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Where oh where does the cold break go?

So I built my own counterflow chiller. I was absolutely amazed at how well these things actually work. I couldn’t believe how effective this unit was at reducing temperature. Now I know that the cold break is an important step in the process especially if you want clear beer.

Now when using a immersion chiller or a ice bath the cold break material usually at the bottom of the kettle right? Well When using and counterflow chiller or a plate chiller where does t she cold break go?And how well do these types make the break better?

I have been having a little issue of my cfc getting clogged. Maybe that is where it goes

I hope not since it seems to be a widely used device. Anyone else have issues??

my understanding is if you chill in the kettle it forms in the kettle. if you chill in the cfc it forms in the cfc and flows into the fermenter.

greg has good pics of it settling in the fermenter.

It goes into the fermenter. This is why some brewers will then rack the chilled wort into a new fermenter after an hour or so, leaving the cold break behind, before pitching the yeast.

Some people like having cold break for yeast health, some people don’t really care about that little bit of clarity.

I guess I would be one of those who will have to see how it effects the batch if turns out to be a big difference I may rack it off the break.

after all one of the reasons I built the chiller is to shorten the brew day and of course brew better beer!!

i dont think it matters where the break forms or where it goes for beer clarity. it is important to get good break though. break (to me) is short for breaking from solution. so when it forms its no longer dissolved in the wort and can then can settle out rather than continuing to exsist as a haze. so as long as it forms you can leave it behind in the kettle or in the fermenter shouldnt matter which one.

Correct. You can actually dump the entire contents of the boil into the fermenter with no ill effects…although it is good to try and keep out as much as possible if you are going to harvest the yeast.

Correct. You can actually dump the entire contents of the boil into the fermenter with no ill effects…although it is good to try and keep out as much as possible if you are going to harvest the yeast.[/quote]

Legman!! I didn’t know you were still around these parts.
Ok, that is all.

Although not everything that commercial brewers do applies to homebrewers, in this case it dos. Commercial brewers don’t worry about cold break…it goes into the fermenter. In addition, I’ve seen at least one test on the homebrew level of beers fermented with and without the trub/break material. The result was that the beer with trub was clearer and tasted better.

I don’t worry too much about cold break but I do try to keep the hops out of the fermenter. I had a few beers that got pretty grassy and have noticed a difference since I starting being more careful about leaving them behind a few years ago.

I use a CFC and leave the break in the fermenter and have had great results.

Thanks to all for the great info. That’s why this site rocks!!!

“Brew on my Friends, Brew on!”

This is an old argument that has several very long and complex fronts to it. Let’s start with your first question, “where does the break go?” and finish with an introduction to its ramifications.

The short answer is this, the break material goes into your fermenter because it falls out of solution due to the change in temperature. Hence, “cold break/hot break.” It’s chemistry stuff that will happen at certain temperatures.

Does it matter? At a micro biological level it certainly does, that cold break combined with the dead yeast cells will start rotting once it settles to the bottom of the fermenter. Okay, it sounds horrible at the micro level, but does it have macro implications?

In my experience, no. I run at least four-five beers on each yeast cake. By the time I’m done with a yeast cake, the first wort’s cold break has been rotting for 2-3 months. Does it affect my beer? I wouldn’t keep doing it if it did.

I approach it this way: You can either go Jamil or Papazian on this issue. If the concept of rotting cold break grosses you out, that’s cool. Do the Jamil thing and more power to you. My pretty acute taste buds prefer the taste of beers that have come off a rotten pile of last month’s cold break, so I’m strongly Papazian on this issue. Aside from taste, there are a lot of tertiary reasons for my allegiance to the happy go lucky camp that have to do with biology and the stuff that happens when things go rotten. Still, I frequently sojourn into the Jaimist’s hyper clean camp for specific reasons.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to figure it out for yourself.

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