Questions I Should Have Asked Earlier

I’ve been brewing for many years. I only brew 4-6 beers a year. I have maybe 20-25 all-grains under my belt. Here are my questions:

  1. After sparging today I happened to lay the tun almost on it’s side over a garbage bag and left it there for a few minutes while I did something else. I was removing the spent grain and noticed some nice wort in the bottom. I always new it’s hard to draw all the wort out of the grain but this ended up being a little over a quart. I filtered it through a mesh bag. Is this a common practice to try to draw every bit of wort from the grain?

  2. I’m the type that now doesn’t mind getting trub in the fermenter, but, today I was watching the keggle as I was draining it and at the end there was good wort surrounding the cold break material. I whirlpooled and let the wort sit for a good 30 minitues before transferring to the carboy. It didn’t look as though there was a mound of trub in the center. The wort and cold break material was not really separate it was more a homogeneous solution. Before storing my keggle I even redesigned it to suck almost to the bottom of the pot. Is this OK?

Thanks for the help.

I brewed today for the second time with my new Blichman burner. The first time it was windy outside and wasn’t impressed with the burner. Today I brewed in the garage and it was like night & day. I must have cut a good 30 minutes from my brew day. Also, for the second time I stirred the hot wort while chilling with my immersion chiller and in less than 10 minutes I was from boiling to 66 deg F - this saved at least another 20 minutes (neew to build a wort stirrer).


  1. I use one of the round upright coolers for a tun and after draining everything and before dumping the tun on the comost pile, at least 15 minutes has elapsed. I usually gather the last of the wort (cup to pint or so) and add to the kettle before dumping the spent grain.

  2. I don’t mind a little trub either and always like to get the last bit of wort I can. I try to leave most of the hops sitting in the middle. I have never had any bad effect. I’m just one that doesn’t like to waste much wort.

  3. I brew on the deck with my Blichman and windy days do make a difference. I sure do like the quiet flame of the Blichman compared to the “jet engine” of the old turkey burner (not to mention no more soot build up on the bottom of the kettle). I try to set my covered grill on the upwind side, but on really windy days it doesnt’ help much.

:cheers: , Mike

  1. I’m fairly frugal when it comes to getting every bit of of extract from my grain. After pumping the second runnings into the kettle and starting up the burner, I will normally disconnect the pump and tilt the cooler to drain until all I get is drips or a very light drizzle. This typically yields an extra quart or sometimes more. The amount left in the cooler after that is inconsequential.

  2. I don’t worry too much about getting some break material into the carboy.

  3. I’m a garage brewer and still using a Bayou Classic burner. It’s hard to convince myself to replace it since it still works fine. I’ve been very tempted to upgrade to the Blichmann burner after reading about how quite and efficient it is. In theory it will pay for itself over time through increased efficiency.

Thanks for the replies - guess I’m still learning.

With the burner, when I switched over to a keggle I could no longer have my turkey fryer burner on full blast because a couple times I scorched the bottom of the pot. I bought the new burner also to try using NG instead of propane (I have sources in the garage and on my patio). From what I read I don’t think the Blichmann will save much energy it’s that due to it’s design since it has so many nozzles spread over a large area it can produce more real BTU’s and heat faster. Even going to NG I was looking at costs and that doesn’t pay of till the third year for me for the amount I brew.


If you are scorching the wort, you have the burner turned up to high. You only need enough heat to get a “decent” boil. You don’t need the liquid jumping out of the pot. Anything above that is wasted BTU’s.

Switching to NG is also about convenience. Never having to worry about running out of fuel. If you have 2-3 LP tanks, it that that difficult to not run out of gas.

I always plan to end up with 2-3 quarts of last runnings to use as the basis of a starter for my next brew session. Basically once I get enough for my boil, I tilt my cooler up and let it drain during the time of the boil, collecting the extra wort.

That’s clever. I assume you don’t runnings from a stout to make a starter for a lighter colored beer.

That’s clever. I assume you don’t runnings from a stout to make a starter for a lighter colored beer.[/quote]

Actually I do. But I make my starters far enough in advance that I cold crash and pour very little starter beer in my batch. An ounce or two at the most.

  1. I don’t worry about the wort that is left in the bottom after sparging, there just isn’t enough to make any difference at all. Other than knowing how much your system leaves, and using that for your volume calculations, forget about it. Same for the wort left in the kettle.

  2. Trub in the fermenter doesn’t really matter unless it is excessive, and then I’m not sure if it really matters for most recipes. Do your best to leave it in the kettle, then forget about it, you’ll rack clear beer off the trub after fermentation is over, and stop racking when you hit the trub and don’t worry about the little bit of beer left in the bottom of the fermenter.

  3. The “Blichmann” burner uses the same burner as the Bayou Classic KAB-6. Bayou Classic is a brand, not a specific burner, and they make many models that are different. For the Blichmann or the BC KAB-6, an extra wind shield can surely help when needed as I have experience with them. A home made one from some 16ga steel is easy to make. I made one for my KAB-6 and it clearly helped. Soon I’ll be welding up a stainless one for my buddy who is running the Blichmann.