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To strain or not to strain?

We usually strain the solids out of our wort into the primary fermenter with either a stainless steel strainer or a nylon steeping bag.

Is this okay to do or are the solids a good thing to have during primary fermentation?

What about secondary fermentation? Should solids be strained out then?


You can certainly strain the solids out for going into the fermenter. In fact that probably helps with aeration of the wort.

However, NEVER add oxygen to fermented beer. Straining will allow oxygen to enter the beer. This will result in oxidation. In fact, when transferring to a “secondary” you should minimize any splashing.

Ok…so we’re okay then. We strain going into the fermenter, but use a syphon going to stage 2 or bottling bucket to avoid splashing.

The first year or so of brewing I always strained my wort going into the fermentor, but got really tired of the extra time and effort. So now I don’t bother. I siphon it from my brew kettle into the fermentor and try to leave the last inch or so of break material in the pot. Sometimes I even just dump the entire pot of cooled wort into my bucket/carboy. A lot of break material still makes it over to the fermentor but I don’t worry about it. To date, I’ve never noticed an issue with this extra break material in the fermentor. Tightening up other areas of my brewing process (all grain, full boil, quicker chilling, proper pitching rates and fermentation temps) have all made my beer better over the last year. The extra material that I siphon over has not made any negative impact. I started doing this after reading that other people don’t worry about it and I can honestly say, it’s of no concern to me anymore.

I rarely concern myself on my full 10 gallon batches, because I bag my hops and have a screen in my boil keggle; but when I use a smaller set up, I usually strain out the hops with a double stainless mesh colander, because I want to be able to harvest the yeast cleanly without having to rinse it.

Even so, I have repitched yeast with a little green in it from a prior similar batch…


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