Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: Statsmats on December 26, 2014, 04:27:19 AM

Title: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Statsmats on December 26, 2014, 04:27:19 AM
When I started home brewing this year, I started using a strainer to both clean up the wort going into the primary and also aerate the wort. Generally, I would run the cooled wort from the kettle to the primary bucket through the strainer.

As I have gained more experience, have started using oxygen to aerate and am brewing a bit more complicated extract beers, I am wondering if I should:

1) stop straining
2) continue straining
3) use the strainer on certain types of beer

These thoughts occurred as I was making a Belgian Tripel and ended up straining the orange peels I had just added at flame out...now wondering if this screwed up the flavors. Then when I made my second batch for the day, an FBS clone with cocoa nibs, I didn't strain as I wanted to leave the primary on the nibs.

Any thoughts out there on straining?
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: klickitat jim on December 26, 2014, 05:37:18 AM
Personally ive never strained. I used to use mesh bags. But for at least a year I just wirlpool chill, let settle, and rack.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: erockrph on December 26, 2014, 03:05:45 PM
Since I just throw my hops in loose in the boil (I don't use a bag or spider or anything like that), I do use a strainer for most of my beers. But if you're brewing a beer without a lot of trub, then you could just use an autosiphon to rack to your fermenter. Or you could just pour carefully and leave the last few pints (with the thickest amount of trub) in the kettle.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 26, 2014, 03:46:32 PM
Yeah I run through a strainer because I don't have a way to siphon out of the kettle and use a whirlpool to keep all that stuff out of the fermentor.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 26, 2014, 04:22:06 PM
I use a SS hop spider to retain the big majority of hop matter. As for the trub I let a good portion of it into the fermenter most times. There have been many postings here (some recently) that letting trub into the fermenter  doesn't hurt beer quality and actually could help with final clarity.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: pete b on December 26, 2014, 04:36:20 PM
I strain smaller batches because its easy and autosiphon larger batches. I don't really care that much about trub, in fact I try to have a little. When I'm using whole leaf hops I strain and squeeze some of the wort out of the hops.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: wingnut on December 27, 2014, 04:03:34 AM
I dont strain.  I do not thin it hurts anything if done before oxygenating.  I do not do it mostly becuast it is just one more thing that I might screw up... and one more thing to clean. 

I am one for keeping trube out of the fermentor, but I just siphon after a whirlpool, and what little bit makes it in... never been an issue.
Title: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: BrewBama on December 27, 2014, 02:08:07 PM
I use a hop spider and strain. I figure the resulting foam indicates aeration.  Maybe not but I like the outcome!
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: duboman on December 27, 2014, 03:59:27 PM
I use a hop spider as well and have a bazooka screen in the kettle since I use a CFC to chill, works well and prevents clogs
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: tommymorris on December 27, 2014, 05:53:46 PM
I pour everything (hops, trub, etc) in the fermenter. All of it sinks and stays out of the way. It gets buried under a layer of flocculated yeast after fermentation completes. I also repitch the slurry unwashed 3-4 times per yeast purchase.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Multifaceted on December 27, 2014, 05:59:32 PM
I used to, but stopped as it's much easier and I haven't experienced any negative effects since doing it. I toss all of the hops in loose, chill, stir, let settle then open the valve and right into the carboy. Usually the most trub comes from the very last bit of volume, but if there's a lot mixed in with the remaining wort, it goes right into the carboy with the rest. The only real issue is with my IPAs and that I lose an additional 0.5-.0.75 gallons of final volume due to all of the hop matter, but that's negligible overall. I'll probably just to 6 gallon batches of IPA/DIPA for 5 gallons of final volume.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Statsmats on December 30, 2014, 06:58:10 AM
Thanks all for the replies! Not a clear consensus but good arguments for both cases of strain vs. no-strain...mostly I sense people generally strain over trub concerns.

I use a SS hop spider to retain the big majority of hop matter. As for the trub I let a good portion of it into the fermenter most times. There have been many postings here (some recently) that letting trub into the fermenter  doesn't hurt beer quality and actually could help with final clarity.

I'll look into the thoughts on the benefits of leaving trub in the fermenter...although its too late for me to dive into another topic tonight; however, I will tell you that I just finished racking my FBS and Belgian Tripel a few minutes ago and noticed the FBS is VERY cloudy (first time I haven't strained)...so I will see how the secondary magic works with regard to clarity.

Cheers!

Statsmats

Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: jtoots on December 30, 2014, 01:36:51 PM
I strain although it doesn't really pull much out of the liquid until towards the very end, and I'm starting to tweak my equipment profile to get my volumes so that I can just call it quits once it gets trubby and I hit my final volume goals. 

In my experience temperature has a much more significant impact on clarity than the trub issue.  I used to notice beers would go from cloudy to clear at the flip of a switch right around 2.5-3 weeks after kegging.  Then I got a chest freezer and started cold conditioning pre-kegging and have found so far that beers are very clear once carbonated.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on January 04, 2015, 01:51:01 PM
used to worry about how much boil trub made it into carboy....not so much anymore. never strained, just with a good hot and cold break, everything settles as its chilled and then i rack really clear wort for 95% collected. the last bit always pulls a little trub, and i haven't experienced any negative issues from it.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: mattybrass on January 06, 2015, 03:36:13 PM
I use a hop spider for almost all my extract and all grain batches and I dont usually strain anymore unless i happen to NOT use my hop spider. I also oxygenate using pure o2.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: flars on January 06, 2015, 11:12:39 PM
I strain through a fine mesh bag that is resting in a funnel with a built in strainer.  Harvested yeast is much cleaner.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: hmbrewing on January 10, 2015, 01:44:46 PM
I don't strain....use a hop spider and whatever makes it in after that is just fine. Some will actually argue that the trub ADDS to the hop character. Who knows how true that is.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 10, 2015, 03:47:47 PM
I haven't strained my wort in years. No worries. Beer drips bright and tastes great.

No harm in straining if you want to but I think it's unnecessary and always found it to be a pita.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Statsmats on January 11, 2015, 05:41:08 AM
Read an interesting article about trub vs. no trub here: http://brulosophy.com/2014/06/02/the-great-trub-exbeeriment-results-are-in/.  There is some evidence that leaving trub doesn't necessarily "damage" the beer and can actually improve the beer.

My original concern about straining my Tripel was not warranted...bottled today and plenty of orange in the flavor...maybe not quite a Chimay Tripel (was drinking this while bottling mine...trying to channel good Belgian energy  :)  ) but was plenty tasty.

Yes...I also agree with Joe Sr. that straining is a PITA.

In the future, I think I'll pass on the straining unless warranted by some unusual circumstance.

Cheers!


Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Hooper on January 12, 2015, 01:55:12 AM
+1 strain = more oxygen and clearer beer
+1 leave the cold crash trup out of fermenter = tighter, smaller, cleaner yeast cake and clearer beer
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Stevie on January 12, 2015, 02:01:05 AM
A quick whirlpool and slow drain from the ball valve yields perfect results IMO. As the kettle drains I can open it a bit more, but I rarely go past half way. I only get a touch of gunk towards the end.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on February 10, 2015, 09:11:40 PM
Since I hate to waste even the last drop, after the beer level drops so far below the valve with the bottling wand that I cannot get any more brew out even when the bottling bucket is tilted, I simply pour what remains through a funnel and get about two or three 12-oz bottles with lots  of sediment in it.

In drinking those, I suppose I strain what's left in my glass through my teeth. Don't sweat the small stuff!
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: pete b on February 20, 2015, 02:44:58 PM
I actually recently stopped straining wort. I started out racking then switched to straining. Recently I had an infection and one possible culprit is the strainer. I can't remember how well I sanitized but a strainer is relatively difficult to sanitize because even if you soak it its hard to get every bit off when you clean it and when soaking bubbles can form between holes preventing contact with the sanitizer.
So my conclusion is that the point at which you pour cooled wort into a fermenter is in the window of time its most susceptible to infetion: its not hot, it doesn't have a large colony of actively fermenting yeast, and there's no alcohol. Furthermore the strainer is the hardest thing in my brewery to clean and sanitize, probably followed by the racking cane. So now I whirlpool, wait a couple minutes, and leave behind a quart or two of the thickest sludge.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: YooperBrew on February 23, 2015, 12:48:03 AM
I use a hop spider as well and have a bazooka screen in the kettle since I use a CFC to chill, works well and prevents clogs

I use a hops spider if I have a mix of hops, as pellet hops don't clog up my CFC but they do clog up my bazooka tube.  so I use a bazooka (no spider) if I have only whole hops, and I use a lot of homegrown dried hops.  If I'm not using the bazooka tube, I'll use a hops spider.

I hope that makes sense!

Because I have a CFC, all of my cold break ends up in the fermenter and I don't even try to strain.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: bboy9000 on February 23, 2015, 05:31:41 AM
I wouldn't worry about straining  unless you have an IIIIPA.

Seriously though, I used to pour all of it into the fermentation bucket and now I siphon.  My beer is better but I doubt that is the reason.  Yeast management and fermentation temperature and techniques make more difference on the final product than trub from hops and break material.  I've considered using a hop spider but only to avoid getting a clogged auto siphon when transferring from brew kettle to fermentation vessel.  Nothing to do with beer clarity or quality.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Black Sands Brewery & Supply on April 19, 2015, 06:07:30 PM
When I started home brewing this year, I started using a strainer to both clean up the wort going into the primary and also aerate the wort. Generally, I would run the cooled wort from the kettle to the primary bucket through the strainer.

As I have gained more experience, have started using oxygen to aerate and am brewing a bit more complicated extract beers, I am wondering if I should:

1) stop straining
2) continue straining
3) use the strainer on certain types of beer

These thoughts occurred as I was making a Belgian Tripel and ended up straining the orange peels I had just added at flame out...now wondering if this screwed up the flavors. Then when I made my second batch for the day, an FBS clone with cocoa nibs, I didn't strain as I wanted to leave the primary on the nibs.

Any thoughts out there on straining?

IMO straining/clearing is worth it. The less crap that goes into the primary the better.

Straining out the orange peels is a good thing IMO you can always add more dried peels in a secondary if you want more desired orange flavor.

IMO - i'd strain out the nibs that went into the boil and add more back in a secondary to achieve desired chocolate flavor. Its really preference but i feel its easier to control adjunct flavors when adding them in secondary.

I Highly recommend using Whirl Flock in the boil if you are not. Chill the wort then whirlpool for 1-2 mins and let it rest for 10-15 min then transfer into primary.

We have a kettle valve and using flock w/ a whirlpool and rest technique allows us to put super clean/clear wort into primary even without a strainer.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: makemorebeer on September 13, 2016, 06:27:03 PM
Not to bring up the past but After Reading through this page there appear to be many methods to transfer wort from the BK to the Primary.  I've been at this for nearly two years doing mostly BIAB with extracts adding hops and other ingrediants directly to the wort.  that being said I've always strained mine but recently noticed my strainers got some rusty buildup.  I brew in a 5gal stainless pot from Walmart, and typically just pour through my strainer.  what's everyone's preference on how to transfer to primary.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 13, 2016, 09:09:46 PM
How I transfer depends on the kettle I'm using.  If it has a valve, I'll use the valve and tubing.  If not, I'll pour it.

The kettles I have without a valve I only use for stove-top brewing (small batch or concentrated boil).  If I do an outdoor brew, full boil and/or 10 gallon, it always gets transferred via the valve.  Depending on the kettle, though, I'll transfer a stove top brew via valve.

If your strainer has rust, get a different strainer.  I wouldn't use that one any longer.  Or ditch the strainer.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: pete b on September 13, 2016, 11:58:43 PM
Strainers strike me as not the easiest piece of equipment to clean and sanitize and wort cooled to 60-70 degrees seems like one of the most vulnerable times for infection in the brewing process.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: santoch on September 14, 2016, 02:19:27 AM
I just siphon it over, and don't worry too much about trub.  In fact, some recent work has shown that having more trub results in a clearer finished product.  (2 caveats - this was a small number of experiments, and this was a reasonable amount of trub, not 8 inches of it in a 5 gallon batch.)
My point is there's no reason to go nuts clearing out trub at homebrew scale.  It might matter in large batches (ie, when you have several feet of wort pressing down on it), but not at typical homebrew scale.

Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: wayneslucky on January 27, 2017, 04:35:35 PM
I use mesh bags for hops in the boil, don't strain... sometimes I even allow the mesh nags with the hops to go into the primary. I always rack to a secondary with a siphon and most of the trub and other shtuff stays behind in the primary. I usually end up with only a little sediment at the bottom of the secondary, and by the time its in the bottling bucket there is virtually nothing but clear beer.
Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: JT on January 28, 2017, 05:27:14 AM
Nope.  I do not strain.  I have in the past and found no improvement in my beers.  Today I brewed a big IPA with lotsa hops.  After chilling I racked the beer into my carboy.  Normally I pump-recirculate the wort during the last 5 minutes of the boil and the chill process so I just pump it straight to the carboy.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Do you strain your wort?
Post by: bboy9000 on January 28, 2017, 01:49:14 PM
I sometimes strain my IPAs to keep excessive hop particles from making it into the finished beer but that is the only time I strain.