Why so much trub in the primary?

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Tancred the Brewer

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Short story: I have a bunch of trub in my primary for my barleywine. This is the second time I have brewed this particular recipe and both have had a lot of trub in the primary. I don't get this with other brews. What is the cause and how do I prevent it in the future? I hate losing a full gallon from the fermenter to this.

Long story: I have been brewing for over 15 years, mix of extract, BIAB and all grain so feel pretty experienced. I brewed my first parti-gyle last May using a new Bayou Classics 15 gallon mash tun. The first runnings are for a barleywine with the second going towards an APA. I noticed last year that the barleywine had an enormous amount of trub in the fermenter, but the APA had hardly any. I chalked it up to the first time using that mash tun and dealt with the loss of 1.5 gallons from the fermenter to the trub. Brewed the same parti-gyle recipe over the weekend and had the same thing happen. I don't recall ever having this issue with BIAB, and I use an immersion chiller on all my brews, transferring them to fermenter by filtering through a colander every time. What is causing the large amount of trub to be in the barleywine and not my other brews.
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VikeMan

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A lot of that trub is proteins and lipids, which for a higher gravity wort, you'd expect more of (all else being equal).
 
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Tancred the Brewer

Tancred the Brewer

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A lot of that trub is proteins and lipids, which for a higher gravity wort, you'd expect more of (all else being equal).
Thanks. I figured it was proteins but just didn't understand why it was so different with these batches. But I can see the correlation between gravity and amount of proteins.
 

odie

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it will settle out. especially if you cold crash.
 

rburrelli

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Barley wine has a bigger grain bill and hopping generall. That generates more stuff to ssettle out.
 

Miraculix

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Filtering through a colander after cooling might be a bad idea, as there are so many small places where infections can hide. I would skip that.
 
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Couldn't we use a water filter with some kind of sediment membrane to filter out the thrub? I asked that question here and never got a clear answer.

Would there be any negative effect to that?

I have a fast ferment conical and I would like the small reservoir to be only for the yeast as it always overflow. I thought that maybe less thrub would help...
 

Miraculix

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Couldn't we use a water filter with some kind of sediment membrane to filter out the thrub? I asked that question here and never got a clear answer.

Would there be any negative effect to that?

I have a fast ferment conical and I would like the small reservoir to be only for the yeast as it always overflow. I thought that maybe less thrub would help...
No, that's basically asking for infections. Just live with the trub or wait a little bit longer before decanting the wort into the fermenter, leaving the trub behind in the kettle. Irish Moss helps with this I heard, but never used it myself.

I made many many great beers with all the trub going straight into the fermenter, and so did others. So just for beer qualitie's sake, the trub can be thrown into the fermenter. The yeast actually likes it as it provides additional nutrients.
 

IslandLizard

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From many experiments and reports, trub does not seem to harm your beer, in some cases it may even provide for a somewhat healthier fermentation and better clearing later on.

The main reason to leave (at least) most of the trub behind, is that it will leave more headspace in your fermenter. E.g, it's pretty tight there in your Barleywine fermenter!

There are numerous ways to keep most of the trub in the kettle. Whirlpooling or using one of the many "hop stoppers" can help with that.

Other methods:
1. After the boil and chill are done, let the wort settle out in the (closed) kettle for a few (2-4) hours. Then siphon the clear wort off the top into your fermenter. Or very slowly transfer through your kettle valve, but chances are some trub will come with it.

1a. It helps if you can turn the kettle's pickup tube upward, away from the bottom. For that use your long brew spoon or with a piece of stainless wire attached to the pickup tube before filling the kettle.

1b. I have installed a very useful rotating "racking arm" in my otherwise completely useless thermometer port. So after a settling out period of an hour or so, I transfer the wort through that. I bump it down as the wort level recedes, and tilt the kettle toward the racking arm toward the end. I get very little trub in the fermenter that way.

2. Transfer the chilled wort to a bucket, and let it settle out in there, 4-12 hours. The longer it sits the more it will compact on the bottom. Then pour or siphon the clear wort on top into your fermenter, leaving the thick trub layer behind.

"No wort left behind" paradigm:
From what I've gathered only a few of us subscribe to that, but those who do are tenacious.
After the clear wort has been transferred to the fermenter, depending on how thoroughly the trub has settled, and how frugal you are, you may want to strain the trubby wort.
Use a large, fine-mesh hop bag placed into a large funnel over a suitable container (I use a gallon-size plastic mayonnaise jar, wide mouth and good stability) to reclaim the precious wort.*

For all security, I then pasteurize that recaptured wort (10-20' at 150F), and let it chill before adding it to the beer in the fermenter (yeast had already been been pitched.
I still do that routinely, even when bagging the kettle hops to prevent clogging the plate chiller. I reclaim 1-2 quarts in a 5 gallon batch that way.

* Place a large spoon upside down underneath the bag reaching down to where the spout is. That helps with draining the bag.
 

odie

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if you are not going to harvest the yeast just dump it all in the fermenter.

If you have a conical I would probably dump it all in anyway and let it settle. Dump the settled trub and pitch. I would think you could even dump during peak krausen and get rid of all the trub and then you would have mostly yeast in the collection jar when fermentation is done.
 
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