIAB), I use a plate chiller and recirculate back into the keggle while watching the temp on the PID controller. After I've fully chilled and begin transferring out to the bucket, I'm pulling from the bottom keggle valve, through the Chugger pump, into the plate chiller and out to the bucket via the 1/2" silicone tube (with a camlock) that normally goes to the top keggle valve.
So you think because the wort gets sucked through the bottom valve the trub will never get a chance to settle? I have to check where others that successfully whirlpool have their "exit" valve.
 

eric19312

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I have a pump and could care less about whirlpooling to make a cone, it does cool things much faster with an IC though.

Just remembered this guy's setup I saw the other day. The beer is immaculate clear going into fermenter using stainless scrubbie and a filter bag.
http://blueribbonbrews.com/photos/process/?show=slide
cool site

Think I will invest in a scrubby...may also play with my valve to see if I can aim my elbow up at the beginning of the transfer and then turn it down as I get closer to the end.
 

D_Nyholm

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Is that scrubby just standard steel wool from home depot? I think that stuff rusts and also falls apart pretty easy, what scrubby is he using as I would like to try that!
 

Weezy

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you can buy SS scrubbys at walmart and probably your grocery store.

I dump into a large funnel with a small paint strainer bag as a filter draped over it, bit it does clog requiring me to adjust it to a clean section of the bag. A SS scrubby would probably catch a lot and help prevent clogging.
 
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waldzinator

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you can buy SS scrubbys at walmart and probably your grocery store.

I dump into a large funnel with a small paint strainer bag as a filter draped over it, bit it does clog requiring me to adjust it to a clean section of the bag. A SS scrubby would probably catch a lot and help prevent clogging.

All - good advice. I think I'm gonna quit sweating stuff and just pull in some of the break. I like the idea of the scrubby...I'm assuming this is a green Scotchbrite pad? I use that on my SS kettles. I could, in theory, run my high-temp hose from my ballvalve to a funnel to my carboy with a "SS scrubby" in between. That would probably further filter out the junk.
 
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waldzinator

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NO. not a green scotch brite pad. We're talking stainless steel pad: (quick google search gives me this):
http://m.webstaurantstore.com/stain...ads-12-pk/579300.html?utm_source=Shopping.com
Ok. That makes sense. I guess clogging would be my major concern; however, it probably clogs just as much as any other filter medium placed between fermenter and hot side. I have a funnel I could set this in and it would probably help significantly, especially used in tandem with hop bags.
 
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waldzinator

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Weezy

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Cool! They have good beer. There's a bunch on our side of town (I'm 30 min east of Pgh). Rivertown opened a new brewery and tap room in Murrysville; Full Pint in N. Versailles; then there's the heaven and hell duo (Helltown in Mt. Pleasant and All Saints in Greensburg). All good beer, although I'll say Rivertown's large batch offerings are bit underwhelming (but their small batch stuff on tap only is often quite nice).
 

brewbush

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A little break/trub is good for the yeast anyways.
This.
Make sure to use a clearing agent (whirfloc or moss). I use a paint strainer bag for my pellet hops.

Other then that...I dump everything else into the primary (except for the last really thick mud on the bottom.
No worries.

It doesn't sit long enough in the primary to pick up anything unwanted from the trub anyway.
 

eastoak

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has anyone looked into whether the break material make any difference to the beer in the glass? i could not find any evidence that it made any difference in my beers. the few breweries i've been able to visit and tour up close do nothing in regard to break material, everything goes into the tanks. i'm convinced it does not matter at all especially in a bucket or carboy.
 
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waldzinator

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has anyone looked into whether the break material make any difference to the beer in the glass? i could not find any evidence that it made any difference in my beers. the few breweries i've been able to visit and tour up close do nothing in regard to break material, everything goes into the tanks. i'm convinced it does not matter at all especially in a bucket or carboy.
See, I've read differently. I am paraphrasing and can't remember the user's name on here, but I remember reading that the R&D labs in many large-scale breweries typically throw out the bottom third or so of a test batch. Of course, this is R&D and most homebrewers (myself included) would drink nearly anything that comes out of their own fermenters lest they waste precious beer, but I think that speaks to concerns about off-flavors or haze. I think the lesson is some break is okay, but a large volume of break probably maybe has some deleterious effect on something. Crystal clear right? :drunk:
 

eastoak

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See, I've read differently. I am paraphrasing and can't remember the user's name on here, but I remember reading that the R&D labs in many large-scale breweries typically throw out the bottom third or so of a test batch. Of course, this is R&D and most homebrewers (myself included) would drink nearly anything that comes out of their own fermenters lest they waste precious beer, but I think that speaks to concerns about off-flavors or haze. I think the lesson is some break is okay, but a large volume of break probably maybe has some deleterious effect on something. Crystal clear right? :drunk:
i sure would like to see that source, but no, it's not clear from that at all. i'm always willing to change my position when the facts change, i'm not going to stick to my guns for it's own sake, but i've seen no evidence that the break material causes any problems in homebrew. on the other hand there is no harm in filtering it out either if you can. i'm really addressing new brewers who might think filtering is something they have to do to get clear beer when that is not the case at all.
 
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waldzinator

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i sure would like to see that source
I know. I tried to find it, but I couldn't. I know I didn't dream it up...it was definitely on this website.

i'm really addressing new brewers who might think filtering is something they have to do to get clear beer when that is not the case at all.
Agree. I think in the face of unclear evidence, the best advice for anyone new to brewing is to not go to great lengths (read: expense) to filter out something that may or may not have any appreciable affect on the end-product. However, I'm willing to start a collection of grant money to fund me making a ton of beer under very rigorous conditions to test the effect of varying amounts of break material on clarity, flavor, etc.

Any donors???? Haha.
 
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