Managing the Trub

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Managing the Trub

Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Hi Guys,

I always seem to lose more wort than I'd like when transferring to my fermenter as I worry about having to much Trub in the fermenter. Is trub in the fermenter an issue or am I worrying about nothing? How do other people minimise trub loss? Whirl-pooling never works for me as I have an immersion heater fitted at the base of my kettle which disrupts whirl-pooling. Are bazooka screens useful or should I just not worry about Trub?

Cheers


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Post by joshua » 1 year ago

Time is On your Side, Cover the Kettle with a Large clean Towel, and Wait an Hour or So.

The Trub will settle into compact soft layer of Sludge.

If you can tilt the Kettle so the Sludge Settles away from the Tap, it will help Draining.
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Post by Scott » 1 year ago

Trub Into Fermenter:
Getting trub into the fermenter really does not hurt anything. Early on I tried really hard to get it out, but it doesn't much matter... Thankfully I have large fermenters that can hold around 8 gallons each and usually my brew batch is about 5 gallons...so VIF around 5 3/4 gallons normally. Some batches where I have to dilute to lower the OG can wind up with 6 to 6 1/2 gallons. That's okay, extra beer will not go to waste. (Always save in a cleaned and sanitized growler and it is put to good use later...) ;)

For me the best way to keep trub out of the finished product is by cold crashing the beer in the fermenter after it's finished fermenting, before transferring it into the keg.

Later - Getting Beer From Fermenter Into Keg (without trub):
This is the part we are most concerned with, right...? Just not wanting trub in finished beer. I cold crash and then fine with gelatin to clarify the beer. That puts all the trub at the bottom of the fermenter and pretty easy to avoid transferring to the keg.

And with the remaining trub at the bottom of the fermenter after I have transferred the beer into the keg, I normally transfer much of the "trub" into a large clean sealed container and later harvest this yeast for a later batch of beer... Often will be needing the same yeast again within three or four months. And the first thing I do before either pitching into a new yeast starter is pour the extra beer (at the top, above the yeast and trub sediment) into a glass for consumption. This beer will not have much carbonation but tastes fine besides that, and I wind up with a free glass or two of beer that would have been dumped down the drain as trub some months earlier...) :thumbs: I will attach a picture of an example sitting in my beer fridge now.

Hopefully this last section is not confusing and if it is just ignore it. Talking yeast harvesting and getting a large glass of beer out of the trub that would for sure been thrown out. The point is that I really don't worry about trub getting into the fermenter.
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Thanks for the post Scott, I think I need to worry less about trub in my fermenter. I've never harvested yeast before but perhaps something I should consider in the future.


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Post by Scott » 1 year ago

I agree... No reason for undue worry much about it. And if you wanted to keep some more out, Joshua's suggestion of waiting for an hour or so to let the trub settle is a good one. For me, a brew day, including setting up, brewing and clean up runs about six hours, and I'm normally rushing to finish up and have some beer myself too, so don't want to plug an additional hour in when the cold crash (plus gelatin fining) will take care of it.

Do you have temperature control for your fermenter? That was a huge help to me - bought a lower cost freezer and a temperature controller. So easy to manage fermentation temperatures, and then easy ability to do the cold crash at the end for a couple days...is a big help!

Harvesting yeast is kind of fun and saves money.


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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

No temp control for fermentation yet unfortunately. I'm in Melbourne and currently the daily temps are ok for fermenting. However I really want to control my temps so I'm keeping my eye out for a second hand fridge or freezer. Do you think one is better than the other. Plus my wife is over my fermenter bundling away in the bathroom!


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Post by Scott » 1 year ago

Got to be LATE in Melbourne right now...

Just walked out in the garage and took some pictures of my setup and will attach. You want a Freezer as a fermentation vessel (not a refrigerator). I bought a small new (low cost) chest freezer that can only fit one of my 8+ gallon Speidel fermenters. Would have liked a little bigger, big enough for two fermenters, but have other storage considerations in the garage...and what I have fits. (Tall freezer do-able too and may take less floor space with easier lifting, but less efficient, especially if you are like me and frequently want to open the door to "check" on the fermentation status). ;) After reflection, an upright freezer would definitely make lifting the fermenter easier...so maybe that would be the way to go. (?) Regardless, you want a freezer for the fermentation chamber, not a refrigerator.

Then you need a temperature controller. I used the Inkbird ITC-1000F and built the box for storage. In hindsight should have bought an off the shelf housing for the time it took, but no matter... Will attach picture.

For heating (needed occasionally) I use an incandescent light bulb in a can with some aluminum foil. Will attach picture of that too, stored in the little box to the left of the controller. And put in fermentation vessel / freezer and plug it in only when I need to...
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

It was very early in Melbourne! That set up looks awesome. I've started searching for a second hand freezer today, then my home brew set up is complete. Luckily I have a keg king electric thermostat with a digital temp gauge/controller that I use to control my mash temps. I can plug a freezer into this to control fermentation temps.


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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

Wadey: Important question... Are you bottling or kegging?

Scott: Thanks for the pics ;).
Last edited by PistolPatch on 17 May 2016, 20:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Hi Pistol,

I'm Bottling, kegs are still on the wish list at this stage.

Cheers


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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

I think bottling is fine/great Wadey. I often ask myself if I should actually be kegging. You won't here it discussed but kegs can be as much of a PITA as bottles. I'll write an essay on the many reasons why when I get time. Here's a good compromise (maybe the best?) though...

Get yourself some 1.5L or 2 L (quart) soft/soda drink bottles. Just like a 1.5 or 2 L bottle of Coke, beer also maintains it's carbonation really well in your fridge. Google plastic packaging suppliers in your country and you might even be able to come up with amber-coloured 1.5/2.0 litre bottles. If not, fine, just ensure you keep them out of the light.

We home-brewers often think that kegging is the pinnacle. I'm not sure that is true or is something that should be aspired to. I don't want to go into the details now but, one thing I am getting back to now is using a secondary whether you are bottling or kegging.

...

Getting back to your original question though, I asked whether you were bottling or kegging because it is the most basic question that should be asked. What works for someone who kegs might be the wrong answer for someone who bottles. Keggers can "cheat" by cold-crashing on some beer styles. I've advised that many times but I always only meant for keggers and on beers that were "clean" going into the fermenter.

At the end of the day, the trub has to be got rid of somewhere. For me, personally, as a general rule (and I'm backed up by lots of literature), the sooner you get rid of the trub the better for nearly all styles. (And yep, I've read all the stuff out there... for example, on how on one single experiment, one style, fermented with all the trub, ended up clearer packaged than the one fermented with very little trub.)

To date, all we know for now, is that best practice is to remove trub as soon as possible. (And, use a secondary. I've argued against this in the past but, if you do it right, I think it is a very good thing now.)

:peace:
PP
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Post by Scott » 1 year ago

Hey PP, what are the beer styles where the sediment doesn't drop with cold crashing...? I haven't experienced that yet... Possibly got lucky with the styles of beer that I brew. :?:

And why do you not recommend cold crashing for when you transfer into bottles from the fermenter? It is not clear to me. In the old days I would use a secondary to reduce trub before the packaging, but it seemed that it didn't help that much for the effort it took... For me, cold crashing makes a big difference. And when siphoning into bottles (or keg) with a tube, seems that you can keep the tube off the trub with cold crashed beer at least as well as non-cold crashed beer (because the cold crashed beer sediment "seems" to stay put at the bottom a little better). Just my perception, and I might be missing something simple or not quite obvious here... Either way, when racking beer and you get towards the bottom of the fermenter, and not much beer left over the trub layer, you've got to be careful and stop before you pick up a bunch of trub and put it into your packaging. But that is when I harvest yeast and the last bit of beer with it, as described earlier in the post... Seems to work okay, or at least it has "so far" anyway.

Full Disclosure: I have not had to use a racking cane for a couple years. My Speidel fermenters have a spigot at the bottom. I place them on the workbench and once the trub settles down, use tubing between the fermenter spigot and the keg. Pour the first bit into a cup or glass until the trub stops coming out... But you still have to deal with trub and try to keep it out of your packaged beer.

Nice idea on the 1.5 to 2L plastic bottles! (Possibly add a tiny amount of unfermented wort to the bottle for the "sugar" for more natural carbonation? That's one I never was able to figure out right when bottling, adding corn sugar for the secondary fermentation, and normally over-carbonated)... :idiot:

Sorry for the ramble... It's late here.


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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

[Wadey: See note at end ;).]

Scott: Oops! Pretty sure I had a lot of fuel on board when I wrote the post above. Perhaps I better re-read it. Hold on....

Phew! That actually didn't read too badly :).

Okay...

All styles will drop with cold-crashing as far as I know but, I imagine on some styles, you wouldn't want them to drop - heffeweizen for example? I'm really not up on that area so don't take me seriously in this department. I think what I was trying to say (should have said) in my last post re this, is that, on some styles, keggers will get a very clear beer without a secondary by using cold-crashing.

This leads to your second question, and, once again, I might be wrong...

My thinking is that you shouldn't cold-crash if bottling for the following reasons:

1. I think it makes the carb calculations more difficult. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong on this. If your beer is fully fermented at 18C and you drop it to near zero, whilst cold liquids hold more CO2, there won't be any additional CO2 to be absorbed - so, yep, I'm thinking I am wrong.

2. I think I might be right on the following though - the cold crashing is going to shock the yeast, the same yeast you need to digest your priming sugar.

3. Practicalities - If the bottler wishes to bulk prime, then the secondary is a must.

One thing I have been spending a lot of time on lately for the new site is practicalities. For example, making transfers easy instead of annoying. On my last brew, an American IPA, I transferred to a secondary and then dry-hopped. This was a good idea I think; your trub from the primary isn't going to trap as many hop oils plus the obvious benefits of less trub in the secondary and getting the beer off tired yeast.

Before crash-chilling, I bottled six bottles. One bottle I force carbonated so as I (and my fellow brewer on this batch) could have a taste straight away; the other five bottles have exactly 7 grams (in 750ml bottles) of different priming sugars as an experiment. I'm going to repeat this process for at least five batches - it's easy, good fun and I hope will end up being enlightening.

Wadey: Let us know if this is getting off-topic or confusing. The above is a bit 'grey' and I suspect you really want some black and white info so make sure you ask more questions until we get things clear for you.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 20 May 2016, 22:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Scott » 1 year ago

Good reminder that if batch mixing corn sugar (or whatever) for secondary fermentation, the secondary vessel would be a good thing to use for that, and lose more trub regardless. Interesting how your experiment goes PP. And I wonder about adding exact amount to each bottle would work instead of mixing in secondary? :think:

I still would do the cold crash for bottling (and with Hefeweizen as well). And when the filled bottles warm up at room temperature, the secondary fermentation should start and work like normal, wouldn't it...? Worst cast, it takes a day or two extra time to fully carbonate. Maybe plan on that... For me that is a small price to pay for the positive effects cold crashing has on dropping sediment.

If you can dial in a good amount to add per bottle (and best "sugar" to add) - let me know. I'll give this a shot on my next brew (a few bottles...). And that should confirm if it works as I expect.


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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Hi guys

It's been good reading! I was going to rack to a secondary so it's go know this is a good course of action. I just get sad seeing beer left behind! I like to get as much as possible from a brew day. But given I've only done 2 BIABs it may also be a case not being used to having so much trub. I've been thinking of using a fine stainless steel seive placed over the top of my fermenter that my wort passes through and filters out the trub or using bazooka screen in my kettle but I've read these block easy.
I'm due to rack to my secondary tomorrow and ill probably bottle next weekend so I'll let you know how the process went.

Cheers


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Post by joshua » 1 year ago

Wadey, remember to Sanitize the Seive before you use it.

I have trashed a batch of beer went I forgot to do it.....Doh!!
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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

Next question is how are you racking from the kettle and from the fermenter? (Tap/faucet and hose or racking cane and hose?). If a tap on the kettle, what is on the inside of your kettle? (Pics if you can.)

What is the internal diameter of your hose/s?

Also, not sure if we asked, but what are your losses? (Kettle to fermenter losses and fermenter to packaging losses).

(Don't go the sieve!!! Joshua does small batch sizes so a sieve can work on certain transfers of his but it won't be a great idea on yours).

;)
PP
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Hey Pistol,

I'm racking from my kettle to fermenter via a ball valve at the base of my kettle, here is a photo of the bottom of my kettle.
image.jpg

I use a 1/2 inch silicon hose from the ball value to the fermenter. When racking from my primary to secondary I use an auto siphon.
I'm not with my laptop that the biabacus for my last brew is on but I think I lost about 4.5L racking to the fermenter. Biabacus estimated about 2.5L. I estimated that I'll lose another litre or so from fermenter to packing which will give me about 15L of beer when I was hoping for 18L.

Cheers
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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

I think there is something wrong with me :). I "popped" on to the site a bit less than two hours ago, with the only intention of answering your question but have only just got here. Definitely something wrong :smoke:.

Anyway, this could either be good or bad luck for you as I'm sure I'll come up with something long :lol:.

Great pic :peace:. I'm assuming the main tube into the kettle is your immersion element although I haven't seen one like that before. Looks good but I would want to see you with some sort of device that would protect your bag from it (you probably have it).

Then, from the top, we have a temp probe. You'll be annoyed at me for saying this, but I don't like them. I'm saying this not to criticise you but to let you know I have made many mistakes which I regret. I think any intrusion into the kettle comes at a real cost. The cost with a probe is that you are relying on one thermometer (and you need to calibrate those types regularly but, what no one tells you they can't be calibrated properly unless you have a heap of other thermometers) and, even if calibrated correctly, they will only give you a temp reading at that particular point; that temp reading will be inaccurate unless you agitate the mash.

(I hate writing the above as I have a whole new design for all this stuff but I'm not prepared to give it away until the new site is launched sorry :().

The next is the ball-valve and it looks like you have some sort of pick-up there, and, from what I can see, that pick up should be grabbing everything but I may be wrong. Let me find a pic...

Okay, look at the one in this post.

That's my old set-up (I say old as I removed the ball-valve and had the hole welded up last week) and it basically vacuumed everything clean from the kettle.

Assuming your ball-valve set-up does the same or similar, what's going on for you :scratch: :think:.

Back to the Trub Problem (Some very jumbled thoughts).

First thing I am seeing is the 1/2 inch hose (12.7mm). They are a problem in my books - a very real one. A 1/2 inch hose gives a very violent transfer, it's simply too fast. If your auto-syphon is a 1/2" instead of a 3/8" (9.5mm) then I think that is going to be at least one big part of the problem.

Second thing is that I should have asked what dimensions your kettle was and what size batches (let's assume VAW - Volume of Ambient Wort - see Clear Brewing Terminolgy) you were doing. 4.5 KFL can be acceptable on some kettle sizes but, I do have an idea of the volumes you are dealing with and I don't think that is the answer if your pick-up is properly designed so...

I'm too lazy to re-read the whole thread but didn't Scott mention using your BIAB bag as a hop-sock and joshua mentioning to let the wort sit for at least twenty minutes before transferring from the kettle? They would definitely be the first solutions but, if they don't work, then I would be very suspicious of the following...

Your BIAB bag might be too coarse. This is one thing I want to see on the new site - a standard BIAB bag so as we are all dealing with the same porosity as I'm pretty shocked at some of the porosities/bags being sold.

Without doubt though, get rid of any 1/2 inch hoses.

That's all I can think of. Can anyone else spot any other holes we might have missed? (I keep thinking there is one more :scratch:).

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 24 May 2016, 20:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

Hi Pistol,

Thanks for the detailed response. This site can soak up the hours that's for sure!
Yep the main tube is my immersion heater, I place a false bottom over this to avoid melting my bag during the mash.
I know what you mean about the temp probe, I have to regularly agitate the mash, my last brew I left it touch too long between stirs and I found a noticeable temp difference when I stirred everything up again. I often wonder about temp probes and accuracy, I have a normal brew thermometer that I double check against and adjust if needed.
My Kettle is 36x36 or 36L, BIABacus estimated VAW 21.09L, VIF 19L, 2.09 KFL. My actuals were 4.75 KFL. I also made an error with the hose size, it's a 10mm hose not 1/2 inch.
My ball valve connection has a 90 deg elbow that angles down to the base of the kettle so it can pick up most of the wort, I guess my issue is as I'm draining my kettle and the wort level gets down to the trub what I think is too much trub starts being sucked out the ball valve, I panic and close the valve! It could be in inexperience as I worry about sucking all the trub into my fermenter. This made me think do a need something to filter the trub (bazooka screen) or am I worrying about nothing, basically worrying that I'll ruin my brew!!
Cheers


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Post by joshua » 1 year ago

Wadey, it you can lift the Tap-side of the Kettle and place something to tilt the Kettle a little, the Trub Will settle toward the Back of the kettle and help keep the tap free.

Then, when the Tap runs out, carefully level the kettle, and Collect more wort.

The trub that gets through, will act as a yeast Nutrient, Just keep Hop debris out, with a HopSack
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Post by PistolPatch » 1 year ago

Okay, we're getting closer :)...

A few more questions....

1. Did you see my old kettle tap set-up? See how the pick-up acts as a hoover? While you have the 90 degree thing, this still won't be acting as a hoover. (I don't think this is the most important thing though).

2. Still don't know if you are using a hop sock.

3. Still not sure on how coarse or fine your BIAB bag is.

4. Still not sure how long you are leaving the kettle to settle.

5. Does your tap pick-up rest on the false bottom?

The answer here will be simple - just have to narrow it down ;),
PP

P.S. I'm still wondering on the hose size :scratch:. Most kettle fittings are 1/2" and I think yours are but it's hard to tell. A 10mm internal diameter hose is pretty much impossible to connect to a 1/2" outlet so double-check that, just in case.
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Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

hey Pistol

In answer to your question

1. Did you see my old kettle tap set-up? See how the pick-up acts as a hoover? While you have the 90 degree thing, this still won't be acting as a hoover. (I don't think this is the most important thing though). Yep saw your pic, the vacuum bit looks great! I assume you've made this yourself?

2. Still don't know if you are using a hop sock. Yes and no, I used a hop sock for 60 and 10 min additions, I couldn't find my third hop sock for zero min addition so they went straight in (26g worth). Normally I would use hop sock for every hop addition.

3. Still not sure on how coarse or fine your BIAB bag is. This is pic of my bag, hopefully this shows how fine/course my bag is. I feel is quite fine but I'm a new BIAB brewer!
image.jpg


4. Still not sure how long you are leaving the kettle to settle. Not terribly long, I use an immersion chiller to cool my wort, I cool quite quickly as I use a home made recirculating cold water system for the chiller, I place a pump in an esky with a bag of ice and water so the water going into the chiller is super cold, so maybe 30mins

5. Does your tap pick-up rest on the false bottom? Nope my ball valve sits under the false bottom, here's a pic with the false bottom
image.jpg


Regarding the hose, I've measured these to be sure. My ball valve ID is 10mm, OD 12mm, hose ID is 12mm which makes sense

Here a pic of my setup so you can see where my ball valve is positioned.

Thanks for all your help, it makes taking the step to all grain much easier!! This is a great site with stacks of helpful info.
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Post by mally » 1 year ago

Wadey82 wrote:2. Still don't know if you are using a hop sock. Yes and no, I used a hop sock for 60 and 10 min additions, I couldn't find my third hop sock for zero min addition so they went straight in (26g worth). Normally I would use hop sock for every hop addition.
Interesting that you use a hop sock for each addition. I just add the next addition to the same bag. Are your bags too small to take all the hops?
My hop sacks are just old grain bags (large). It makes me think I am getting better utilisation (probably makes bugger all difference though)!

Your grain bag looks quite coarse to me though.
voile biab bag.jpg
This looks more like what I am used to.
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Last edited by mally on 26 May 2016, 20:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Topic author
Wadey82
Draft
Draft
Australia
Posts: 33
Joined: 1 year ago
Location: Melbourne
Region: Oceania
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City: Melbourne

Post by Wadey82 » 1 year ago

By the time the hops swell up i can't fit any more hops in so I just have a few individual hops bags. ready to go, an old grain bag would be perfect but I've only done 2 BIABs so no old bags yet. Unfortunately I don't own a sewing machine and can't hand sew if my life depended on it so I have to run with what my LHBS sells, unless anyone has recommendations for online brew shops selling good BIAB bags in Australia.

Cheers

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