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Finding what works for you (me)

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As we know there are hundreds of ways of doing all parts of the brewing process and everyone needs to find the methods/techniques that work best for them.  I have my brewing process fairly well set.  Except one step that alludes me yet...

Getting the beer from the boil kettle to the fermenter!  I believe in doing things the simplest most economical (okay cheapest) and effective that I can.  I have tried a few ways.  Pouring through a funnel with a screen and mesh bag (PITA!  :o), straight up regular racking/siphoning (tricky to get started and maintain),  autosiphon (easy to start and restart), autosiphon after whirlpooling and settling the trub "cone" (never quite works as advertised) all of which end inevitably with emergency sanitizing of the funnel/mesh bag and scooping and scraping the funnel screen to free the flow...

I have thought about adding a spigot to the kettle but it does not seem that it will solve the trub/hop sludge issues and only add cost.

What part of the brewing process has alluded you in terms of what works for you?  Did you finally find the solution?  Do you just grumble and bear it?

What I do is sanitize a pitcher (ones that you make frozen juice or whatever in) and scoop out the wort and dump into fermenter through funnel until I can lift the boil kettle and pour the rest in.  Works well for me.  I have a StarSan solution in a spray bottle so I just spray down the inside and outside of the pitcher and wait a minute then go at it.


--- Quote from: enso on January 05, 2010, 10:19:15 PM ---I have thought about adding a spigot to the kettle but it does not seem that it will solve the trub/hop sludge issues and only add cost.

--- End quote ---
Spigot is MUST have on brew kettle.
I have 10 gal kettle for 5 gal batches.
My kettle has about a gallon of dead space.

I start boiling with 8 gal and when I am done I have a little more then 6.5 gal.
Then chilling and whirlpooling.
After that let it sit in covered kettle for 30 min.
This is the time that all the hot break, hop matter and cold break settle to the bottom.

Then I drain kettle thru the spigot leaving all the trub in dead space ending up with 5.5 gal in fermenter.
Sorry for the lengthy answer.

Transferring to the fermenter was a pain during my first few batches. Like you I tried to use the funnel and screen approach to leave behind the trub and it just kept clogging.

Then I tried the wirlpooling thing and let the trub settle. And that's what I stuck with since.  Key here is not so much a good trub cone. They rarely form for me and these days I don't even whilpool anymore. No, key is brewing more than you need, letting the trub and some cold break settle. Than you can rack clear wort from the top.

The remaining 2-4 qt of wort and trub are filtered through a paper towel set in aforementioned funnel with screen. The wort is then frozen and used for starters or priming. No waste here.

These days I improved on that technique. After I chilled to about 60-70f I set the pot in a party tub with ice water that has been elevated. There it will continue to cool and settle at the same time. An hour later I come back to rack the clear 44 f wort into a carboy.

I don't like auto siphons. Too many parts. I use a racking cane and hose. The siphon gets started with a turkey baster. Squeeze the bulb, put the tip into the hose and release the bulb. The wort is now sucked into the hose and the siphon starts.

I hope that helps. It certainly made my brewing more enjoyable and I didn't buy any new gear even though I was close to buying a large strainer from a restaurant supply shop.


I have a spigot on my 15 gallon keggle that works really well. I use muslin bags with whole hops. After the boil I will let gravity pull the chilled wort through the spigot and into a strainer that has the filled hop bags placed into it. I will drain as much wort as I can over the filled muslin bags and through the strainer until I get to the trub at the bottom of the kettle (usually about a quart of trub) and stop.

I am currently in the process of building a Brutus 10 system which will change my process, but the current process works fine.


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