Everybody in the pool

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by EvanAltman36, May 29, 2013.

  1. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    I am an extract brewer who uses pellet hops, so I get quite a lot of sludge in my wort. I typically filter with a colander and/or mesh cloth from kettle to carboy, but I slacked a little bit on this most recent brew. Was that because my broken foot limited my ability to stay upright long enough to strain well? Maybe. But I'm wondering what difference, if any, this will make. I'm thinking that most of the solids will settle out during fermentation anyway, so that may be a moot point. Also, I use Irish Moss, so I was wondering whether straining would also remove so much of the moss that its efficacy in the fermenter is limited. That said, could less stringent straining actually lead to clearer beer?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    In my extract days, I did much the same - I didn't worry much about any break material or hop debris that made it into my fermenter. Once the primary was over, I racked the beer off the crud and let it clean itself up. Sometimes I'd use whole cones for finishing hops and strain the wort through them, others I wouldn't. I honestly couldn't tell the difference. So now that I'm doing all-grain, I do the same thing and know what? I can't tell the difference. For me, as a process geek, the effectivity of a process, in this case, removing hop debris from the wort, is measured by the results. If I can't tell a difference between beers with no hop debris in the primary and with hop debris present, there's no need to take pains to remove them. Others may disagree but to me, obsessing over a bit of plant matter in a beer isn't worth the time.
     
  3. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    The only time I have had hop debris in the finished product was when I dry hopped with loose leaf hops just floating (no bag to contain them and no marbles to weight it down). It was a real mess.

    When I move the carboy up to table level for racking/bottling, I leave it there until everything settles back out - overnight does the trick.
     
  4. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    Evan - I also pay close attention to the filtering process on brew day. However, I will not share my info with you until the score changes. :evil:
     
  5. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Hey, at least the Blackhawks won, so that's good.

    When it comes to Irish Moss, I usually add at 15 minutes. Is that more to sanitize it, or do its clarifying properties come from how it interacts in the boiling wort? Because if the IM needs to be in the fermenting wort in order to work, I'd think that straining would negate its efficacy. I typically have only about a 2 week fermentation period, give or take, but I'm also thinking that giving a little more time for things to settle out would help.

    Oh, one last thing: DIONER NAVARRO!
     
  6. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    OUCH! I may be the only person in Chicagoland who does not watch hockey. I may be adding baseball to the list!

    I have been using IM at 15 mins and like it. My guess is that higher temps activate the enzymes or what ever coagulates the organics. I use hop bags for pellets and let the whole leafs swim free. Monday, I added 0.2g each of Centennial, Citra, and Cascade whole leaf at flame out and let sit for 10 mins. Chilled to approx 75f, did a swirl and siphoned into bottle bucket through a 5 gal paint strainer ($2). The strainer fits nicely over the bucket, and gets most of the crap. The siphon is positioned on the outer edge of the kettle, with the solids pretty much settling into middle. This method is does wonders for my back. No heavy lifting. ALso provides some aerating. I was able to pour out remain volume, with the whole leaf acting as a dam of sorts.

    I then aerate with my squirrel mixer (see previous posts) and then move bucket to table, open spigot and drain into carboy through filter funnel. I collect very little on second filter. Pitch with REHYDRATED yeast and have a beer to delay cleanup.

    When I did my AG and PM batches, I did get alot of cold break, which was too fine for filters (?). This weekends extract did not have as much cold break.

    Pretty basic and straight forward.

    The main advantage to this process is the easy of handling. NO HEAVY LIFTING!

    I may experiment with isenglass or gelatin in the future. BTW - would that be run of the mill, grocery store gelatin? I have an old box in the pantry.

    GO SOX!!
     
  7. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    That's a nice process, and I may try the paint strainer into bottling bucket and from that to carboy in the future. Do you use bags for the hops both in the boil and for dry-hopping? I've just dumped them in in both cases, partially because it's easy, but also in order to get as much surface-area coverage as possible. With dry hopping, I'd also have to sanitize the bag, weigh it down, etc. Also, with the paint strainer, do you just wash it afterwards or is that a one-time shot kind of deal? I did actually siphon my most recent batch, which I did because I didn't feel that trying to lift and pour a brew kettle while balancing on one leg and crutches was a good idea. But I might just pour from kettle through paint strainer in bottling bucket, and then go from that to carboy. Thanks!
     
  8. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

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    I think Irish Moss is for the boiling wort, and not in the fermenter. Could be wrong. Also, I've let the everything go in the fermenter, and strained. Currently, I whirlpool the kettle, and pour out the spigot after cooled through a hose, and then use a sparge thingy at the end of the hose to aerate the wort into the fermenter. I still get some residual junk in the fermenter, but since I move it into the secondary fermenter as soon as I can, it never has really mattered.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Irish moss is a fining agent added to the kettle, not the fermenter! It has a strong fishy odor that needs the time to be driven out of the beer. It works because it's negatively charged, attracts the positively charged protein molecules so they drop out instead of causing chill haze later. If you've ever seen a piece of the Irish moss after the boil, it looks slimy - that's the protein sticking to it! If you need to clarify in the fermenter, there are other agents such as Polyclar or isinglass that work but I definitely would not use Irish moss there! That stuff stinks.
     
  10. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Good stuff. I add the IM to the boil, just wondering about its actual use and purpose, so that was helpful. I don't rack to secondary and have heard more and more that it's often a fruitless effort, aside from maybe helping with clarity. I'm not entering any contests or anything, so I'm not sure the effort would provide me with appreciable difference. I think going from kettle to bottling bucket, using a paint strainer between, then going from bucket to carboy should work well for me and give me a consistent straining method that's simple yet effective.
     
  11. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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