Trub-free fermenter?

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Toxxyc

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Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to AG (after coming from kits) and doing BIAB, and to be honest there's really just one thing that's really bothering me with this process - trub. I don't mind it in the kettle, I don't mind it in the mash, but man, it annoys the living daylights out of me when it gets into the fermenter. Mainly because I re-use my yeast several times and the more trub, the more work it is to get everything out.

For some reason my last two batches had an incredible amount of trub in the fermenter, and I don't know why. I've done 3 or 4 BIAB brews, no chill, and the first two had a lot less trub in the fermenter. The last two though, a lot. A thick layer, almost 2l worth in the bottom of the fermenter, and I would like to reduce/eliminate that.

I have started using Irish Moss in the boil, but it seems like it's useless unless you chill. I'm in the process of building a chiller (but it's damn expensive, so it's going slow) so I was wondering - will that help?

Also, I have strongly considered racking the wort off into a no-chill cube, fining the wort with gelatin and letting that sit in the fridge for a few days before pouring it out into the fermenter. Yes, it's slower, but that should work, right? I'm not too bothered about clear beers in the bottle or glass, as gelatin works wonders there anyway, but I would really love to get a cleaner yeast cake out of each brew, so I'm open to suggestions and tips and tricks!

PS: I have done research on this and some topics are...dodgy. Including letting the wort cool down and then filtering over all kinds of filters and and and but that sounds like a risk of infection to me, when described the way they are.
 

Vale71

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Have you tried whirlpooling? Also waiting several days before pitching is a sure way to get yourself an infection and/or a spontaneous fermentation, yeast always need to be pitched ASAP to avoid any surprises.
 

Abhishek Dewan

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Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to AG (after coming from kits) and doing BIAB, and to be honest there's really just one thing that's really bothering me with this process - trub. I don't mind it in the kettle, I don't mind it in the mash, but man, it annoys the living daylights out of me when it gets into the fermenter. Mainly because I re-use my yeast several times and the more trub, the more work it is to get everything out.

For some reason my last two batches had an incredible amount of trub in the fermenter, and I don't know why. I've done 3 or 4 BIAB brews, no chill, and the first two had a lot less trub in the fermenter. The last two though, a lot. A thick layer, almost 2l worth in the bottom of the fermenter, and I would like to reduce/eliminate that.

I have started using Irish Moss in the boil, but it seems like it's useless unless you chill. I'm in the process of building a chiller (but it's damn expensive, so it's going slow) so I was wondering - will that help?

Also, I have strongly considered racking the wort off into a no-chill cube, fining the wort with gelatin and letting that sit in the fridge for a few days before pouring it out into the fermenter. Yes, it's slower, but that should work, right? I'm not too bothered about clear beers in the bottle or glass, as gelatin works wonders there anyway, but I would really love to get a cleaner yeast cake out of each brew, so I'm open to suggestions and tips and tricks!

PS: I have done research on this and some topics are...dodgy. Including letting the wort cool down and then filtering over all kinds of filters and and and but that sounds like a risk of infection to me, when described the way they are.
I started using fermzilla, that solved it. You could use a conical fermenter. That will certainly help as you can remove trub multiple times. Also, use a suitable high flocculation yeast
 

Rob2010SS

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Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to AG (after coming from kits) and doing BIAB, and to be honest there's really just one thing that's really bothering me with this process - trub. I don't mind it in the kettle, I don't mind it in the mash, but man, it annoys the living daylights out of me when it gets into the fermenter. Mainly because I re-use my yeast several times and the more trub, the more work it is to get everything out.

For some reason my last two batches had an incredible amount of trub in the fermenter, and I don't know why. I've done 3 or 4 BIAB brews, no chill, and the first two had a lot less trub in the fermenter. The last two though, a lot. A thick layer, almost 2l worth in the bottom of the fermenter, and I would like to reduce/eliminate that.

I have started using Irish Moss in the boil, but it seems like it's useless unless you chill. I'm in the process of building a chiller (but it's damn expensive, so it's going slow) so I was wondering - will that help?

Also, I have strongly considered racking the wort off into a no-chill cube, fining the wort with gelatin and letting that sit in the fridge for a few days before pouring it out into the fermenter. Yes, it's slower, but that should work, right? I'm not too bothered about clear beers in the bottle or glass, as gelatin works wonders there anyway, but I would really love to get a cleaner yeast cake out of each brew, so I'm open to suggestions and tips and tricks!

PS: I have done research on this and some topics are...dodgy. Including letting the wort cool down and then filtering over all kinds of filters and and and but that sounds like a risk of infection to me, when described the way they are.

Question - when you say it's crazy expensive to build a wort chiller, how crazy are you talking? You can buy one for, what I would consider, not so expensive. Granted, everyone's budget is different so I'm only posing the question.

I'm in agreement with previous posters - leaving the wort to sit for a couple days is asking for an infection.

Just my 2 cents, and I know this is going to start a firestorm, for my first, maybe 6 brews or so, I just dumped everything in the fermenter, trub and all. To my tastes, had no negative impact on the beer. The beers were actually quite good! I only say it because if you're stressing about it, might help you relax about it a bit.

I think once you have a chiller, it should help you leave more of that in your kettle.
 

bleme

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I usually just dump cold break and all into the fermentor but when I want to harvest the yeast I will line my bucket with my brew-bag, dump in to wort, and pull out the brew-bag. That wouldn't work with a cube at all and I doubt it would do much without chilling first though.
 

odie

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I let my kettle settle a while after flameout and the chiller is removed. The spigot then will deliver fairly trub free wort. The spigot pours thru a screened funnel or a large felt cone filter to get really clean wort into the fermenter.

That leaves me with about a gallon of dense trub/wort mixture in the kettle to deal with. I pour that off into sterile mason jars and let the clear wort settle on top and decant into the fermenter. Or I pour it all thru the same screened funnel or cone filter to recover more clear wort to be added to the fermenter the next day.

At the end of fermentation I have a very tight and clean yeast cake.
 

odie

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odie

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No washing. Fermenter yeast cake.
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Filtering the kettle trub yields a clean yeast cake harvest. No “washing” needed
 

balrog

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You must've changed something if you're suddenly getting different amount of fermentation vessel (FV trub), using more hops, using different grist, something.

I always chill with immersion chiller and dump, LITERALLY EVERYTHING, into the FV. I always have 1/2 gallon after fermentation. Rarely more, sometimes less, depends on yeast, hopping, expected reasons like those two.
 

kevin58

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A little trub in the fermenter won't hurt anything. Some are OK with dumping everything in the fermenter and I have done so on occasion with no problems on the back end. It all settles and if you rack carefully while packaging you can leave the vast majority behind. My usual process however is to whirlpool in the boil kettle for 15 minutes and then let that settle - I gravity feed rather than use my pump out of the BK into the fermenter to avoid disturbing the cone of trub - and I use a kitchen strainer lined with a large coffee filter at the mouth of the fermenter. All this plus two finings... Whirfloc in the boil kettle and gelatin at kegging.
 

odie

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You must've changed something if you're suddenly getting different amount of fermentation vessel (FV trub), using more hops, using different grist, something.

I always chill with immersion chiller and dump, LITERALLY EVERYTHING, into the FV. I always have 1/2 gallon after fermentation. Rarely more, sometimes less, depends on yeast, hopping, expected reasons like those two.

Nothing wrong with dumping it all in. But OP wants to harvest clean yeast.
 

Dland

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i've read about these also, and have thinking about getting one:

https://www.morebeer.com/products/hop-spider.html

I use one of those spiders in hop step vessel (post boil) it holds my leaf finishing hops and it filters out a reasonable amount of trub. I do whirlpool and use a torpedo screen in bottom of BK, so it only has to catch residual trub. If you put too much tub in it, it will clog up enough to not drain in a timely manner. The wort going into fermentor is quite clean.
 

Mer-man

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i use hop bags...all i get in the fermenter is yeast at the bottom. and i dump the whole BK into it. ...

No, you are getting hot and cold break mixed in with your yeast. Hot break is universally reviled and should be kept separate; cold break is useful to a limited degree, then you just have excess. And by that I mean, wort that looks clear has adequate cold break in solution for a good fermentation.

If you're happy with the results and you can manage consistent yeast performance on sequential repitches, then you are in good shape. But no, you are putting hot and cold break in with it.
 

balrog

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I must admit that I am willing to take the time on the front end and overbuild starters in order to harvest clean yeast. But that is time and effort I am willing to expend rather than harvesting from the fermenter after a batch is finished, with whatever flavors come from hops & grists & whatnot (don't ask me the PPG of WhatNot, every manufacturer is different).
 

Rob2010SS

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I must admit that I am willing to take the time on the front end and overbuild starters in order to harvest clean yeast. But that is time and effort I am willing to expend rather than harvesting from the fermenter after a batch is finished, with whatever flavors come from hops & grists & whatnot (don't ask me the PPG of WhatNot, every manufacturer is different).
+1 to this. I'm with ya here. To me, it's easier to overbuild the starter than to harvest the yeast.
 

bracconiere

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No, you are getting hot and cold break mixed in with your yeast. Hot break is universally reviled and should be kept separate; cold break is useful to a limited degree, then you just have excess. And by that I mean, wort that looks clear has adequate cold break in solution for a good fermentation.

If you're happy with the results and you can manage consistent yeast performance on sequential repitches, then you are in good shape. But no, you are putting hot and cold break in with it.

that's what's weird though, i get a good hot break, but no cold break. and by the time it's chilled there's nothing but wort in my kettle....i wouldn't know how to separate it, otherwise i'd just brew 11 gallons instead of 10....

and my repitched yeast usually takes off after only a few hours.....

(i'd also point out, that when i ferment store bought apple juice, and ferment it, i get about the same amount of sediment as when i ferment wort....)
 

Spartan1979

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While I no longer worry about this, when I did, I added Polyclar to the fermenter before pitching which compacted the trub and then racked off the compacted trub and pitched the yeast.
 
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Toxxyc

Toxxyc

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Thanks for all the advice and info guys! I'll try some of the methods mentioned. Oh yes, and letting the wort cool down and leaving it there for a while shouldn't be a problem. It's what no-chill cubes are for :D
 

monkeymath

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View attachment 657826
No washing. Fermenter yeast cake. View attachment 657827 View attachment 657828
Filtering the kettle trub yields a clean yeast cake harvest. No “washing” needed

Thanks man, I'll try that on my next harvest! I thought the flocculated yeast would not make it through a filter, but these pictures tell a different story.

On my last brewday, I gathered the (rather thick) hop sludge in the bottom of the kettle and ran it through a coffee filter. Yielded another 800ml which I froze for some kräusening come bottling day. It's a considerable amount of wort that I usually just toss.
 

odie

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Thanks man, I'll try that on my next harvest! I thought the flocculated yeast would not make it through a filter, but these pictures tell a different story.

I think you misinterpret my pictures. What you are seeing in the large funnel and filter is fresh wort from the kettle. I screen/filter all trub before the fermenter.

What you are seeing in the close up of small jars with a clean yeast cake is UNFILTERED fermenter “trub” as a result of filtering the kettle trub at the beginning of the process
 

monkeymath

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I think you misinterpret my pictures. What you are seeing in the large funnel and filter is fresh wort from the kettle. I screen/filter all trub before the fermenter.

What you are seeing in the close up of small jars with a clean yeast cake is UNFILTERED fermenter “trub” as a result of filtering the kettle trub at the beginning of the process

lol ok, entirely different process. Yeasties like a little bit of trub, though, and the larger particles might actually help the smaller stuff settle. But separation of trub seems to be a major thing in the LODO community (fatty lipids iirc). But let's not discuss LODO here.
 

filthyastronaut

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I use my viole brew bag to filter, after boiling it to pasteurize. Requires some gloves and squeezing, and does not eliminate all fine break material.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I harvest yeast from my fermenter. I have thought about overbuilding, but it starts to get pricey and time consuming to build up 3L to 4L starters to get the 300B yeast needed (especially without using a stir plate) then cold crash/decant. I have had good luck reusing yeast that includes lots of trub, including dry hops. I have it on my 2020 list to play around with some different processes or refinements to my current process.

I often cool my wort down to ~90F, transfer it to the fermenter, and chill it in my chamber. I thinking about moving it into a ported fermenter or bottling bucket, chilling in there for a time (a few hours? overnight?) then transfering the fairly clear wort into my fermenter. I am not convinced it will produce better quality beer, but should give a little more head room in the fermenter and cleaner harvested yeast...but with more time, cleaning and infection risk.

My current process for 5 gal batches is to let the wort settle for 10 mins or so, then leave the worst of the trub and hop material behind as I transfer with my auto-siphon. For 1 gal and 2.5 gal I usually pour the wort through a coarse filter that removes most of the hops, but lets through all the break.
 

odie

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I let the kettle settle for an hour or so before opening the spigot. Lid tightly on though. I have a monster right now that will probably have to sit in the kettle overnight before I can start to filter it. Almost 25# of crap went into it. Lots to settle out. This will be a painfully slow one.
 

odie

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I had a bucket strainer I long forgot about. 200 micron. Trying it out. These are reusable. But work on bucket fermenters
 
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