Author Topic: minimizing trub into fermenter  (Read 1453 times)

Offline Nicasio Tom

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minimizing trub into fermenter
« on: May 14, 2019, 04:28:56 PM »
I'm trying to get less trub into fermenter from boil kettle. I have one of those long screen thingies attached to the outlet inside which would interfere with whirlpooling, I would think. Should I take the screen off and then whirlpool?  Also, I've read one should let the kettle sit 30 minutes (to settle trub) before transferring wort to the carboy. Wouldn't this increase chance of contamination? Most say chill as quickly as possible, then transfer and pitch. But I also hear chill overnight (??!). Any advice?

Offline Oginme

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 05:21:15 PM »
I would not worry too much about the screen filter on the bottom being an issue with whirlpooling.  Will it reduce the effectiveness -- yes, but it will not prevent the heavier materials from condensing around the middle portion of the kettle as it settles.

In my own process, I chill after the last step (boil or hop steep) pretty quickly and then allow the kettle to sit on the counter for a good period of time, sometimes up to a few hours if I am pressed doing other chores.  This allows the Irish moss to settle out the coagulated proteins and hop debris on the bottom and give it some time to compress.  This compression makes it less likely to go back up into solution when I transfer the wort into my fermenter.  I also pour it through a funnel with a screen to help catch some of the debris which gets sucked up into the siphon or gets poured into the funnel towards the end of the transfer.  This also breaks up the stream of wort and gives more surface area to pick up more oxygen as it goes into the vessel. 

My reasons for limiting the trub is to increase the yield from the fermenter.  There are some batches where I just pour the whole kettle right into the fermenter.  Having the excess trub will not hurt the beer. It may turn out a little different, which I have yet to experience, but it won't harm it.

Chilling as quickly as possible is a good practice when open to the air and elements.  What you are trying to avoid is to have the wort exposed to potential contamination and being held at temperatures of around 43C to 46C where bacteria such as yogurt cultures usually thrive.  Having said that, there are no-chill methods being used which do very well and have no more risk of contamination due to the fact that they are in a nearly airless package which has been sanitized. 
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Offline dtapke

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 07:23:00 AM »
knowing your process would make it easier to provide any insight, also knowing what equipment you're using.

I chill in my kettle via plate chiller and whirlpool outlet. I have no screen, only a dip tube. after getting my wort to around 70F I let it sit for 20-30 minutes. I do not use irish moss (i try to remember, but usually forget) and have no issues with kettle trub in my fermenter.

some trub is arguably good for the yeast. That's a whole different discussion though.

How much trub are you experiencing that this is a significant issue? If you're experiencing A LOT, I'll take a gander at it being hop material. If that's the case, I'd highly recommend some form of hop containment. I use this: https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/hopbasket800adjustable.htm

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Offline jomebrew

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 08:53:33 AM »
To add nothing useful but extending Oginme's comment a little...

Why are you trying to reduce trub in the fermenter?  Increase yield like Oginme? Worried about it impacting the beer? Just don't like the looks of it? Worried about the oxidation risk and premature staling that may affect the beer? Personally, I found this concern to be archaic and really a concern for packaging brewers than homebrew.

In general, the bazooka screen (as you describe) makes stirring more difficult but you can still whirlpool and much of the trub and hop matter will concentrate in the center as long as there is some space under the bazooka screen. If you use a Z or S shaped pickup tube with the bazooka screen at the bottom of the kettle and there isn't space under it, then it it will be less effective.

As noted, chilled wort in open air has a significant risk of wild yeast or bacteria infection. Once my work hits 140F, I simply put a lid on my kettle and toss a towel over it for good measure. Once I am done whirlpool/chilling, I transfer to my carboy keeping that covered with foil. The goal is to keep contaminants from surfing in on dust particles. I have either been very lucky or my process works as I have never has an infection. At least not detectable before the keg is empty.

Offline dtapke

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 09:59:54 AM »
To add some useless commentary:

Wasn't Pasteurs swan necked flask idea just awesome? I mean he basically invented the airlock concept we still use today to some extent AND figured out that yeast are responsible for fermentation.

But yeah, whats your specific trub problem? i remedied mine by using that hop screen. Even with 25g all grain batches i get pretty minimal trub (not hop material) Maybe around a pint of break material?

if you're experiencing more, perhaps your issue is with your lautering. setting a good filter bed going into your kettle is super important for this. I use Differential Pressure during the first 5 minutes of draining (Vorlaufing) to make sure i'm going nice and slow and getting VERY CLEAR wort. Often doing a Vorlauf until i can physically see the grain bed under the wort; Assuming the color is light enough for this
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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 07:10:23 PM »
Well, thanks for all your replies! You've been very helpful... I am happy to be reassured that the trub, and it's not a lot, in fact is not a great issue, and perhaps it even plays a positive part in the whole mysterious process. My end results have been satisfactory and even at times surprisingly (to me) very good. I'll do a bit of whirlpooling and let it sit a while before transfer. I see now that after quick chilling (I use an immersion coil chiller) the risk of contamination is lower provided it is covered when resting. Then I'll transfer to the glass carboy, shake it up good, and pitch. Which leads me to another question (really another topic): should one make a starter as opposed to, say, pitching two pkgs of Imperial A07 liquid ale yeast which is supposed to have 200 billion cells each? That seems to work just fine for me so far.

Offline dtapke

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 08:04:37 AM »
Check the recent beersmith podcast with Chris White about yeast (http://beersmith.com/blog/2019/04/22/the-yeast-life-cycle-with-chris-white-beersmith-podcast-190/)

I think you'll find that even Chris (as a seller of yeast!) isn't SUUUPER about pitching high counts, but instead monitoring O2 levels and making sure the yeast have the nutrients they need.

I always try to pitch in the 1m/ml/P range depending on style, but I certainly have been known to under/over pitch at times

also, Keep in mind that if we don't know your process, batch size, or gravity it's impossible to recommend a pitch rate ;) additionally, those package cell counts are just good estimates. without doing your own cell counts you're just using educated guesses anyways!
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Offline Oginme

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 08:49:46 AM »
Check the recent beersmith podcast with Chris White about yeast (http://beersmith.com/blog/2019/04/22/the-yeast-life-cycle-with-chris-white-beersmith-podcast-190/)

I think you'll find that even Chris (as a seller of yeast!) isn't SUUUPER about pitching high counts, but instead monitoring O2 levels and making sure the yeast have the nutrients they need.

I always try to pitch in the 1m/ml/P range depending on style, but I certainly have been known to under/over pitch at times

also, Keep in mind that if we don't know your process, batch size, or gravity it's impossible to recommend a pitch rate ;) additionally, those package cell counts are just good estimates. without doing your own cell counts you're just using educated guesses anyways!

In my experience, there is a reason that White is not pushing cell counts.  I've only used a few strains of White Labs versus many of Wyeast, but when I was trying to dial in my process for counting cells, I found that the packages of Wyeast (12 packages tested) always contained over 100 billion cells versus the White Labs (3 pure pitch, 1 vial) which averaged barely 100 billion cells.  This is confirmed on their web site where the specifications for the pure pitch packages contain from their FAQs page which states: "In our production, we allow for cell counts of 1.5 to 3.0 billion per milliliter which will produce 60 to 120 billion total cells if 40 mL."

Maybe it is just the way the packages were handled, but I always found the viability of the yeast cells from either supplier to be extremely high, regardless of the age of the package.

Addendum:  In several podcasts, the people at Imperial Yeast have implied the same findings regarding White Labs as I outlined above.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 12:15:56 PM by Oginme »
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Offline dtapke

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 12:20:14 PM »
I preferred the vials, have only used a few purepitch packages and am not too happy with them to be totally honest.

I think Chris's viewpoint is that pitching a approximate count of viable yeast cells will always produce a top quality product IF the wort is conducive to the replication of cells.

As you've stated, cell counts vary from package to package, and realistically any pitching done without doing a cell count is just a guess anyways, therefore my personal opinion (and C.W.'s) is that producing quality wort with the appropriate nutrients and d.o. is FAR more important to the hobbyist than pitching big counts.

I've pitched huge amounts before (think 10m/ml/p) for fun and experimentation, and you still have a lag, and you still have replication.

Dialing in O2 and providing the appropriate nutrition to the yeast cells still comes in as top priority for me over pitching "the right" number of cells. I generally pitch 1m/ml/p within a +/- of .25m on ales.


I've digressed, to address this:
Which leads me to another question (really another topic): should one make a starter as opposed to, say, pitching two pkgs of Imperial A07 liquid ale yeast which is supposed to have 200 billion cells each? That seems to work just fine for me so far.

How much wort, what gravity, and how are you taking care of the o2?

I've not tested(or used) any imperial packs myself but have heard nothing but good things. Try pitching the appropriate amount of yeast cells within the range i stated above, and assuming you're taking care of o2 and nutrients, you're going to make high quality beer.
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Offline Oginme

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 12:38:15 PM »
Which leads me to another question (really another topic): should one make a starter as opposed to, say, pitching two pkgs of Imperial A07 liquid ale yeast which is supposed to have 200 billion cells each? That seems to work just fine for me so far.

And that is a fine approach.  The reason most brewers use a starter is to avoid the cost of a second (or third) package of yeast.  It comes down to the ease of pitching a couple of packs versus the money savings at teh cost of a little DME and time on the brewer's part.

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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2019, 02:43:58 PM »
Many thanks for these replies on yeast usage. To answer dtapke's question, the latest batch was an IPA with about 5 gals in the (6.5gal) carboy at 1.066 OG; I shook the carboy vigorously for maybe a minute before pitching 4 billion cells Imperial A07. The fermentation was active and proceeded I think normally; the ferm has slowed/stopped now (6th day). Have not yet taken another gravity reading.

Offline Oginme

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 03:05:00 PM »
Many thanks for these replies on yeast usage. To answer dtapke's question, the latest batch was an IPA with about 5 gals in the (6.5gal) carboy at 1.066 OG; I shook the carboy vigorously for maybe a minute before pitching 4 billion cells Imperial A07. The fermentation was active and proceeded I think normally; the ferm has slowed/stopped now (6th day). Have not yet taken another gravity reading.

If you pitched two packages, then the number is around 400 billion cells.  The number of cells in a package does decrease with the age of the package and storage conditions.  You can use the starter tab in your recipe and enter in the packaging date on the yeast package to get an idea of how many viable yeast cells (very conservative estimate) are remaining.
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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 04:03:37 PM »
yeah my typo 400 billion...

Offline dtapke

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 07:53:21 AM »
One pack would've sufficed. by my calcs you "needed" around 300b. so a single 200b pack wouldn've likely been just dandy.

I'd suggest either investing in o2 supply, or yeast starter supplies-stir plate, flask, for future improvements. (or both!)
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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: minimizing trub into fermenter
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 10:06:18 PM »
Thanks. Will look into starter methods...!

 

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