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A Few Discrepancies I Hope For Someone to Shine a Light On

One thing that will bug any beer drinker is when beer is wasted, so here is an easy question: How much sludge is okay to have? When emptying the boiling kettle into the carboy, I am very cautious not to get any sludge, but I cannot do that unless I leave some precious precious wort behind (which seems like quite a bit), which breaks my heart. If you understand this question, can you answer it?

Also, my beer brewing experiences seem to be attacked by Murphy’s Law. Recently, with my Stout, I ran into a problem with my wyeast: it did not activate well. After letting it sit for majority of the day, I finally added it even though it wasn’t fully inflated (package says I can). Upon opening, I realized there was a creamy wyeast (assuming activated) and then some still left in the small sack within the package that was not creamy (assuming not activated). They both were added.

Did this ever happen to anyone else? Will my beer not turn out as well?

Thank You in Advance,
Winter Warmer will begin 2 weeks,

Matt

I try to leave hot break (white/gray chunky stuff) and hops behind in the kettle as much as possible. The green less dense cold break doesn’t seem to hurt anything so I worry less about it getting into the fermenter.

Re: your yeast questions. The internal pack is the nutrient pack and the creamy stuff is the yeast. Ideally you should follow the directions and break the internal nutrient pack before opening the package and pitching. It’s probably not critical because there are lots of nutrients in the wort anyway. If you are not making a starter, the nutrient becomes more important for good yeast growth.

I don’t think what you did with the yeast will have a strong effect on the beer.

Read up on how to make yeast starters so that Murphy does not have a chance in the future. Unless your OG on your stout was very low, one smack pack may not have been enough anyway. If you make a starter, you know your yeast is healthy and ready to go several days before brew day. More work, but worth it.

As for the trub in the brew kettle, I have started straining mine. To date I have done partial boils only, but I pour from my bigger kettle into a smaller one with a paint stainer bag. This has made a huge difference for me because it does not clog up my counterflow chiller any more

I don’t think that hot break would necessarily harm anything if you’re going directly from kettle to fermenter. I use a counterflow chiller, though, and I don’t want that crap clogging it up, so when it “blurps” at the end, I’m done. No need to get that last 12 oz or so. It’s not really a lot of wort you’re losing.

Yeast question was answered above.

Here lately I have been straining the last bit in the bk to make a starter for my next beer. I did not like leaving that bit behind either.

I use one of these:

Unless you’ve got a big funnel to set it in, it doesn’t work too well with carboys, otherwise you have to strain into a bucket then dump into the carboy.

I remember those days of wanting to get every drop into the fermenter. I finally gave up and just dumped most of it in the fermenter, it will all settle out just fine, though it makes reusing yeast kind of a bitch. Since going all grain years ago I began to scale my recipes up by a half gallon and just leave a quart and half or so in the boiler with the break. My strainer, similar to the one pictured above is mostly for aerating the wort and to catch the first bits of hops that come through the valve.

I suppose it is time to invest in a strainer and yeast starter now - brewing never cease to be interesting. Thanks for the input, fellas, good to know my porter isn’t ruined.

  • Matt

I’ve never worried about straining the wort. I just dump the whole thing
into the fermenter.

I still get pretty clear beer as long as I ferment at a cool enough temp and long enough period of time/
Sometimes I will secondary, but the gunk hasn’t had any negative impact
on clarity.

[quote=“Glug Master”]I use one of these:

Unless you’ve got a big funnel to set it in, it doesn’t work too well with carboys, otherwise you have to strain into a bucket then dump into the carboy.

I remember those days of wanting to get every drop into the fermenter. I finally gave up and just dumped most of it in the fermenter, it will all settle out just fine, though it makes reusing yeast kind of a bitch. Since going all grain years ago I began to scale my recipes up by a half gallon and just leave a quart and half or so in the boiler with the break. My strainer, similar to the one pictured above is mostly for aerating the wort and to catch the first bits of hops that come through the valve.[/quote]

+1 I use a strainer to get rid of most of the hops and trub. The rest I dump in and don’t worry about. I think you’re better off concentrating on the things that will improve your beer the most, like pitching the appropriate amount of healthy yeast, and temperature control. These are the keys to good beer IMO.

I use 5 galon paint strainers when going from BK to fermentor. They work like a charm. $5-$8 at Menards for a three pack.

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