Newbie extract brewer (until my cool box comes together for the pilsners I really want) on second batch. Both used pellet hops and developed obvious breaks in boil and chill (immersion, ~60F ~15min). Both ended up a little low on volume*gravity.
First batch was APA kit (extract+grains), target OG 1.050, full volume 5gal boil. I just forgot the Whirlfloc and aerated before whirlpooling, so it didn’t precipitate well (cloudy after aerate before whirlpool and 30min rest), but left a quart or so of very heavy hop debris in kettle. Ended up with only 4gal in fermenter after adding water to actual OG 1.048. Never really cleared in carboy (5days US05) or keg (10days, purged and spunding 5psi) until chilled and added gelatin. It ended up bright and tasty, though; gone in 10 days.
Just pitched second American Cream Ale (LME+DME+corn sugar), target OG 1.046, full volume. Remembered whirlfloc this time, and trub separated nicely… but very loosely at bottom of kettle after 45min post-chill post-whirlpool pre-aerate rest. Trying to transfer clear gave me only 3.5gal to carboy (4.5 diluted to 1.045). Maybe my boiloff estimate was low, but I left 2-3qt of very heavy but fluffy trub in kettle (too late and too pissed to actually measure).
Maybe it’s a personal problem, but clarity is important to me. I’d like to leave out any gunk that will make my beer cloudy. Extract kits are tuned pretty closely to 5gal volume, so leaving anything in kettle ends up with low volume or low OG.
Am I doing something wrong to have such fluffy trub after the boil? Should I just buy an extra pound of DME to allow for trub losses?
The first beer didn’t drop much at all before fining, but gelatin did clear it up nicely in the keg. Should I just stop worrying, pitch all the kettle gunk into the carboy, and hope it all settles out in the end?
I have typically used a Counter-flow chiller for my extract brews so all the cold break goes directly into the fermenter. I use half a whirlfloc tablet 5 mins before the end of the boil. All of the break settles out after active fermentation is done and you can transfer to the keg without sucking up any of the gunk. You will have several inches of trub & yeast & break material on the bottom of the fermentor. I personally wouldn’t worry about filtering it out pre-fermentation. My beers come out nearly crystal clear from the keg.
I am not sure if I read your post correctly. The APA was in the primary for only 5 days? If five days is correct, then your beer will be very cloudy with suspended hop debris, break material, and yeast. I primary for 3 weeks. The beer, at the end of three weeks, is crystal clear going into the bottling bucket.
I also strain as I pour into the fermentor to remove hop debris and break material. I do this for harvesting clean yeast, but until mast of the CO2 produced by the fermentation has off gassed, sediments and excess yeast will remain suspended in the beer. This is the reason for the three week primary time. I leave about a pint to a quart, depending on amount of hops in the boil kettle, of heavy hop debris in the BK because there is very little liquid volume.
[quote=“flars”]I am not sure if I read your post correctly. The APA was in the primary for only 5 days? If five days is correct, then your beer will be very cloudy with suspended hop debris, break material, and yeast.
I also strain as I pour into the fermentor to remove hop debris and break material.[/quote]
Yep, you read correctly. I was surprised, but quiet airlock and FG actual 1.008 expected 1.012 (seemed reasonable to me, from OG actual 1.048 expected 1.050). Brewed 02May, racked 06May, fined 16May, carbed 23May, gone 31May.
I had imminent travel plans that would (arguably should) have put a couple weeks delay into my newbie haste to taste. To get a leg up on carbonation before I got back I had hoped to get it into a (purged) keg under 10psi spunding valve with a few points left to ferment, but bubbler went quiet on 4th day. I added 6 psi to positively keep air out of the keg.
Hop debris and bigger break material had dropped nicely and fairly compactly in the carboy, but the beer was very cloudy after two weeks total.
I packed the keg in ice to keep cold for some days, squirted gelatin into the gas port the next morning, hooked up 10psi gas, and left town again. A week later (yeah, 3 weeks total) I had wonderfully clear beer, if a bit undercarbonated. Lost less than the final cup to cloudiness and dregs on transferred to serving keg; that I can live with.
What do you use to strain from kettle to fermenter? The second cream ale (with Whirlfloc) separated quickly into bright clear wort over ~2" of hop+trub “snowbank”. I was sure coarse kitchen sieve would pass everything, but (hastily StarSan’d) fine sieve just plugged right up.
Get a paint strainer bag from any paint supply store. They are not very expensive, and you can use them to filter when transferring. Also…you can use it as your grain bag when you decide to go to grain recipe or BIAB. That’s what I use and it works fine. just clip it to the bucket and pour in the wort.
I’d say that it was something else causing the lack of clarity rather than anything to do with trub (also probably needed more time). In my experiments, trub doesn’t really cause cloudy beers, and in fact some others have experienced brighter beers when fermenting on trub - ref: