Cold Break

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Tess, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Tess

    Tess New Member

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    I'm wondering if anyone can help me with a dumb question about trub.

    Being new to all-grain brewing, I have been doing my best to minimise the amount of both hot and cold break going into the primary fermentation. My reasoning was that both the hot and cold breaks could lead to off flavors. Having recently got hold of a nice shiny new plate chiller, and reading about how to use it, I'm getting the idea that it's totally fine for the cold break to end up in the primary fermentation and, in fact, it contains a whole lot of nutrients that the yeast just love. It seems that the yeast pulls down the cold break as it settle to the bottom before racking to the secondary.

    Can anyone set me straight on whether I should be minimising the amount of cold break in the fermentor or whether it's totally fine (even desirable) or it to get in there. Thanks.
     
  2. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    As I understand it it's okay to pour in the lot into the fermentor. Exactly how much nutrients it contains I have no idea, neither if it's excessive or not, but I've read that people do it all the time and with no off flavours. But then, I'm sure just as many people avoid pouring it into the fermentor too, also with good result. In the end it will be a loss anyway, if you leave it in the boil kettle or in the fermentor. One possibly negative thing I can find with dumping all in the fermentor is that it MIGHT be so much that it reaches the spigot in the fermentor, if you have that, and use it...
     
  3. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    If you are using a plate chiller the cold break is going to form when the wort is passing through it on the way to the fermenter. You would have to then transfer to a second fermenter to avoid the cold break being in the fermenter. I have never heard of anyone doing that. I wouldn't worry about it.
    Hot break on the other hand, you can leave as much of that in the kettle as possible if you want. It doesn't seem to hurt the beer if you let it in the fermenter but you will have less trub in the fermenter.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    There doesn't seem to be any real disadvantage to transferring everything from the kettle to the fermenter. It may actually help beer clear in the keg or bottle by giving the yeast something to grab on to as it settles. If there is a disadvantage it comes with the possibility, as mentioned above, of interfering with transfer from spigoted fermenters.
    What I do is spoon off the foam that develops during the first few minutes of boil just because it seems to help with avoiding boil-overs. That may minimize the amount of stuff that I'm dealing with later, but that's not my main purpose for doing so. I use Whirl-floc, as well and that helps coagulate proteins and makes beer drop clean in the keg fairly quickly.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Both hot and cold break are protein and about as flavorful as unseasoned scrambled egg whites. No off-flavors to be had from them! The yeast don't directly use the break material for nutrients - it needs either amino acids (free nitrates) or very short peptides - polymers of amino acids. As you mentioned, it settles to the bottom of the fermentor, actually before the yeast. I've read of tests where beers with break material cleared faster than those without. Here's an area where Big Beer and Little Beer seem to diverge: Big Beer separates out the break material because it can help them get the beer from the kettle to the convenience store shelf quicker. Beer quality is not a consideration in this calculation, leading me to believe that it isn't much of a factor. Little Beer, well, for me, the loss to trub would be extremely high in proportion to the beer I get so, as seems to be the consensus here, I dump everything in and let gravity do my separation for me.

    Just make sure when you dump, you aren't dumping a bunch of hop material in - that can cause off flavor.
     
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  6. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I used to transfer only clear wort using a bazooka tube and doing almost like a Vorlauf. I calculated for a 6 gallon batch to get about 5.25 gallons into the fermenter. I have since gone to whirlpooling and using just a pickup tube and now get ~ a quart of break/hop sediment into the fermenter and calculate a 5.5 gallon batch to get the same amount into the fermenter. That saves about 10% on grain and hops. It drops out and compacts with the yeast and doesn't seem to make a bit of difference in the end product.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    this is all I do, I whirlpool leave as much in the kettle as I can and use gravity for the rest in the fermenter, I have just a small amount in the bottom of my keg and thats mostly yeast


    WP_20180507_19_44_29_Pro.jpg
     
  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't put much effort into preventing it at all. If I am feeling patient I will give it 10-15 minutes after I finish using my IC for things to settle before I start transferring. If there's a ton of hops I will try to leave them behind but I don't put a lot of worry into it.
     
  9. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Yea, I do allow 2o minutes after chilling to settle out..
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I do a 20 minute rest after whirlpooling but before chilling, that way it all settles down in the pit
     
  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    What type of chiller do you use?
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I chill through my HLT herms coil, I fill a 6 gallon bucket with water then freeze it solid, it fits inside the coil I fill the rest with water and recirculate that to 42F, when whirlpool is done and I let it settle all sediment to the center then start the pump and turn it off after a minute letting wort drain slowly around the ice

    WP_20180507_14_29_06_Pro.jpg
     
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  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I figured you didn't use an IC if you were settling before chilling.
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    so the boil kettle is on the left and when I chill it transfers to the hlt goes in at the top and exits the bottom


    WP_20180507_14_30_35_Pro.jpg
     
  15. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Way too high tech for this old fashioned simpleton.
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    that's not why my beer is so good but it sure helps, it's all automated and hands off, start the function and walk away
     
  17. Tess

    Tess New Member

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    Thanks everyone for such helpful feedback. It sounds like I should keep doing what I am doing and not lose too much sleep over the cold break getting into the fermenter. I reckon I'll continue to add whirfloc, whirlpool, settle for a few minutes and then tap off through the plate chiller directly into the fermenter.

    Thanks again and happy brewing!
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Roger that.
    Roger that, too.
     
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  19. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Not homebrew scale, but found this interesting - http://masterbrewerspodcast.com/097-better-fermentations-with-cloudy-wort

    The studies the brewer was doing with new equipment showed more trub in the fermenter gave quicker fermentation. Sampling the cloudy wort saw more fatty acids and zinc than more traditional methods. There was a quick question about smaller scale brewers and she thought it would be better minimise whirlpool and make no effort to stop trub getting into the fermenter. Though I don't think small scale was a bit larger than the average home brewery.

    And I've paraphrased that very loosely.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I've read the same thing at some point or another. Not long afterward, I bought a hop screen and stopped worrying about the protein and whirlfloc debris left behind in my kettle. And for the "n=1" file, I just had a lager finish fermentation at 11° C (51.8°F) in five days.
     

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