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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: blatz on May 04, 2010, 04:13:40 PM

Title: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: blatz on May 04, 2010, 04:13:40 PM
*Didn't want to hijack Monk's thread as I think I'm going in a different direction"

I am not looking to start another 'break in the fermentor debate' - I know both sides of that coin and am not looking to eliminate it, just limit it.

Now that I have switched chilling methods, I'd like to figure out a way to leave more cold break in the kettle rather than dumping it out after settling (and wasting precious beer).  On this last 12g run of dunkel, I estimate I had at least 1gal saturated in cold break.

For the past 5 years, I've used a bazooka T and it has served me well.  I also strictly use whole hops - just a thing for me.  Surprisingly, while the hot break seems to be sticking to the hops, the cold break comes right through - maybe not too surprising since the pickup tube sits right in the middle with a T and is thus right under the 'cone'.

I am considering two options (and will consider others if you have better ideas).

Buying a false bottom?

Buying a 90degree elbow and then a straightline bazooka to press the screen along the curvature of the side of the kettle.

Thoughts?  Advice? Opinions? 

Thanks!
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: euge on May 04, 2010, 04:35:53 PM
I'm designing mine right now. Plans are for the PT inlet to run off an elbow to sit with about a millimeter gap above the bottom. Just an open orifice. Hoping it'll get most of the wort out, with the hops and gap acting as a filter.

If that doesn't work then the braid-ring sounds doable. I heard false bottoms clog. Though that could be false... ;)

Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: bluesman on May 04, 2010, 04:40:01 PM
Your ahead of me on this one but I sure am interested in hearing the replies. I plan to rig up something similiar within the next year or so.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: Kaiser on May 14, 2010, 03:24:22 PM

Now that I have switched chilling methods, I'd like to figure out a way to leave more cold break in the kettle rather than dumping it out after settling (and wasting precious beer).  On this last 12g run of dunkel, I estimate I had at least 1gal saturated in cold break.

Since you mentioned this to me in a PM, here is what I do:

Chill the wort to ~70-80C with an immersion chiller and then place the pot into an elevated tub where it cools to 42-44C in an ice bath and settles out most of the cold break material. This is not an option for large batches since it involves lifting the whole put into an elevated position. I may have to find another way at some point. Once cooled and settles I rack the nearly clear wort into a fermenter. I even make sure I pick up a little cold break since it has been reported to be beneficial for the yeast.  The 2-4 qt that are left are filtered, frozen and used for starters. So there is no waste here.

You could still go the route of letting it settle and save the wort for starters. Since you may not propagate a new pitch of yeast for every beer you may not need as much as you will get from this. You could either filter the wort in a sanitary fashion or boil and cool it before you top off your fermenter with it.

Aside from that, there is not much you can do to eliminate or reduce cold break in the fermenter. Cold break is very fine and even a bed of whole hops will not filter it out.  Just last night I checked pitch rate on my Weissbier which had a lot of cold break in the wort and the cold break particles are about the size of yeast cells if not smaller.

At this point, if you don’t have a solution that works for you, I would not worry too much. The bed of hops should filter out the hops and the hot break. If it doesn’t, you can recirculate until they do.

Kai

Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: richardt on May 14, 2010, 04:06:42 PM
Have you considered having your "strainer" outside of the kettle rather than inside?
I can think of two reasons why:  Cost and ease of access (for unclogging purposes).

I use a very fine SS wire mesh (bullion) 10 inch china cap strainer (about 20-25 bucks online, instawares.com) on the output end of the kettle (before it goes into the fermenter bucket or carboy).  The advantage of this is that IF it does clog, then it is outside the kettle and is easy to unclog w/o contaminating the wort.  What I find is that the pellet hop particles get caught (I don't use whole or leaf hops) and the hot and cold break (and whirlfloc) seem to pass on through.  The fine nylon mesh bag has an even tighter mesh and does get some more of the hops and break material.  Again, I put it on the outside of the spigot/transfer hose or over the bottling funnel and not inside the boil kettle.  A few buddies of mine have tried putting bazooka screens on the inside of the kettle and regretted doing so when it clogged.

Given that the break material seems to be so small, you probably would need serial strainers to separate all the hop particles and larger break particles before passing the wort through a plate filter or a strainer with single or low double digit micron pore size ratings.  Or leave a lot of wort behind in the kettle.  Or have a conical settling tank (too much $) and using an adjustable dip tube.  I don't see how whole hops would substantially "filter" the cold break when its size seems to be so small.  Just thinking aloud.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: blatz on May 14, 2010, 04:16:02 PM
good ideas, but I don't consider filters easier - if you have ever used one (or helped a buddy with one in my case) you'll know what I mean ;)

I think I am going to try futzing with some other methods and see if it reduces the cold break any and report back.

Worst case, I can always just dump from the conical, but it just breaks my heart to dump 1gal of precious wort when it could have been salvaged?
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: a10t2 on May 14, 2010, 04:22:20 PM
I just recently started using a 90° fitting that sits near the edge of my kettle. I've only brewed with it twice so far, but it seems to do a good job of leaving hops and break material behind, even without a screen. Once the whirlpool has settled most of that stuff near the center, I'm just careful not to bump or dislodge anything, and I stop draining once the wort level is low enough that it's started to pull the cone over to the side (which only leaves about 200 mL anyway). Like Kai said, I'm not worried about a small amount of cold break, more about the hops.

http://seanterrill.com/2010/04/16/its-the-little-fittings/
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: euge on May 14, 2010, 04:55:17 PM
+1

Great! I've been so busy haven't had the time to work on the kettle. That's pretty much what I had in mind. Good to see that it actually is effective.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: majorvices on May 14, 2010, 05:41:25 PM
Two words: Hop Back.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: babalu87 on May 14, 2010, 06:02:33 PM
Three words

It doesnt matter  ;D
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: blatz on May 14, 2010, 06:03:44 PM
It doesnt matter  ;D

yeah it does when you're collecting the slurry  ;)

I don't see how  a hopback is going to lessen the carryover of cold break, esp on something like a helles?
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: babalu87 on May 14, 2010, 06:53:27 PM
I let wort sit in the boiler for 20-30 minutes before I run-off (after chilling to 65 or so)

Immersion chiller
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: blatz on May 14, 2010, 07:00:39 PM
I let wort sit in the boiler for 20-30 minutes before I run-off (after chilling to 65 or so)

Immersion chiller

babalu

I am using an IC.  I recently switched back (anyone want to buy a Therminator??)  to IC and can get down to <50df now by recirculating icewater w/ sump pump. I also let it sit for 20min or so before running off.

 I'm only trying to reduce the amount of coldbreak that I pull into the fermenter - with using a bazooka T screen, it seems to suck all the cold break right into the kettle, whereas other people (keith in particular) don't seem to have this issue, so I am exploring other methods to fix this.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: majorvices on May 14, 2010, 10:15:46 PM
The hop back acts like a filter. Of course, yeah, you wouldn't want a hop back on a helles. Suggestion #2) RDWHAHB. Leave as much behind as possible. I regularly collect break free beer and the slurry is smaller (cleaner) on that one but i haven't really noticed any performance issues. (FWIW what I do is collect the first gallon runnings in one carboy, and the second 5.5 gallons in a second - it runs perfectly clear - then the rest goes into the first collection. I also have a diverter plate which helps a lot.)

Course, I guess that won't work with your conical.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: majorvices on May 15, 2010, 01:38:39 PM
Along these lines if you are really that worried about it try a diverter plate and just expect about 2 gallons of loss. I only pick up break material in the first and last gallon on my kettle, give or take a half gallon or so.

Of course if you are really worried about cold break you need to chill down to about 45 degrees or so to get much of it to form and drop out
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: bspisak on May 15, 2010, 06:00:08 PM
Goldhammer outlines a number of methods in his book The Brewer's Handbook (http://www.beer-brewing.com/beer-brewing/wort_cooling/removal_cold_break.htm). That link just shows excerpts and he goes into considerably more detail in the book itself.

If you do go the sedimentation route, he says that doing so before you pitch the yeast will lead to better cold break removal: 50% v. 30% from pitched wort.

The flotation method entails bubbling air up through the wort, waiting for it to create a scum on top, then draining the vessel from beneath. He says this can lead to 60-65% removal, but that it requires a flat bottomed vessel to prevent the scum from breaking up and falling back into the wort as it would in a conical. I suppose you could skim instead if using a conical.

He says DE filtration will remove 75-80% on average and up to 95% if using fine DE. However, he also says DE will strip other things from the wort leaving you a less full-bodied beer and there is problems keeping things sterile.

Seems like whirlpooling and racking is your best option unless you want to try skimming from your conical. Or, you could build a flotation tank, centrifuge or go the DE route.

Brian
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: maxieboy on May 16, 2010, 04:59:20 PM
Whirlpool and side pickup tube seems like a KISS and effective way to go. Wort loss with your current method or with a new and improved method on a cost basis is pretty small, IMO, when compared to the quality beer obtained at the end. I am a bit of a perfectionist myself and understand the desire to refine the process...Good luck and post pics of a new setup.
Title: Re: Pickup Tube: Less Cold Break Please
Post by: blatz on July 01, 2010, 02:14:23 PM
UPDATE:

well, after 4 batches since this thread, I have tried one with a pickup arm angled to the side with a chore boy on the end and 3 with a Sabco hinged false bottom.

On my preudo-Helles, the angled pickup arm clogged almost immediately and I had to rack the remainder with my autosiphon. Needless to say, I cursed a few times during that brew session.

OTOH, the false bottom worked fantastic. I was able to get more volume than my bazooka T, and was able to control how much cold break I let into the conical at the end. A little CB came through right as the siphon started, then it was crystal clear wort until the end, so I let about a cup of CB rich wort through and then cut it off.

Very, very happy with this new setup versus the B-T.

And I may be able to incorporate hop pellets now? Would be nice as about 50% of what I make now is german lagers - noble pellets are much more attractive.