Straining

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cutarecord

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Hey guys!

Waiting fort water to boil to start my first batch! So pumped! My question is: I'm brewing from extract and hop pellets. Should I use a strainer before I go into my fermenter? And if so will a fine strainer keep out too much of the good stuff that I want in my fermenting tank?
 

frontenac

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You could definitely go that route. Straining would help to hold back the spent hop and hot and cold break material potentially giving the beer a "cleaner" profile.

Typically what I do is whirlpool my wort after cooling then letting it settle for about 20 minutes or so. The idea is that all the unwanted solid material will collect to the center of the kettle. Then you can use your racking cane and siphon of the clear wort from the sides of the kettle.

If this is one of your first brews I wouldn't be too concerned with separating the hops and break. Just make sure that you observe proper sanitizing procedures and absolutely make sure that your wort is cooled prior to racking or straining. I make sure I get down to at least 80 degrees F before moving the wort to the fermentor in order to avoid hot-side aeration which could potentially lead to off-flavors as the beer ages.
 
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cutarecord

cutarecord

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Excellent advice! With the whirl pooling does everything stay in the center or do you continuously keep stirring until you rack?
 
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cutarecord

cutarecord

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Also, should I let the wort cool naturally or is there a way to speed this process up?
 

frontenac

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If you do not have an immersion chiller then I suggest an ice bath. Add some ice water to your kitchen sink and place your kettle in the water bath. Gently stir the wort as it cools to speed the cooling process. Some people would suggest keeping the cover on top of the kettle to prevent airborne yeast and bacteria from contaminating but it will take a lot longer to cool that way.

Once your wort is cooled enough (below 80 deg F) start stirring the wort in a smooth circular motion making sure not to splash too much. Remove the spoon or whatever your stirring with quickly so as not to disrupt the whirlpool action. Then let that sit for about 20 minutes to let it come to a standstill. Then rack.
The debris will stay near the center of the kettle until the wort level gets near the bottom. You will likely suck up some debris. It's unavoidable but at least you will leave most of it behind.
 

unionrdr

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I pour the chilled wort & top off water through a fine mesh strainer on top off my plastic FV's. It getts a lot of gunk out,& aerates well too. Then stir roughly for 5 minutes to mix & further aerate. Take hydrometer sample & pitch yeast. I get 3-5" of foam this way.
When I do the ice bath,I put the BK in the sink & fill sink to the top with ice,then top that off with water. I can chill down to 70F in 20 minutes.
 
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