Author Topic: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...  (Read 10818 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« on: October 27, 2020, 07:42:41 pm »
Guys:  How are you guys doing in this area?  Are you able to get 5+ gallons of clear wort into your fermenter without getting trub?  Do you even worry about such a thing?  My system is old-school... cooler MT, 10 gallon SS kettle with no port and I use a racking cane to transfer wort from kettle to fermenter.  I can usually get 4+ gallons of clear wort but then here comes the trub.  In the below pic, 4 gallons of clear wort have been transferred...



I got to about 4.75 gallons before picking up some trub.  I know that some equipment helps with this but I'm curious who has been down this road and found an answer for the best separation of wort from trub.  I use whirfloc, I get a good, quick chill and my trub settles well but someone on another board mentioned that my trub looked "fluffy" and not compact.  Anyone else see that here?
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Offline pete b

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 07:52:13 pm »
Do you make a whirlpool to encourage it to settle in the center and tilt the kettle near the end to get a deep spot? I do that as well as calculate so that I make a bit of extra wort. I usually end up with 5.5 or so gallons of beer in the fermenter and a little bit of trub.
Edit: It looks to me like there is a lot of beer left and; there, if you tilt and place the racking cane correctly you should be able to get that beer with just some trub.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 07:56:38 pm by pete b »
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Offline TANSTAAFB

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 07:58:52 pm »
I've never gotten "compact" trub and have no idea how people get the elusive trub cone. I've tried pump whirlpool, stirring, let it sit longer. By the time I'm done transferring it's all spread out on the bottom. I stopped worrying too much about it. I do have a port/ valve, I use a hop bag (from Wilserbrewer, same as my BIAB bag), and I leave a portion of the trub in my kettle. But I haven't found a significant difference between the brews where I was really trying to control trub (had to with a heat exchanger, have since switched to a Jaded IC) and those that I don't sweat it. 

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Offline BrewBama

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Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 08:31:35 pm »
I cool rapidly, wait a few minutes, drain thru a spigot via a hose into a fine mesh strainer placed on top of the fermenter. I trap some trüb in the strainer but I figure what gets into the FV — which is very limited — is just the cost of doing business.  I do the best I can and don’t worry about the rest.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2020, 08:53:41 pm »
I chill in my garage and I do stir the entire time that I chill but then I pick up the kettle and carry it into the kitchen sink to chill further and settle down.  There is ice and water in the sink so the kettle does tilt which seems to work in my favor.  On this last batch I threw out between .5 and .75 gallons of very truby wort.  I have been using a hop spider as well.  I know that some of the exBEERiments get some criticism but he did one on less trub vs. more trub and his "more trub" beer was actually clearer.  Even he says the test was not as scientific as he would like but it's more scientific than anything I have tried. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2020, 05:07:32 am »
My trub looks very much the same.  My pickup tube is angled to the side so that I leave about a half inch of trub slurry when I am done.  The rest of the trub comes through into the fermenter at the tail end of the transfer.  I use a floating dip tube in the fermenter and transfer very bright beer to keg from there, so I don’t get bothered by a little turbidity at the end of the boil.  My fermentation plus letting it sit time In the primary is a total of seven to ten days, typically, sometimes shorter, sometimes a few days longer.

I have seen your beers here and they are usually gin clear.  Keep doing what you are doing, because it is working!
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2020, 05:57:43 am »
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2020, 07:44:01 am »
At some point I started looking into some of the LO processes and one of their big issues is "no trub in the fermenter".  I began to tweak some things including "batch size"... basically brewing more than you need so that what you collect is ALL CLEAR wort and then you throw out what is leftover, which is mostly schputz.  My tweaking was helpful in that I was getting clear wort but I clearly misjudged my OG because I was getting 1.040 beers when I was expecting 1.050 beers.  I was more than a little concerned about this but it made me realize that if I added more grain I would be fighting the "clear trub" issue again.  10 pounds of grain and 10 gallons of water is the same as 100 pounds of grain and 100 gallons of water as far as getting around trub.  More water means lower OG.  So it occurred to me that this is really about separating the clear wort from the trub.  I suppose that if 4.75 gallons of the wort are clear and then last half gallon has trub then that's acceptable.  The beer will be clear in the end.  I was just wondering what else was out there to help keep as much trub behind.  Also... I'm 55 years old and I lug the kettle from kitchen-to-garage and back again.  I have no desire to make things HEAVIER by brewing a larger batch size.  :P  Cheers guys.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 07:46:27 am by Village Taphouse »
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Offline goose

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2020, 08:15:17 am »
I don't think you really have to worry that much about this.  I have heard brewers say that a little bit of trub is good for yeast health and others that say you don't want any in the fermenter, so take your pick.

That said, during my pro-brewer gig we had a "trub dam" in the boil kettle to minimize trub pickup.  It had a curvature that was the same as that of the boil kettle and blocked a lot of the trub pick-up when the level of wort got low enough to really start breaking down the cone at the center of the kettle.  We always had some trub that made it to the plate chiller and the fermenter, but is was never really a huge problem. You might want to maybe fashion something along those lines out of a piece of copper that you could attach to the racking cane.  I would make it so that it maybe extends 4"-6" from each side of the racking cane (I would use a stainless steel racking cane with the SS end cap on it as well since it is more robust, you will leave maybe 1/4" of wort in the kettle when using the cap).  This would allow you to maybe get a lot more wort before you started picking up the trub.  You can sterilize it by immersing it in the hot wort before you begin chilling.

Just some thoughts.
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Offline denny

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2020, 08:22:13 am »
I generally get clear wort into the fermenter.  When I don't, I don't worry about it.  Comparing batches made both ways I can't say it makes a difference.

Ken, have you identified any issues from trub?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 08:27:10 am by denny »
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2020, 08:26:21 am »
Kettle trub making it into the fermenter is a non issue, and can actually be beneficial to the yeast. Given time, it will settle out and compact along with the yeast when fermentation is done. The only possible issue I see would be insufficient fermenter volume.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2020, 08:42:35 am »
Guys, thank you. 

Goose, that's good information.  A brewer on another board suggested a stainless steel scrubby thing (like you would use in the kitchen) attached to the end of the cane.  Sounds nutty but I have some on order and I will try it.  They're stainless so they should clean & sanitize properly with no downside to the wort/beer.

Denny, not necessarily.  I am a clear-beer freak (hey, did you know this about me?  :P) and I always hear that trub causes clarity issues although the exBEERiment that I mentioned earlier actually suggested that his "truby" beer was clearer than his "non-truby" beer.  Also, I always wonder if trub in the yeast cake has an adverse impact on harvesting and reusing yeast, etc.  Maybe one of our yeast experts can weigh in on that.

Bob:  I have always heard that some trub is beneficial to yeast.  I have also heard many brewers say that they do not worry about trub and their beers come out fine.  Now I do not actually TASTE those beers so I don't know how fine they truly are but I have absolutely made beers that I consider VERY GOOD where some trub was present early in the process. 

Thanks guys. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2020, 08:44:23 am »
Guys, thank you. 

Goose, that's good information.  A brewer on another board suggested a stainless steel scrubby thing (like you would use in the kitchen) attached to the end of the cane.  Sounds nutty but I have some on order and I will try it.  They're stainless so they should clean & sanitize properly with no downside to the wort/beer.

Denny, not necessarily.  I am a clear-beer freak (hey, did you know this about me?  :P) and I always hear that trub causes clarity issues although the exBEERiment that I mentioned earlier actually suggested that his "truby" beer was clearer than his "non-truby" beer.  Also, I always wonder if trub in the yeast cake has an adverse impact on harvesting and reusing yeast, etc.  Maybe one of our yeast experts can weigh in on that.

Bob:  I have always heard that some trub is beneficial to yeast.  I have also heard many brewers say that they do not worry about trub and their beers come out fine.  Now I do not actually TASTE those beers so I don't know how fine they truly are but I have absolutely made beers that I consider VERY GOOD where some trub was present early in the process. 

Thanks guys.

Ken, you're a good brewer.  You've been doing it a long time.  Trust yourself.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2020, 09:10:32 am »
Ken, you're a good brewer.  You've been doing it a long time.  Trust yourself.
Thanks Denny.  I have been doing it a long time and I am generally satisfied with my beers.  But I also try to stay open-minded and assume that things can always be better.  Homebrewing is one of those things where things can change quickly and new products and processes are coming out all the time and you just never know what might make better beer and I'm always open to that.  Never assume your beer can't be better.  That should be on a t-shirt.  :P 

CHEERS!
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Offline Megary

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Re: Attempting to get less trub in the fermenter...
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2020, 09:45:12 am »
Guys, thank you. 

Goose, that's good information.  A brewer on another board suggested a stainless steel scrubby thing (like you would use in the kitchen) attached to the end of the cane.  Sounds nutty but I have some on order and I will try it.  They're stainless so they should clean & sanitize properly with no downside to the wort/beer.

Denny, not necessarily.  I am a clear-beer freak (hey, did you know this about me?  :P) and I always hear that trub causes clarity issues although the exBEERiment that I mentioned earlier actually suggested that his "truby" beer was clearer than his "non-truby" beer.  Also, I always wonder if trub in the yeast cake has an adverse impact on harvesting and reusing yeast, etc.  Maybe one of our yeast experts can weigh in on that.

Bob: I have always heard that some trub is beneficial to yeast.  I have also heard many brewers say that they do not worry about trub and their beers come out fine.  Now I do not actually TASTE those beers so I don't know how fine they truly are but I have absolutely made beers that I consider VERY GOOD where some trub was present early in the process. 

Thanks guys.

I agree with Bob.  I think it's a non-issue.  I transfer until I hit my desired fermenter volume and then stop.  I always transfer some trub and always leave some behind.  The measurement of "some" really comes down to my boil off rate for that batch.  I honestly can't single out any ill effects that transferred trub might be causing to the finished beer.