No Hot or Cold Break, Should I Add Water?

I brewed the NB Brunch Stout 2 weeks ago, and I didn’t get a hot break (that I could see), and any cold break didn’t end up on the bottom of the kettle. I tried a different chilling method, and it turned out to take too long. So everything went into the fermentor. I topped up to 5 gallons. Now, 2 weeks later, I can see about 3/4 gallon of trub on the bottom of the fermentor. I took a gravity sample and it was 1.022. Should I add water, since I would have added more water to make up for the break material that should’ve been left in the kettle? Or just leave it as is and have a high FG stout?

In my opinion, the trub won’t cause any problems. I would give it a full three weeks in primary then keg or bottle. The 1.022 might be where you end up OR the yeast still need more time, time will tell. Bottling too soon might be problematic(gushers or bottle bombs)

I would not add additional water.

I recently started stirring with a sanitized spoon around my chiller to try to get a quicker cool down and this leads to more trub in the finished product, but some(including me) believe trub for the reasonably short time it takes to ferment most ales is not a problem(and may even be beneficial). :cheers:

It’s not necessarily the trub that I’m worried about, it’s that my top up water didn’t take into account the extra large amount of trub that made it into the fermentor and gave me a more concentrated wort. Normally there would be maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 gallon of tub left in the kettle, which would mean more water needed to top off and dilute the wort to 5 gallons. I don’t know if that makes any more sense.

Was this an extract batch? Did you measure your OG after adding top-up water? There’s nothing wrong with adding water at this point, but you’ll want to make sure your water is sanitized and de-oxygenated by either boiling/cooling or using distilled water in jugs. If it tastes good, though, I’d probably leave it alone.

I wouldn’t add additional water at this stage of the game, you’re 2 weeks into fermentation, correct?

When I was doing extract I just dumped the cooled beer into the fermenter through the funnel and always had a significant amount of trub as a result. Topped up to 5 gallons and usually ended up with about 45-50 bottles of beer.

I wouldn’t either, actually. But it can be done. Should you? Probably not, it might taste awesome as-is. :cheers:

What was your OG ? .022 sounds like it needs more time, way to sweet for me. My porters/stouts take a good month
to ferment out. What yeast did you use?

This was an extract recipe. It did have over 3lbs of specialty grains though:

  • 1.25lbsEnglishRoastedBarley
  • 1lbsEnglishDarkCrystal
  • 0.4lbsFranco-BelgesKilnCoffeeMalt
  • 0.35lbsEnglishChocolateMalt

And I added 1/2 lb oat.

Yeast was safale s-04

I don’t take starting gravity readings because I’ve heard they are so unreliable with partial boils, even if you mix it well.

I think I will just give it at least another week and then bottle. I tasted the sample and it was good, although the coffee dominated. Hopefully that will mellow out with time.

Thanks everyone for your help!

Seems odd that you read that a reading is unreliable. You are wanting to find out your amount of fermentables/sugars before you pitch yer yeast. You should just let it finish up, do check yer gravity and taste, I wouldn’t add any more water and call it a lesson learned…… ALWAYS take the ORIGINAL GRAVITY just before you rack in the yeast…… Knowing where you started will help you to know when the end is near! Sneezles61 :cheers:

With all the specialty grains and s-04, I bet you’re pretty close to terminal gravity. It might drop a point or two over the next week, but this one’s going to finish high. Wait for your gravity measurement to stabilize over a few days and bottle away.