Author Topic: Question for conical users?  (Read 2972 times)

Offline James Lorden

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Question for conical users?
« on: August 18, 2011, 03:00:22 PM »
Do any of you dump trub before pitching yeast?  This is recommended in Noonan's book on lager brewing.  If so, how long after filling the conical are you waiting before pitching?

(never would have considered this with my old whirlpool immersion chiller but the therminator moves all of the break material into the fermentor)
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Offline blatz

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 03:12:24 PM »
Do any of you dump trub before pitching yeast?  This is recommended in Noonan's book on lager brewing.  If so, how long after filling the conical are you waiting before pitching?

(never would have considered this with my old whirlpool immersion chiller but the therminator moves all of the break material into the fermentor)

James - I used to but now I just dump trub when I do a dump at high krausen - this captures all the dead yeast cells as well since the good healthy guys are mostly in suspension.  I'm too lazy to dump twice, and I hate having to wait to pitch - I will do a trub dump and a high krausen dump if I wasn't able to chill below my ferm temp and I have to wait anyways, but I generally chill below ferm temp without a problem.

Just use a clear tube connected to your bottom valve and close the ball valve when it goes from murky/dark to creamy/yeasty color - I'm sure you'll know it when you see it.
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Offline wiley

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 03:33:59 PM »
Since you're using a plate chiller, I assume you've got a pump. If not, the following will likely be irrelevant:

I just recently started doing a whirlpool knock-down recirculation where I pump the wort through the chiller (I've got a counterflow, but same concept with a plate chiller) at the end of the boil, and put it back into the boil kettle through a whirlpool inlet. I've notice a couple of advantages:
1. You get the whirlpool effect on dropping out the trub/hop particles so not as much makes their way into the conical
2. You bring the temp of the wort in the kettle down so as to limit continual isomerization of late hop additions and retain better hop flavor and aroma

You might try giving that a go and see if you get less trub/hop particles in the conical -- it's been my experience that it helps quite a bit. Cheers!

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 03:56:19 PM »
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I seem to think that when I brewed in carboys a lot the trub settled out pretty quick.

I do have a pump but in the past I haven't needed to use it and could just gravity feed from my kettle to the fermenter (kettle sits on the second tier of a three tier system).  Figured avoiding the pump was one less contamination point on the cold side.  With the conical I have been contmplating how to fill in a closed system which I suspect will bring the pump back into play.
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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 04:02:39 PM »
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I have two pro buddies and that's where I got this idea from.  doesn't mean everyone does it, but they do and it seems to work fine for me.

I seem to think that when I brewed in carboys a lot the trub settled out pretty quick.

yes and no - it does drop somewhat quickly(1/2 hour), but it doesn't compact quickly.  the few times I tried to rush and do a dump of CB before pitching I waited maybe 30-60min while I was cleaning everything up and wound up dumping almost 3 quarts of CB filled wort before I decided to stop. if you wait several hours it will compact and you can dump less volume.  or you can do what I said above and kill 2 birds/1 stone.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 04:07:52 PM »
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 04:11:36 PM »
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.

yeah - I should have qualified - they whirlpool as well and only dump about 1 gal from a 15bbl system of trub once high krausen comes.

sean - you're right about one of the benefits of a conical keeping the surface area of trub small, but if you want to keep the slurry cleaner, no harm in dumping it IMO.  And on the pro level, you're probably using healthier yeast than I am anyway - I repitch a lot, so I like flushing a little - its not much - maybe 1-2 qts of trub plus dead yeast for a 12gal batch
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Offline wiley

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 04:17:53 PM »
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.

How long do you whirlpool for and do you worry about knocking down the wort in the kettle? It seemed I had problems getting aroma / flavor with a 30 min whirlpool without knocking down to 175-180F -- some sources I looked into indicated that isomerization continued at temperatures >190F. Just curious if anyone else encountered this --

Offline Pi

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 05:02:47 PM »
I am using glass carboys for fermenting and I dont pay much attention to the amount of trub going into my fermentor. Should I be?
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Offline tom

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 06:12:43 PM »
It's better to leave the trub behind.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 07:28:02 PM »
I typically ferment 5 to 6 gal batches in my 12 gal conical.  Therefore, I don't get a lot of yeast and trub buildup in the cone and I can typically just touch the top of the yeast cake with the rotating racking cane.  I don't really want to rack off the trub since that would drop that yeast cake interface even lower and I'd end up losing more beer. 

Given the trub drops out fairly early and should be covered by a nice layer of yeast in short time, I'm not sure that wasting off the trub is necessary.
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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 08:55:09 PM »
How long do you whirlpool for and do you worry about knocking down the wort in the kettle? It seemed I had problems getting aroma / flavor with a 30 min whirlpool without knocking down to 175-180F -- some sources I looked into indicated that isomerization continued at temperatures >190F. Just curious if anyone else encountered this --

10 min whirlpool, then a 20 min hot stand. I add aroma hops (which are only in our IPA) at the end of the active WP and let them settle out during the hot stand. I I don't know that I can really comment on the temperature issue though, since my worts boil at 195-198°F. I do feel that I get excellent aroma in the IPA by doing this.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 09:33:56 PM »
I used to dump the trub (day 2 or 3) but don't anymore. Just before racking I dump most of the trub & then rack the beer off. Once that's done I'll harvest the yeast if that's the plan.  Cheers!!!
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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 09:57:03 PM »
I usually dump the trub after 24 hrs. My concern with dumping the trub is dropping out the highly flocculating yeast that settle first. That's why I try to remember to drop the trub as early as possible, preferably before high krausen.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Question for conical users?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 10:33:10 PM »
confused as to what to do yet, James?  ::)
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