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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: quest4watneys on January 14, 2011, 03:12:26 AM

Title: Best for straining
Post by: quest4watneys on January 14, 2011, 03:12:26 AM
I'm a noob in case the question I'm about to ask doesn't make it readily apparent! But, what kind of filter/strainer is best for moving a primary fermentation to a secondary fermentation vessel.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: euge on January 14, 2011, 03:18:45 AM
Shouldn't be necessary to filter but more info might help.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: beerocd on January 14, 2011, 03:19:14 AM
Time. Oh, and secondary probably isn't necessary.
So with all that extra time with not filtering or going to secondary you have time to brew another batch!  8)

OK, really why do you want to filter and secondary?
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: majorvices on January 14, 2011, 12:45:17 PM
The only way to properly filter a beer is by pushing through a plate or canister filter using Co2. This would require you purchasing a kegging system. I'd say 95% of us that even own kegging systems don't bother filtering. Just leave the beer settle longer in the primary. Use a secondary to further clarify the beer, though IME you can get a beer pretty darn clear in the primary.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: richardt on January 14, 2011, 02:16:38 PM
Let the beer ferment down to a stable FG at whatever fermentation temp is best for that beer style. 
If you didn't use a starter, it may take a few weeks (no worries about yeast autolysis).
Then you should chill the beer in your fridge (if you can) for 48 hours to help drop the remaining yeast out of suspension.
Some strains flocculate and settle better than others. 
Assuming you're doing simple gravity/siphon transfers--when you're ready to transfer, very carefully move the primary fermentation vessel to the counter without stirring things up (or just rack straight from the fridge using the transfer equipment) into (4 common options):
your secondary, or
your keg(s), or
your bottling bucket (put your priming sugar in the bucket beforehand--you should dissolve, boil, and allow the priming sugar to cool before putting it into the bottling bucket), or
your pre-primed bottles.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: abraxas on January 14, 2011, 02:50:42 PM
I put a fine mesh bag over the exit end of the siphon whenever I transfer anything with a lot of trub, pellet hop particulate or has been dry hopped.  It works great and I've collected a ton of stuff on a few batched that would have been a hassle to deal with later.

I'll second the no need for a secondary.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: richardt on January 14, 2011, 03:10:42 PM
I agree with abraxas on that point.  It is always easier to strain on the output side, i.e., a mesh bag or bullion strainer or large funnel with fine mesh screen, when transferring colloids and suspensions. It is much easier to get rid of the stuff that's clogging the mesh by turning off the spigot or siphon and dumping the debris.  Try doing that with a bazooka screen (or it's equivalent) in the boil kettle or in the fermenter.  I recommend the first two options for transfers from the boil kettle to the primary as the surface area of the mesh is far greater than the small disc screen on the large funnel or the screen over the pickup end of the racking cane.  All too often I've seen brewers having to slow everything down and continuously scrape the screen with the stirring spoon just to get a trickle of wort to pass through.  Painful, and unnecessary.  It also risks contamination given the longer exposure to open air and more "interaction" of your various brewing equipment with the wort or beer.
Once you've made beer however, then you want to minimize oxidation, so abraxas' point about a mesh bag over the output end of the tube is the best idea.  You can still purge your keg with CO2 beforehand and rack into the keg w/o fear of oxidation.  Then just pull the tube and bag out when you're done.  I'd make sure the top of the bag doesn't ever get below the surface of the beer.  I'd also sanitize the bag and tube in starsan prior to use, and I usually tie something to the bag and the hose to make sure it doesn't slip off the end of the hose during use.  Worked great for a Holiday Ale (containing large chunks of orange peels).
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: euge on January 14, 2011, 06:34:51 PM
Well I used to make a pouch out of cheesecloth and twistie tie that over the output end. The trick is the "pouch" so it allows stuff to exit and doesn't back up the line.

I quit doing that years ago.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: quest4watneys on January 14, 2011, 11:04:55 PM
I appreciate all the responses! Allow me to correct my original question (that's what I get for posting while half-asleep)! I'm getting ready to attempt an Imperial Stout and the procedures recommend adding the hops directly to the boiling wort. Should I filter out the hops when I move the wort to the primary fermenter or leave it as is? Is there another point in the process that the hops should be filtered out? Thanks again for the responses and for contributing to a great site!
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: denny on January 14, 2011, 11:06:42 PM
Ahh, very different question!  Yeah, after you cool your wort down (don't do it when it's hot!) just strain the hops out with a sanitized strainer on the way to the fermenter.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: richardt on January 14, 2011, 11:10:14 PM
Whilrlpooling during the chilling process will help concentrate the pellets and break material towards the center of the kettle, as well.

How are you transferring it from the kettle to the fermenter?  racking cane?  spigot?  Pick up the kettle and dump into a funnel or strainer?  Your approach determines your options.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: quest4watneys on January 14, 2011, 11:15:17 PM
No spigot, but I do have a racking cane and dumping is an option as well. I have to admit though that trying to dump 5 gallons of wort through a strainer does sound a bit daunting!
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: capozzoli on January 15, 2011, 12:06:01 AM
Ive used this thing that looks like a big shower cap. It has an elastic band to wrap around a fermenting bucket. Then we pour our raspberry wort through it. Its washable and reusable.

Fine like cheese cloth it will still let some seeds or whatever through cause sometimes the bubbler gets clogged and ka-bloom.

I use a blow off tube for those particulate type beers now.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: euge on January 15, 2011, 04:38:28 AM
I use a China-cap which is a cone shaped strainer.  Restaurant style equipment.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: tschmidlin on January 15, 2011, 06:48:49 AM
I use a China-cap which is a cone shaped strainer.  Restaurant style equipment.
Those are awesome.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: euge on January 15, 2011, 07:05:14 AM
No spigot, but I do have a racking cane and dumping is an option as well. I have to admit though that trying to dump 5 gallons of wort through a strainer does sound a bit daunting!

A sanitized plastic 1/2 to 1 gallon pitcher works well to scoop out wort and pour through a strainer suspended over the fermenter.

I'll throw in that this is my primary method of aeration. That's right I said it. I'm a splasher.
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: Hokerer on January 15, 2011, 04:49:11 PM
'll throw in that this is my primary method of aeration. That's right I said it. I'm a splasher.

Nothing wrong with that as long as you raise the seat first
Title: Re: Best for straining
Post by: quest4watneys on January 15, 2011, 10:59:54 PM
Fantastic suggestions and thanks again! I have a couple of more questions but they're about different topics so I'll start new threads.