Wort/trub filtration and sanitation

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frankvw

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After full grain brewing for years I have now begun to experiment with recipes based on extract and steeped grains in a partial boil. You know the drill: you make a small volume (1 gal. or so) of wort from some extract and steeped grains, making sure it has the same gravity as the OG of the final wort volume should have (in order to keep your hop utilization where it belongs) and you boil that 1 gallon with all your hops, then top it up with water and more extract to a larger volume (4 gal or so) and let ferment. There are limits to how far you can scale your boil down but in general it works fairly well, and the advantage is that you can do this in a relatively small pot on the kitchen stove.

The disadvantage is that with 1 gal. of wort your trub losses are far more significant than they would be in 4 gal. of wort. I tried to brew a highly hopped beer with an OG of 1.050 the other day, and about 1/3 of the wort had so much trub in it that it was as thick as mud. Some filtration warranted here. :)

Which brings my to my question: how to you all deal with the keep to have whatever filtering method you use sanitized? I'm considering using a sieve or colander lined with cheese cloth (I have some with a coarse weave that looks like it will do the job) but it will have to be sanitized. Soaking it in sanitizer should do the trick, but would mean to introduce significant amounts of sanitizing agent into my wort. Boiling water would be an option, but handling the stuff steaming hot could get tricky.

So how do you all deal with the sanitation of whatever you use for filtering the crud out of your wort?
 

IslandLizard

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I don't think hop utilization is linear with larger hop concentrations. IOW, boiling a gallon of wort with hops meant for a 5 gallon batch won't give you the same result as boiling those in 5 gallons. Hop utilization only covers the isomerization of Alpha Acids, causing bitterness, IBUs, not flavor and aroma extraction, which is a different process and may also have linearity limits at higher concentrations.

And yup, you're going to have all the hop trub of a 5 gallon batch in a 1 gallon volume. Your brew efficiency is also suffering as a lot of heavy gravity wort remains trapped in that trub, unless you rinse it well or squeeze it tightly to become merely damp pulp.

After chilling the wort, you can safely strain through fine mesh material or a bag, over a bucket. Sanitize the mesh and bucket, and "air shake" as much sanitizer out of the mesh. Here's a excellent example of how to do it, props to @flars.

In that same thread I outlined how to reclaim wort from kettle trub in a sanitary way, or with a short pasteurization (and quick re-chilling) process, if needed.

If you use Starsan, the amount of sanitizer that remains in the mesh fabric is negligible and imperceivable.
 

kh54s10

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When I do extracts I start with 2.5 to 3 gallons. It boils down to 1.5 to 2.5 gallons, depending on pot, heat etc. I bag my hops during the boil so there is not need for extra straining. Only a little hop debris ends up in the fermenter. I also add the last of the extract at flame out so all I do is top up with water to 5 gallons. The ONE time I attempted to strain was such a PITA that I never tried that again.
 

SanPancho

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For hoppy beers you need to start boiling the hops in the full volume. Youre not gonna gtt the result you want boiling that many hops in a super high gravity 1gal volume. Just do full volume boils. Or at least as much boil volume as you can handle currently in your kettle.
 
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frankvw

frankvw

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I don't think hop utilization is linear with larger hop concentrations.
True, to some extent, hence my noting that "There are limits to how far you can scale your boil down". Which is why a partial boil is what you do if you can't handle a bigger boil.
After chilling the wort, you can safely strain through fine mesh material or a bag, over a bucket. Sanitize the mesh and bucket, and "air shake" as much sanitizer out of the mesh. Here's a excellent example of how to do it, props to @flars. In that same thread I outlined how to reclaim wort from kettle trub in a sanitary way, or with a short pasteurization (and quick re-chilling) process, if needed. If you use Starsan, the amount of sanitizer that remains in the mesh fabric is negligible and imperceivable.
Which is exactly the info I was looking for but couldn't find. Sir, I raise my glass to you. :) Thank you!
 
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