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HUGE protein break harmful?

I tried a few new techniques when brewing today.

I ended up overdoing boil time and whirlfloc addition. I also had a good cold break using a chiller. Lastly, I failed to filter out the break sediment when transferring the wort to the carboy and now the beer is sitting on an enormous cake of protein sediment; it occupies about a fifth of the total beer volume. The beer is incredibly clear though.

I will certainly lose a decent amount of beer to the huge break layer. That is unfortunate, but a solid learning experience.

Will leaving the rest of the beer on the sediment during fermentation and conditioning harm it anyhow though? I can transfer the beer tomorrow before fermentation really starts if so, but if it is all the same I would prefer not to move it.

It shouldn’t harm it at all by leaving it on the sediment. It’ll just take up more space in your fermenter, as you’ve observed. But, are you working on a way to avoid this in the future? I used to have the same issue, but now my kettle has a false bottom and I use a counter-flow chiller, so a significant amount of the hot break and hops are filtered out.

I would strongly encourage you to NOT do anything at this point and let it go. I also think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how little volume you end up losing. The protein trub before fermentation has a much greater volume than it will after fermentation.

My personal theory on that, is that the solid particulate material settles loosly to the bottom before fermentation so that a large percentage of that “trub” volume is actually liquid.

After fermentation I think you will see that the trub has condensed along the side, bottom, and even top of the fermentor. And when you siphon off the finished beer you will have your yeast cake at the bottom mixed in with some yucky trub, but that total volume lost to solids will be less than your original estimate based upon what you saw pre-ferment.

Awesome. Thanks for the info.

Yeah I am looking into filtering. It seems like sparge hoses tend to get clogged by pellet hops. Do false bottoms actually filter trub well? Seems like the mush would just flow thru it.

How does a counter flow chiller help filter trub?

[quote=“soggycd”]I tried a few new techniques when brewing today.

I ended up overdoing boil time and whirlfloc addition. I also had a good cold break using a chiller. Lastly, I failed to filter out the break sediment when transferring the wort to the carboy and now the beer is sitting on an enormous cake of protein sediment; it occupies about a fifth of the total beer volume. The beer is incredibly clear though.

I will certainly lose a decent amount of beer to the huge break layer. That is unfortunate, but a solid learning experience.

Will leaving the rest of the beer on the sediment during fermentation and conditioning harm it anyhow though? I can transfer the beer tomorrow before fermentation really starts if so, but if it is all the same I would prefer not to move it.[/quote]

I would strongly advise against transferring the wort now that it’s had yeast pitched into it, but for future reference, I’d have to say that all that excessive cold break left in the wort can actually have a detrimental effect on the flavor of the beer. This is due to the wort being exposed to potentially harsh hop resins and astringency from grains. Your beer won’t necessarily taste all that bad with all that stuff left in it, but it will never taste as clean as it would if it were removed (to the best of your ability, that is- you don’t have to get your beer crystal-clear, but whatever effort you put in will assuredly pay off), and purity of flavor is really one of the hallmarks of a well-brewed beer, either ale or lager. There will undoubtedly be some here who will argue with me and say that cold break is not an issue. Those people are entitled to their opinions, but I will say that if those people have had a history of excessive amounts of cold break staying in their beer, they have almost certainly never had the pleasure of tasting their own beer at it’s best possible flavor, which is a real shame.

There is actually no harm at all in transferring the wort a day or two after yeast has been pitched (even though I agree with the others who say that there is really no pressing need to do so).

If I’m not mistaken, it pretty much describes the “double drop” fermentation is in classic British brewing practice. In any case, for years (like, more than 35) I’ve transferred some beers after fermentation has already started (15-24 hours after pitching), with zero detriment to the yeast health, flavor, attenuation, or any other aspect of the fermentation.
It actually results (at least from what I have observed firsthand) in a cleaner fermentation and a more stable finished product…especially for certain beers I enjoy that get extended aging.

Opinion will vary, as will individual ‘mileage’…but it’s something worth at least trying, in order to 1) touch an old brewing tradition and 2) to see if you like the result.
There are a few brews that I wouldn’t even consider fermenting any other way!

There is actually no harm at all in transferring the wort a day or two after yeast has been pitched (even though I agree with the others who say that there is really no pressing need to do so).

If I’m not mistaken, it pretty much describes the “double drop” fermentation is in classic British brewing practice. In any case, for years (like, more than 35) I’ve transferred some beers after fermentation has already started (15-24 hours after pitching), with zero detriment to the yeast health, flavor, attenuation, or any other aspect of the fermentation.
It actually results (at least from what I have observed firsthand) in a cleaner fermentation and a more stable finished product…especially for certain beers I enjoy that get extended aging.

Opinion will vary, as will individual ‘mileage’…but it’s something worth at least trying, in order to 1) touch an old brewing tradition and 2) to see if you like the result.
There are a few brews that I wouldn’t even consider fermenting any other way![/quote]

I’ve never heard of the “double drop” process you’re referring to, so I’d have to look into that one before saying anything about it. As far as there being no harm at all in transferring wort once it’s started fermenting, I’m not sure about that one. I guess if you’ve been doing it for a very long time, and you’ve had no problems as a result, I can’t say that it doesn’t work for you. But there is always a risk of oxygenating the wort from splashing, or exposing it to unwanted airborne bacteria, any time you remove it from a vessel and expose it to the air, so I think it’s untrue to say that there’s absolutely no harm at all in doing so, when there’s no question that there’s always a risk factor involved even if one is extremely careful in every aspect of wort handling. I’m curious, too, what are these brews that you wouldn’t ferment any other way, and why?

There is actually no harm at all in transferring the wort a day or two after yeast has been pitched (even though I agree with the others who say that there is really no pressing need to do so).

If I’m not mistaken, it pretty much describes the “double drop” fermentation is in classic British brewing practice. In any case, for years (like, more than 35) I’ve transferred some beers after fermentation has already started (15-24 hours after pitching), with zero detriment to the yeast health, flavor, attenuation, or any other aspect of the fermentation.
It actually results (at least from what I have observed firsthand) in a cleaner fermentation and a more stable finished product…especially for certain beers I enjoy that get extended aging.

Opinion will vary, as will individual ‘mileage’…but it’s something worth at least trying, in order to 1) touch an old brewing tradition and 2) to see if you like the result.
There are a few brews that I wouldn’t even consider fermenting any other way![/quote]

I’ve never heard of the “double drop” process you’re referring to, so I’d have to look into that one before saying anything ab.out it
As far as there being no harm at all in transferring wort once it’s started fermenting, I’m not sure about that one. I guess if you’ve been doing it for a very long time, and you’ve had no problems as a result, I can’t say that it doesn’t work for you. But there is always a risk of oxygenating the wort from splashing, or exposing it to unwanted airborne bacteria, any time you remove it from a vessel and expose it to the air, so I think it’s untrue to say that there’s absolutely no harm at all in doing so, when there’s no question that there’s always a risk factor involved even if one is extremely careful in every aspect of wort handling. I’m curious, too, what are these brews that you wouldn’t ferment any other way, and why?[/quote]

Burton Union, Yorkshire squares. Usually done within 24 hrs. I haven’t done it in years, more equipment to clean.

It’s said to benefit lower gravity beers.

[quote=“deliusism1”]
[size=80]I’ve never heard of the “double drop” process you’re referring to, so I’d have to look into that one before saying anything about it. As far as there being no harm at all in transferring wort once it’s started fermenting, I’m not sure about that one. I guess if you’ve been doing it for a very long time, and you’ve had no problems as a result, I can’t say that it doesn’t work for you. But there is always a risk of oxygenating the wort from splashing, or exposing it to unwanted airborne bacteria, any time you remove it from a vessel and expose it to the air, so I think it’s untrue to say that there’s absolutely no harm at all in doing so, when there’s no question that there’s always a risk factor involved even if one is extremely careful in every aspect of wort handling. I’m curious, too, what are these brews that you wouldn’t ferment any other way, and why?[/size][/quote]

There’s several sources of information on the interwebs describing the traditional “double drop”…here’s one I hadn’t seen before that turned up near the top of the search tonight, and this is as good a description of it as I’ve seen anywhere:

[size=85]
http://www.colchesterbrewery.com/double_drop_brewing.php
[/size]

There are other references to it as well, but the one above lays it out and explains it fairly clearly.

As far as my statement of “no risk” goes, I meant that, with the assumption that good sanitary practices are in place. That said, in the 35 years (and actually, probably longer than that) I’ve been doing selected brews that way, I’ve never lost a single batch due to oxidation, infection, or anything else. In truth, introducing some oxygenation at that stage is a big part of the purpose for doing the transfer. At that stage, it’s not a bad thing.

As to which brews I use the process on, it has been primarily for my long-aged beers…Barleywine/Burton ale, Strong Porter, IPA (traditional rather than “American”) and my annual “quasi-solera” Xmas Ale (which this year is up to year 22 of blending).

Modern brewing is more and more about “shortcutting”…but for some beers, the old time processes (combined with a measure of patience) can still delver a measurably superior result.

[quote=“The Professor”][quote=“deliusism1”]
[size=80]I’ve never heard of the “double drop” process you’re referring to, so I’d have to look into that one before saying anything about it. As far as there being no harm at all in transferring wort once it’s started fermenting, I’m not sure about that one. I guess if you’ve been doing it for a very long time, and you’ve had no problems as a result, I can’t say that it doesn’t work for you. But there is always a risk of oxygenating the wort from splashing, or exposing it to unwanted airborne bacteria, any time you remove it from a vessel and expose it to the air, so I think it’s untrue to say that there’s absolutely no harm at all in doing so, when there’s no question that there’s always a risk factor involved even if one is extremely careful in every aspect of wort handling. I’m curious, too, what are these brews that you wouldn’t ferment any other way, and why?[/size][/quote]

There’s several sources of information on the interwebs describing the traditional “double drop”…here’s one I hadn’t seen before that turned up near the top of the search tonight, and this is as good a description of it as I’ve seen anywhere:

[size=85]
http://www.colchesterbrewery.com/double_drop_brewing.php
[/size]

There are other references to it as well, but the one above lays it out and explains it fairly clearly.

As far as my statement of “no risk” goes, I meant that, with the assumption that good sanitary practices are in place. That said, in the 35 years (and actually, probably longer than that) I’ve been doing selected brews that way, I’ve never lost a single batch due to oxidation, infection, or anything else. In truth, introducing some oxygenation at that stage is a big part of the purpose for doing the transfer. At that stage, it’s not a bad thing.

As to which brews I use the process on, it has been primarily for my long-aged beers…Barleywine/Burton ale, Strong Porter, IPA (traditional rather than “American”) and my annual “quasi-solera” Xmas Ale (which this year is up to year 22 of blending).

Modern brewing is more and more about “shortcutting”…but for some beers, the old time processes (combined with a measure of patience) can still delver a measurably superior result.[/quote]

Early on, I dropped all my beers. After stuck fermentations due to timing issues (work), I stopped. I practiced trub removal for awhile, but haven’t
done a comparison on its benefits.

I’m curious about your “quasi-solera”.

As for infection and oxidation, transferring into 52 individual vessels would seem to be a bad idea. :wink:

If you just let the boiled/chilled wort sit for an hour or two, you can rack off the majority of the trub prior to pitching. Theres really no pressing need to pitch the yeast right after chilling. Many times I’ve let a wort sti overnight to drop really clear, then rack to the fermentor in the morniing and pitch.

I recently got a new kettle with a valve precisely so I would not have to rack or pour the wort but instead be able to drain it.

Thus, letting the trub settle is pointless if I drain, since it is just going to be stirred up again from the bottom. Any ideas how to best filter trub when draining?

Pkrone mentioned a false bottom and counter flow chiller. Any seconds? Or other ideas?

[quote=“soggycd”]I recently got a new kettle with a valve precisely so I would not have to rack or pour the wort but instead be able to drain it.

Thus, letting the trub settle is pointless if I drain, since it is just going to be stirred up again from the bottom. Any ideas how to best filter trub when draining?

Pkrone mentioned a false bottom and counter flow chiller. Any seconds? Or other ideas?[/quote]

For hops I use a hop spider. Made one for like $10 at homedepot and works great. For hot/cold break You can put a bazooka screen on the inside of your kettle valve. That should help filter out most of it.

[quote=“soggycd”]I recently got a new kettle with a valve precisely so I would not have to rack or pour the wort but instead be able to drain it.

Thus, letting the trub settle is pointless if I drain, since it is just going to be stirred up again from the bottom. Any ideas how to best filter trub when draining?

Pkrone mentioned a false bottom and counter flow chiller. Any seconds? Or other ideas?[/quote]

My kettle valve is positioned about an inch above the bottom and I can let a wort settle for an hour and drain it without getting 95% of the trub. You can also use pickup tube and position it as high as you want. An inch or so is generally enough to get you away from the bulk of the solids though, and they don’t seem to stir up bad during draining even when the valve is wide open.

You can also use Irish moss Whirlfloc or Supermoss to help drop trub, it seems to settle out denser than if I don’t use it.

[quote=“The Professor”][quote=“deliusism1”]
[size=80]I’ve never heard of the “double drop” process you’re referring to, so I’d have to look into that one before saying anything about it. As far as there being no harm at all in transferring wort once it’s started fermenting, I’m not sure about that one. I guess if you’ve been doing it for a very long time, and you’ve had no problems as a result, I can’t say that it doesn’t work for you. But there is always a risk of oxygenating the wort from splashing, or exposing it to unwanted airborne bacteria, any time you remove it from a vessel and expose it to the air, so I think it’s untrue to say that there’s absolutely no harm at all in doing so, when there’s no question that there’s always a risk factor involved even if one is extremely careful in every aspect of wort handling. I’m curious, too, what are these brews that you wouldn’t ferment any other way, and why?[/size][/quote]

There’s several sources of information on the interwebs describing the traditional “double drop”…here’s one I hadn’t seen before that turned up near the top of the search tonight, and this is as good a description of it as I’ve seen anywhere:

[size=85]
http://www.colchesterbrewery.com/double_drop_brewing.php
[/size]

There are other references to it as well, but the one above lays it out and explains it fairly clearly.

As far as my statement of “no risk” goes, I meant that, with the assumption that good sanitary practices are in place. That said, in the 35 years (and actually, probably longer than that) I’ve been doing selected brews that way, I’ve never lost a single batch due to oxidation, infection, or anything else. In truth, introducing some oxygenation at that stage is a big part of the purpose for doing the transfer. At that stage, it’s not a bad thing.

As to which brews I use the process on, it has been primarily for my long-aged beers…Barleywine/Burton ale, Strong Porter, IPA (traditional rather than “American”) and my annual “quasi-solera” Xmas Ale (which this year is up to year 22 of blending).

Modern brewing is more and more about “shortcutting”…but for some beers, the old time processes (combined with a measure of patience) can still delver a measurably superior result.[/quote]

Okay, yes, I’m familiar with the general idea outlayed in that page. I’ve heard of such practices, and I have nothing against them, but in the case of a professional brewery, the proccess is taking place under very carefully controlled circumstances, and is probably done at a very slow pace to avoid excessive aeration. This process is somewhat risky and tricky to replicate for many homebrewers, but not impossible. I guess I was a bit uncertain about what exactly you were doing with your beer because I assumed you must be relatively new at homebrewing due to your question about trub being left in your beer. We totally got away from the original question you posted, anyway. I still think that it is potentially harmful to leave excessive amounts of cold break in the fermenter, and if anything, I think that the page you linked me to proves that I’m not the only person around who thinks so.

This sounds good; I think this going to be my plan.

This sounds good; I think this going to be my plan.[/quote]

This was what I followed.

Make sure you measure the diameter of your brew kettle and this will help you determine the size carriage bolt you need. Make sure the diameter of the upper portion of the PVC coupler (4 inches) plus the length of 2 carriage bolts is greater than the diameter of your kettle. Otherwise it will just fall into your kettle instead of resting on top :cheers:

I think a whole lot of homebrewers have proved otherwise. Most everyone with a plate chiller or other CFC would be pretty much SOL if break were an issue. I kind of think it might even help by providing sites for small insoluble particles to stick. Kind of like a floccing agent.

I’d guess there are other reasons why a commerical outift might dispense with the break, namely to make more room in the fermentor and maximize batch size.

I think a whole lot of homebrewers have proved otherwise. Most everyone with a plate chiller or other CFC would be pretty much SOL if break were an issue. I kind of think it might even help by providing sites for small insoluble particles to stick. Kind of like a floccing agent.

I’d guess there are other reasons why a commerical outift might dispense with the break, namely to make more room in the fermentor and maximize batch size.[/quote][/quote]

I’m not sure I’m following that last statement. If a brewery removes the trub from the wort, they’re going to end up with potentially less product, never more. Anyway, I’ve found at least one well-respected source who also recommends removing as much trub as possible from the wort before it goes into the fermenter. In Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide, on page 171, he states that “high trub levels in the wort lead to high levels of fusel alcohols in the finished beer”. Notice how he doesn’t even use the word “can” in that sentence? Granted, these issues may not typically concern homebrewers as much as professional breweries, but it never hurts to be careful and complete with your brewing practices, especially if you’re brewing a strong beer that needs all the help it can get to come out tasting clean and stylistically correct. I’m speaking from personal experience here, too. My best tasting pale ales have almost always been the ones that were the clearest, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence, although I don’t go the trouble of using finings in the fermenter, and I won’t use yeasts that are overly flocculant. There are plenty of other sources out there in the beer world who recommend proper separation of wort from trub, but I don’t mean to make an argument out of this. Just suffice to say that people who think the way I do about this issue have their reasons. It’s about more than just the appearance of the beer.

By removing trub you can fit more good wort in a fermentor. Since you need some headspace, you can slightly overfiull knowing you’ll drian off some volume and be where you want to be.

Dave Miller can make whatever statements he wants, it doesn’t mean its true. I have not read a citation that backs that up, and as I said there is so much empirical evidence to the contrary. What would be the mechanism anyway? Trub stress yeast? Raises ferm temp? I don’t think so.

As for clarity, I’ve seen no correlation between trub/no trub and calrity of final beer. Trub is denatured protein, and denautred protein does not refold and become soluble again. I gave you a theoretical reason why it might well aid in clarity, but I’ve not seen any effect either way.

I certainly don’t mind arguing a point with you and I’m not expecting to convert you, but this adds to the knowledge base and gives other some information to consider before they make their own decisions.

FYI I use an IC and whirlpool, and generally use Supermoss. I let things settle before racking and leave most of my trub behind. My primary purpose is to keep trub out of my yeast cake so I can reuse it.

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