Preventing trub from getting to the primary

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by bcarroll, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. bcarroll

    bcarroll New Member

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    I'm new to all-grain brewing and I'm doing a small batch (1 gal) / brew in a bag type process. I'm on batch #4 at this point. I would like to reduce the amount of trub and hop residue that gets into my primary. I know how to deal with the hops, that should be taken care of next brew. I don't know what to do about trub.

    I have noticed that the screens that come with funnels will catch some of this, but they clog up quickly, partly because their surface area is very small. The fact that they work has me wondering if something like a grease screen would work also. They tend to be quite a bit larger, 13 in diameter seems common. I believe the weave is tighter than a normal strainer. Anyone ever try this?

    My other thought is a settling approach where I would let the wort settle for a half day and then transfer from 1 jug to another, leaving most of the trub behind. Anyone try this?
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried whirlpooling?
     
  3. BlaineHomebrew

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    How are you transferring to your primary?

    For me most trub is settled after the chilling and I use a syphon and hold it so it doesnt touch the bottom.
     
  4. bcarroll

    bcarroll New Member

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    I have been using a small sauce pan to ladle the wort and pouring into my jug via a funnel. That definitely stirs up all the trub making it unavoidable.
     
  5. bcarroll

    bcarroll New Member

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    I have not. Thunder, do you use a siphon in conjunction with whirlpooling? Given my small batch size, my pot has no spigot to draw off the wort.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Whirlpooling has never worked for me, my pot is too small. But then, the break material in primary won't hurt anything. Try to keep the hop debris out of it but the break - flavorless proteins - won't hurt a thing.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    It'll sort itself out in the fermentor just rack off the top of the trub once fermentation is done. Just my 2c letting that wort sit around waiting for the trub to settle may introduce more risk of contamination defeating the purpose of trying to remove the trub in the first place.

    Honestly I dump the lot into the fermentor and to me my beer tastes pretty good.
     
  8. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I do exactly as trialben does. Just dump the whole lot in. I am also a small batch brewer too, about 1 and a half gallons a go. Very similar pots and pans set up.
    Never had trub issues, but I do fish out the hop bags before transferring to primary, thats it.
     
  9. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    A paint strainer bag works great.
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Small batches are a real problem with all-grain. The only way I've had any success is with a bigger fermenter and smaller secondary. When the primary is big enough to accomodate the break material from the kettle, you can put it all in, let it ferment and since it's packed down during fermentation, you end up siphoning off much more beer to go into secondary. Bottom line is that if you're going to do all-grain, consider moving up to bigger equipment/ batches.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Respectful dissent: It works well with smaller batches, too. The losses are higher for smaller batches but at our scale, that doesn't matter much. I routinely do test batches at or below three gallons with no problem. One thing I have noticed: Conical fermentors result in a more "compact" yeast and trub cake and clearer beers at both the three and six gallon scales.
     
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  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's my point. And I merely suggest a larger primary to mitigate trub loss. I do 1-gallon batches instead of plain starters sometimes and it's fine since the slurry is a priority and having a few pints of beer is a dividend. If my goal is to get the most beer-bang for the buck, I'd rather start with at least a gallon and a half in primary and completely fill a gallon jug secondary and increase the yield by 25-30 percent. And that doesn't require anything more than a 3-gallon PET carboy at a cost of $20 or less, though glass would be preferred. Or any number of recycled containers. I got a 2 1/2 gallon heavy plastic LME container from the LHBS for free. Tons of options. ;)

    And regarding the conical, I'd love to have one but I'm thinking of getting an Erlenmeyer flask for separating yeast from protein and hop sludge in lieu of spending the money it'd take to get a proper conical.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I had a Brew Demon (the 3-gallon version), got the Big Demon (6-gallon version) for Christmas. I'm not opening a brewery so I can't see the cost of stainless equipment there. Plastic works until it doesn't, then it's not that hard to replace.
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Since I've been brewing a few more double (10+ gallon) batches, I've been using a couple of big plastic carboys of the sort that they get LME in at the LHBS. Holds 18 gallons totally full. I really like those things, but I know that at some point I'm going to lose a big batch because you don't really know they're bad until it's too late.
    I decided to get a 14 gallon stainless flat-bottom fermenter because the price was right. It's basically a big stainless bucket with a lid that'll clamp down and hold pressure, but I know without doubt that I can ferment in it for as long as I can keep brewing and I'll never lose a batch to infection because of it. ;)
     
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  15. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    use a nylon mash bag, pour all your finished wort through this going into the fermenter, squeeze out the liquid as you go, leaving behind a sizable hop and grain trub in the mash bag.
     
  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have a 16 gallon kettle with a dip tube and I still have never successfully whirlpooled. I've honestly just stopped trying to keep trub out and I cold crash and gelatin fine the carboy before kegging it.
     
  17. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I find with my fv (10 litres) that trub largely lies below the spigot, so when I transfer to my bottling bucket I hardly get any trub in there. To get the most out of it I tip the fv too.
    My initial beer coming out of the fv is a bit trubby, so I use it for my FG then stick it in the fridge and drink it later.
    Would love a conical and to scale up but space, climate, wife, dog, police and budget issues for now stop that. Ah, the simple life.;)
     
  18. bcarroll

    bcarroll New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies!
     
  19. portdawg66

    portdawg66 New Member

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    Thunderwagn makes a good point. Whirlpooling at the end of your boil should “stack” all of your hop residue (and any other additions) in the center of your brew kettle. Since you are doing small batch brewing, I assume you are simply pouring you wort into your fermenter through a screened funnel. So whirlpooling isn’t going to achieve anything for you. So honestly, your only option is to pour through the funnel, and stop and clear any blockage as it occurs. A traditional kitchen wire strainer (about 400 micron) would be more effective, but you can’t use them with carboys (unless you place it over your funnel). They are much more effective with plastic (bucket) fermenters. You should be able to eliminate all of the “junk” in your primary if you rack to a secondary, or rack to a bottling bucket.

    On a side note... trub is a byproduct of fermentation... so you don’t see trub in your primary until “after” fermentation has begun. What you are transferring into your primary is hop residue and remnants of any adjuncts you may have used.

    Good luck!
     
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  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    ...and break proteins, both hot and cold....
     
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