Author Topic: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter  (Read 23616 times)

Offline jroe7313

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Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« on: January 09, 2014, 04:32:34 PM »
I did my first brew this past Sunday (holiday ale). All was going well with the brewing until a few hours after I finished I realized that I DID NOT strain the wort while transferring into the primary fermenter. I did my best to avoid pouring in the sediment from the bottom of the pot as instructed, but my concern is that all the hops are now in my fermenter (The kit used pelletized hops). I've been reading the Complete Joy of Homebrewing and have read that straining the wort is important before placing in the primary fermenter. I am now 4 days in and am concerned the final product may have off flavors. I planned on leaving the beer in the primary fermenter for 21 days before bottling, but now I am thinking that I should transfer to a secondary fermenter to "clear" the mess of hops I left in the primary. I need some help with my first batch!

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 04:46:46 PM »
Hmmm...not sure what the poll is all about.  I'm just going to skip that. 

Your beer should be fine for a few more days while primary fermentation finishes up.  Particularly a Holiday Ale which has quite a few flavors going on that should mask any minor effects that could arrise from the hops. 

But, as soon as that is done...I would go ahead and transfer to a new vessel and get those hops out of there.  then you can let the beer clear for a couple weeks in the new container before you bottle.  It'll be fine.  RDWHAHB.

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Offline GoodisBeer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 04:51:54 PM »
Usually I don't advocate using a secondary unless one is using a lot of hops in an IPA or bigger. Well in your case you've got a lot of hop trub that your beer would benefit from a sanitized transfer to a secondary. Wait about four days till primary fermentation is complete (dramatic slow of bubbling in airlock) then transfer and finish up. Thats what I would do. And I usually listen to Tom H as well!

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 09:19:41 PM »
I never strain my wort. Ever.
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Offline GoodisBeer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 09:45:18 PM »
Sure, when I was a new brewer, performing partial mashes, I would strain it. But now with a chiller plate and improved trub management I don't.....we got to start somewhere.  Brew on jroe7313!

Offline philm63

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 03:13:09 AM »
...But now with a chiller plate and improved trub management ...

Speaking of keeping crud out of the fermenter; what do YOU do for "improved trub management"?
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 09:07:42 AM »
I never strain my wort. Ever.

Err....really?  Are you saying that you transfer the entire kettle contents to the fermenter?  Or are you saying that you don't physically pour your cooled wort through a sieve into your fermentation vessel? 

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Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
Quote
Err....really?

Really.

Quote
Are you saying that you transfer the entire kettle contents to the fermenter?

Astute question. I'm not a hop-head, so there usually is not a lot of thick green stuff in the bottom of the kettle. Last batch was an adjunct pilsner with a whole .75 oz Saaz added during the boil.  When I use a few ounces of hops in an ale I will usually (but not always) leave some sludge behind.  Same if I use whole hops, which is rare.  I usually buy pellets by the pound to save money.

Quote
Or are you saying that you don't physically pour your cooled wort through a sieve into your fermentation vessel? 

I don't have a sieve I can clean with confidence.  This is another reason why I use a secondary (besides having only one primary vessel).  I suppose if I didn't use a secondary I would look into finding a sieve that I could easily clean.  After a string of infections a few years back I'm a bit paranoid. The less equipment that touches the cooled wort the better.

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 06:00:04 PM »
Last time I strained my wort it hurt pretty bad.

Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 08:39:58 AM »
Quote
Err....really?

Really.

Quote
Are you saying that you transfer the entire kettle contents to the fermenter?

Astute question. I'm not a hop-head, so there usually is not a lot of thick green stuff in the bottom of the kettle. Last batch was an adjunct pilsner with a whole .75 oz Saaz added during the boil.  When I use a few ounces of hops in an ale I will usually (but not always) leave some sludge behind.  Same if I use whole hops, which is rare.  I usually buy pellets by the pound to save money.

Quote
Or are you saying that you don't physically pour your cooled wort through a sieve into your fermentation vessel? 

I don't have a sieve I can clean with confidence.  This is another reason why I use a secondary (besides having only one primary vessel).  I suppose if I didn't use a secondary I would look into finding a sieve that I could easily clean.  After a string of infections a few years back I'm a bit paranoid. The less equipment that touches the cooled wort the better.

+1  Same for me.  However, I use a hop bag when boiling so I don't get any hops in my trub.  I also move to a secondary after primary fermentation, to help clean up a bit.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 09:08:16 AM »
On keeping break and hops out of the fermentor:
I also use hop bags to keep the hops out of my fermentors.  I have the dip tube in my boil kettle at a high enough level to try to avoid picking up break material.  I want my fermenting wort as clean as possible.

All bags are not created equal:
I learned the hard way that the LHBS sells different kinds of bags.  They sell grain bags and hop bags.  Grain bags let pellet hops out.  Some hop bags are just fine for leaf hops, but not so good for pellet hops and will let them out.  I usually use leaf hops, but some hops are only supplied in pellet form, such as Magnum.  I put my Magnum pellet hops in a grain bag, thinking the bags were all the same.  At the end of the boil, I had an empty bag!  Saved time on cleaning my bag, but left a lot of gunk get into the fermentor.  The beer turned out great anyhow.  It scored 43.5 at a local homebrew competition.  Luckily it was a Russian Imperial Stout, so beer clarity wasn't an issue.  If it had been a lighter beer, I don't know how clear it would have been.

On beer clarity with no secondary:
I didn't use a secondary recently for the first time.  The beer was a pumpkin ale where the spices were put onto the pumpkin during baking of the raw pumpkin and the pumpkin was added to the mash.  This meant I wouldn't be dealing with the pumpkin in my boil kettle.  I was busy with work and not around to get it from primary to secondary.  I was able to let the temperature free rise from 66F to about 72F after 2 weeks of primary time though.  Once it had about a week at 72F for the yeast to clean up after themselves, I turned the heat off in the garage and it dropped down to 61F for 11 days.  My gravity had been stable for about a week, so I just racked it to my bottling bucket and bottled it.  It seems to be a beautiful light, and clear orange.  Nice clean flavor too.  Almost lager like.  Just a hint of sweet pumpkin pie flavor in the background.  It's crystal clear too and carbonated up just fine.  I harvested the yeast out of the batch.  I got three very clean pint jars of Wyeast 1056 out of the batch.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 09:11:48 AM by Scott Ickes »
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Offline GoodisBeer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 11:24:29 AM »
Sorry for the late reply. I do use a bazooka screen on the bottom of my ketle that does "strain" the wort,  my apologies for the confusion. I no longer pick up kettle and poor through a strainer or colander.  So with the bazooka screen, chill plate, and usually 3 days of cold crashing post fermentation, I usually have no problm with clarity or off flavors.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2014, 01:31:41 PM »
If it had been a lighter beer, I don't know how clear it would have been.


I would think hops bits are far heavier than yeast, and that 100% would fall after sufficient time.  Certainly by the time yeast would typically floc and fall. 

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Forgot to Strain Wort into Fermenter
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2014, 02:31:03 PM »
Quote
I would think hops bits are far heavier than yeast, and that 100% would fall after sufficient time.

They do.  As long as the yeast is making tiny bubble though, the hop bits will catch them and go for a ride.

My last dry hopped ale took about three weeks for all the hops to settle. I use pellets, usually less than an ounce, and don't bag them.
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