Small Batch Yield

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butterblum

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I just brewed my first 2.5 gallon batch to put into my FastFerment 3 gallon conical.
I'm kind of disappointed, because I brewed a Session IPA and used a hop "basket" (https://www.homebrewing.org/400-Micron-Stainless-Hop-Filter--4-x-10-_p_7114.html), and still ended up with a bunch of trub in my fermenter.
It was my first all-grain batch - I normally brew partial mash, but because of the batch size and gravity, I didn't need any extract. I hit my numbers dead on at 2.5 gallons, but wanted a slightly higher batch volume - I found out that, using a generic equipment profile on Brewsmith, the estimated efficiency was set at 89%, so that explains the lower volume.
But I used Whirfloc and the hop basket and still ended up with a little over 0.5 gallons of trub.
So I'm looking at a max of 2 gallons after fermentation.
Any tips on maximizing yield for small batches? Will the trub compact any more than it is after 6 hours?
Thanks
 

jtratcliff

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toss trub and all into the fermenter... it'll settle out after fermentation ends... more so if you cold crash w/ gelatin...

Don't fear the trub!
 

whiskeyjack

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It will compact more, but you cant brew a 2.5g batch and get 2.5 gallons of beer. Alot of the beer recipes on here are 5.5 or 6 gallon batches because after said and done they will have around 5 gallons in the keg after losses. As far as maximizing yield, use whirliflock in the boil, and cold crash 24-72 hours before packaging. With a 2.5 gallon batch, I would expect to get anywhere from 2-2.25g of beer after trub loss. If you want more per batch, scale it to 3 gallon batches and then you will net around 2.5-2.75
 
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butterblum

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Yeah, I was shooting for 2.75 gallons, but missed low because of the fact that the amount of grain was calculated according to 89% efficiency. My batch efficiency this round was 65%...I know that you will always lose some volume to trub.
 

Oginme

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Between proteins and the yeast cake, you will always lose something in the fermenter, as you have acknowledged. I typically brew 10 liter batches (~2.8 gallons) and end up with about 0.78 liters (not quite a quart of trub). In my experience, keys to getting a full 9 liters of beer to bottle or keg is:

(1) Plan on trub loss when filling your fermenter. I brew an ending volume of 11 liters, transferring 10 to 10.5 liters (depending upon hop loading since I don't use a hop bag) into the fermenter. I leave behind quite a bit of coagulated proteins (I use Irish moss in the boil) and hop material in the kettle. There is nothing wrong with transferring this mass, but it takes up volume in the fermenter.

(2) Kind of a precursor to (1) above, don't be in a hurry to transfer the wort to the fermenter. This allows the trub to settle and compact some in the kettle. I chill immediately after brewing, cover and move to a counter where I will let it sit undisturbed for a good hour or more before pouring into the fermenter.

(3) As others have noted, cold crashing will help the trub compact on the bottom. I've started using gelatin on some of my lagers, so I don't have a good comparison yet to give an opinion on if it helps with compaction. It does help with keeping some of the last yeast to flocculate out from being disturbed during transfer to the bottling bucket/keg.

(4) Patience. I give my beers a good 2 weeks in the fermenter before cold crashing. I do make an exception for IPAs and wheat beers (1 week primary before cold crashing), but that is a minority of what I brew. That extra time makes a marked difference in the compaction of the yeast. I also find that the extra time helps with the flavors of brown ales, English styles and most of the other non-hop forward styles.
 

LostHopper

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I just did a small test batch 2.25 gallons doing only hop stand additions. I used Cryo Hops and had much less hop debris go into the fermenter. Probably two reasons:
I used 50% less hops by weight per recommendation of YCH.
The Cryo has less hop debris/veggie material.
 

RM-MN

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I just brewed my first 2.5 gallon batch to put into my FastFerment 3 gallon conical.
I'm kind of disappointed, because I brewed a Session IPA and used a hop "basket" (https://www.homebrewing.org/400-Micron-Stainless-Hop-Filter--4-x-10-_p_7114.html), and still ended up with a bunch of trub in my fermenter.
It was my first all-grain batch - I normally brew partial mash, but because of the batch size and gravity, I didn't need any extract. I hit my numbers dead on at 2.5 gallons, but wanted a slightly higher batch volume - I found out that, using a generic equipment profile on Brewsmith, the estimated efficiency was set at 89%, so that explains the lower volume.
But I used Whirfloc and the hop basket and still ended up with a little over 0.5 gallons of trub.
So I'm looking at a max of 2 gallons after fermentation.
Any tips on maximizing yield for small batches? Will the trub compact any more than it is after 6 hours?
Thanks
I think you are slightly confused having just moved from partial mash to all grain. With extract and partial mash much of the trub will have been removed before you get the extract. With all grain you get all the hot break and cold break into your fermenter unless you whirlpool and leave it in the boil pot along with potential beer as much of the trub is wort. The trub you see at 6 hours is much more than what you will see in 2 weeks as it will compact quite a bit.

I also think you are confused because of the differing types of efficiencys as there is mash efficiency (the amount of sugars converted compared to the possible amount of sugars) which should be close to 100% if you have a very fine crush and brewhouse efficiency which takes into account the amount of wort still in the grain plus any losses between the mash and the bottling. Your 65% is likely brewhouse efficiency.

Maximizing yield for small batches is the same as with larger batches. Mill the grains as fine as your system will allow. With a conventional mash tun that will be limited by what you can make drain from the mash tun but with BIAB and using a fine mesh bag to contain the grains and perform the filtering the grains can be milled to near flour. The finer milling exposes the starches to the enzyme activity which then gets you more sugars from the grains. Sparging after draining the tun (or pulling the bag out of the pot) rinses more sugars from the grains. I'd suggest a double sparge for that although you might still get a decent amount of sugars from a third sparge but then you have more water that has to be boiled off to get to the proper volume to the fermenter. Then to get all the wort into the fermenter to create beer, dump everything in. You can use a hop basket to reduce the amount of hops. Chill the wort, pitch the yeast, and ignore the fermenter for a couple weeks. Gently shake your conical to settle the yeast that stuck to the sides of the conical, wait a day, then drop the yeast and trub. If you have more trub than will fit in the collection bulb, repeat.
 
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