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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 01:12:05 pm

Title: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 01:12:05 pm
Recently I switched from an immersion chiller with a whirlpool arm to a plate chiller (thermonator).  One thing that I like about the immersion chiller is that I could let the cold break settle in the kettle before I transfered.  With the plate chiller I can still whirlpool to avoid transfering hot break but the cold break is ending up in the fermenter.  I do not have a conical with a dump valve so it stays there.  I have seen many opinions from forums, Noonans book on lagers, old Brewing Technique articles, ect. that all seem to vary a bit in the net effect of cold break on fermentation, finished beer, stability, ect. but haven't fully decided whether it's truely impacts my homebrew.

For some reason it DOES really bug me now that I'm transfering ALL the cold break.... but I'm also to lazy to do anything about it (i.e. allow the beer to settle in one carboy then transfer to another carboy) unless I'm positive there is an advantage.  For me, that will mean continuing to tast test my beer and see if I percieve any change in flavor.

Anyone else ponder this question and have an opinion as it relates to the homebrewer?
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: beersk on December 03, 2010, 01:36:45 pm
Fahgettabout it!

I don't worry about cold break too much, it doesn't adversely affect your beer.  So in short, I don't make and effort to keep it out of the fermenter, but it also don't try to get it in there either.  If it does, it does...whatevs.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: Mark G on December 03, 2010, 01:46:38 pm
I used to worry about it, but after a while realized the hugely diminishing returns in trying to keep it out. I use an immersion chiller, and siphon out of the BK into the fermentor. I do let the wort settle in the BK for 15-20 minutes after chilling while I do some cleaning and sanitizing. Then I siphon from the top and slowly move the racking cane down, getting mostly clear wort. If I suck up some cold break on the way, I don't stress it.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: blatz on December 03, 2010, 01:51:24 pm
you need some, but not all of it.

I like to try and leave some of it behind (or dump it at high krausen) as I prefer to keep my yeast slurry harvest a little cleaner.

that said, I didn't worry about it for 5+ years and never had an issue either  ;)
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 01:54:04 pm
Here is a good article on the topic.

http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.2/barchet.html
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: maxieboy on December 03, 2010, 02:51:36 pm
No worries here.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: bluesman on December 03, 2010, 03:03:42 pm
I also use the Therminator and haven't had any concerns or issues with cold break in the fermenter.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: jeffy on December 03, 2010, 03:23:34 pm
you need some, but not all of it.

I like to try and leave some of it behind (or dump it at high krausen) as I prefer to keep my yeast slurry harvest a little cleaner.

that said, I didn't worry about it for 5+ years and never had an issue either  ;)

Paul, how do you dump it?  Do you have conicals?
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: euge on December 03, 2010, 03:28:17 pm
I don't care if it all ends up in the fermenter, though the whole hops catch some of it. AFAIK people who like to brew super clear lagers want to leave out most or all the trub.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: blatz on December 03, 2010, 03:35:12 pm
you need some, but not all of it.

I like to try and leave some of it behind (or dump it at high krausen) as I prefer to keep my yeast slurry harvest a little cleaner.

that said, I didn't worry about it for 5+ years and never had an issue either  ;)

Paul, how do you dump it?  Do you have conicals?

sorry yes I do - but prior to having a conical, I never worried about cold break all that much.

another similar way to do it with buckets or carboys would be to run off from your kettle into a fermentor, let the break settle then siphon into a second fermentor, leaving as much or as little CB behind as you want.  I was too lazy to do that more than once though.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: denny on December 03, 2010, 03:37:10 pm
AFAIK people who like to brew super clear lagers want to leave out most or all the trub.

Not necessarily....see http://hbd.org/discus/messages/40327/41534.html
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: blatz on December 03, 2010, 03:39:23 pm
I don't care if it all ends up in the fermenter, though the whole hops catch some of it. AFAIK people who like to brew super clear lagers want to leave out most or all the trub.

I've done lagers in carboys with all the CB in it, and lagers in a conical with 2 trub dumps (1 prior to pitching, 1 at high krausen) and they are always crystal clear.  YMMV
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: euge on December 03, 2010, 03:47:30 pm
No practical experience with that on my part guys. Good to know about flavor- which is what I've always suspected but was more thinking of clarity issues. But again I brew ales and don't care about bright lagers. ::)
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: Hokerer on December 03, 2010, 04:56:52 pm
I don't worry about it at all.   I generally shoot for 5.5 gallons post boil so when I get to that, I quit transferring.  Whatever (if any) is left in the kettle, I let settle, dilute, and pressure can for starters.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold breakIn terms of the final beer qu in your fermenter?
Post by: Malticulous on December 03, 2010, 06:40:33 pm
Kia posted this somewhere. There is some English at page 76.

http://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/619244/619244.pdf

"In terms of the final beer quality, neither an increased lauter turbidity of wort nor a hot trub
addition to wort leads to a significant deterioration of flavor quality, flavor stability, haze
stability, and foam stability."


It doesn't say cold break but the hot break is there and they didn't vorlauf so the cold break has to be there too.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: tygo on December 03, 2010, 06:57:34 pm
I don't care about it at all at the moment.  Maybe when everything else in my system and process works perfectly with no flaws I'll get around to worrying about transferring break material to the fermenter.  It's way down the list.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: witsok on December 03, 2010, 07:40:32 pm
Nope, switched to a CFC years ago and never had problem I'd contribute to cold break.  Even though I have a conical, I don't bother with removing cold break.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: tschmidlin on December 03, 2010, 10:27:10 pm
I use a CFC and don't worry about it at all.  No problems.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: majorvices on December 04, 2010, 08:23:23 am
I don't care about it too much though I will say I think it is far better to leave as much hops and trub behind in the kettle as possible.

Also, if you are not dropping the temp down below 45 degrees and letting the wort sit for several hours you won't get much cold break anyway, so there is no need to worry about cold break at all unless you are brewing lagers and have the ability to actually drop the cold break after chilling and setttling.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: cheba420 on December 04, 2010, 08:49:18 am
I havent spent too much time worrying about it. I pull some into the fermenter but not much. I typically wind up with about 2 qts of break material and beer left in the kettle.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: James Lorden on December 04, 2010, 09:12:33 am
Also, if you are not dropping the temp down below 45 degrees and letting the wort sit for several hours you won't get much cold break anyway, so there is no need to worry about cold break at all unless you are brewing lagers and have the ability to actually drop the cold break after chilling and setttling.

To quantify Majors point

Table II: Cold trub precipitation in a Munich Helles Bier (from which hot trub has been removed).*
Wort Temperature
°F          °C          Cold Trub Precipitated (g/hL)          Percentage of Total Cold Trub
170          80                  1.5                                                          6.8
140          60                  2.4                                                         10.6
104         40                   4.2                                                         18.7
86           30                   6.5                                                          28.5
68           20                 13.1                                                          58.0
50          10                  19.3                                                          85.3
41           5                    21.5                                                          95.1
32           0                   22.6                                                            100.0
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: tom on December 04, 2010, 09:47:13 am
The chart shows that at 50F 85% settles out and at 68F 58%, so there's still some settling going on.

Denny, Joakim didn't state which type of beer he compared - do you know? Did he ever have anyone else try it?

Anyone try the flotation method mentioned in the Brewing Techniques article?

"In flotation, the cooled wort is saturated with sterile air. As the air bubbles make their way to the top of the tank, they carry cold trub with them. After 2-3 h, a brown, compact head forms at the top of the wort. Wort is then removed from the bottom of the tank, leaving the cold trub behind. Even more cold trub (50-65% of total cold trub) can be removed if wort stands 6-8 h before being racked (3)."

Seems like it could be part of a typical homebrewer aeration method, then transfer out from below into another fermenter.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: majorvices on December 04, 2010, 10:19:41 am
I guess I have seen other numbers somewhere. But, regardless, time plays into it as does how quickly you chill. IIRC a lot of lager brewers drop the wort all the way down to below 45, some even to close to freezing, to drop break. I have often noticed that is takes my lagers nearly over night to drop the majority of break material.
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: denny on December 04, 2010, 12:18:22 pm
Denny, Joakim didn't state which type of beer he compared - do you know? Did he ever have anyone else try it?

Sorry, Tom...it was a pils.  He stated that in a different thread when he started discussing the experiment he was going to do.  AFAIK, no one else ever tried it.  Of course, it's only a single data point, but a very interesting one!
Title: Re: Do you care about cold break in your fermenter?
Post by: James Lorden on December 04, 2010, 07:58:33 pm
Seems that chill haze is the main issue here for home brewers.  We generally drink beer to fast to be concerned with the packaging issues.  That said, if a home brewer is re-pitching yeast then perhaps more care should be taken to avoid moving significant volumes of cold break to subsequent batches.  How important is clear beer - that seems to be the question.  I happen to filter most light colored beer so after reading through the responses in this topic a few times I'm not sure that I'm as concerned as I used to be about cold trub in the fermenter.