Multiple trub dumps from conical, lots of beer loss

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Adam B.

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I've searched quite a bit to find an answer to my dilemma and am not finding what I'm looking for, so here goes.

I recently upgraded from carboys and buckets to an SS Brewtech Chronical fementor for all the obvious, beneficial reasons. My first brew in it is a Wee Heavy. I used 20 lbs of grain and 2 oz of Fuggle. As always, I filtered through my 200 micron strainer about 15 times before putting it in the fermenter. I ended up with 5.75 gallons in the Chronical. I used 1 packet of Nottingham yeast and pitched using a starter. My OG was 1.086, FG is 1.020. Fermented at around 62 degrees.

My first attempt to dump trub came on day 9. I dumped into a gallon jug. Because it appeared pretty milky, I drained off 3/4 gallon until I saw clear beer. I let that settle over night and by morning, about 80% of the 3/4 gallon looked like good beer. I've read that was likely too much to dump. However, since then, I have tried dumping about a cup or two at a time. I've done that maybe 5 times and continue to get pretty thin trub. I have tried knocking the sides and, tonight, tried scraping the sides thinking the thick stuff might be stuck on the fermenter as opposed to falling to the bottom. I should also mention, and I'm embarrassed to admit it, I wasn't removing the airlock when I dumped. I didn't even think about the physics behind it.

Being such a big beer, I was expecting a lot of thick trub to come out. Some of the videos I've watched show some pretty solid, poo-like trub. I'm currently at 4.5 gallons and feel like I'm losing much more beer than I should be. In the past, I've had much success siphoning from carboy to bucket and have never lost this much. The beer tastes great and at 8.5%, I don't want to keep dumping good stuff out. At this point, I'm almost considering transferring to a bucket to regain some control I feel like I've lost.

Being my first go with a conical, I expected a little trial and error. But am wondering what others' experience is? Techniques? Issues with dumping? RDWHAHB?
 

GPP33

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Why on earth would you dump all that beer? I’ve never used a chonical but I always thought you waited until the trub was nice and compact before dumping it.
 

eric19312

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I suspect all the trub dumping “benefits” are made up ideas used to get homebrewers to buy conical fermentors. Also filtering on way to fermentor...why are you doing that? Whirlpool to a sloppy cone and leave 75% of kettle trub in the kettle. When it’s time to harvest yeast don’t keep the first cup or so, that will be rest of your kettle trub. Rest should be good yeast.
 

Blazinlow86

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I only dump my yeast/ trub after a 48 hour cold crash. Otherwise your wasting a ton of beer as you have experienced. However I'm doing my dump under pressure with bigger butterfly valves in my unitank. The issue I see with the cronical is that I believe it's got the small ball valves and it can't be pressurized. If you try the method I use it will likely plug the valve right away. You may find it works best to not bother doing a dump and if your concerned with reusing yeast you can always overbuilt a starter and save some for next time. Cheers
 

Blazinlow86

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I suspect all the trub dumping “benefits” are made up ideas used to get homebrewers to buy conical fermentors. Also filtering on way to fermentor...why are you doing that? Whirlpool to a sloppy cone and leave 75% of kettle trub in the kettle. When it’s time to harvest yeast don’t keep the first cup or so, that will be rest of your kettle trub. Rest should be good yeast.
I'd agree buying a 5 gallon conical that can't hold pressure solely to be able to dump trub isnt a very good value. But I can say going from 3 glass carboys lifted into a chest freezer that all required there own yeast/dryhops/cold crashing/cleansing/closed transfer X3 to a single unitank thats easy to clean and sanitize/ made of stainless/can harvest yeast/can do a secondary if needed/requires no lifting/can carb a beer perfectly in 24 hours and transfer very clear beer to kegs all from a closed system is priceless. Of course you can make great beer in a carboy too. Budget aside I can't imagine anyone using a conical/unitank vs a carboy/bucket would still choose the carboy/bucket. Cheers
 

eric19312

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I'd agree buying a 5 gallon conical that can't hold pressure solely to be able to dump trub isnt a very good value. But I can say going from 3 glass carboys lifted into a chest freezer that all required there own yeast/dryhops/cold crashing/cleansing/closed transfer X3 to a single unitank thats easy to clean and sanitize/ made of stainless/can harvest yeast/can do a secondary if needed/requires no lifting/can carb a beer perfectly in 24 hours and transfer very clear beer to kegs all from a closed system is priceless. Of course you can make great beer in a carboy too. Budget aside I can't imagine anyone using a conical/unitank vs a carboy/bucket would still choose the carboy/bucket. Cheers
Which unitank? I’m thinking to go in that direction. I’d like to be at half barrel batch size.
 
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Adam B.

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I suspect all the trub dumping “benefits” are made up ideas used to get homebrewers to buy conical fermentors. Also filtering on way to fermentor...why are you doing that? Whirlpool to a sloppy cone and leave 75% of kettle trub in the kettle. When it’s time to harvest yeast don’t keep the first cup or so, that will be rest of your kettle trub. Rest should be good yeast.
I filter for two reasons, one is obviously I want to clear my wort. The filter I have catches everything. And two, it aerates the wort before pitching yeast. Just the way I’ve been doing it since I started home brewing. Cheers!
 

Jag75

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I dump on day 7 . Most times the collection ball is full. On day 21 theres not a lot in the bottom it's mostly beer .
 
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