Giving some new techiniques a whirl.

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Giving some new techiniques a whirl.

Postby fully_krausened » Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:15 pm

Alright, my last batch is going very well (a california common) despite taking a hydrometer sample after pitching. :oops:
I tried many new things I learned here and other sites I learned of through this forum. They all seemed to help. Especially the yeast starter. Lag time was considerably reduced! I had co2 in the airlock about an hour after pitching and a nice kraeusen starting about 3 or 4 hours after. I have also made a setup for controlling fermentation temp with a large pastic tub of water and aquarium thermometer as suggested. Works great! Actually, I have another carboy just sitting in a tub of water and that is maintaining nicely as well ( the irish Red I panicked about last week).

One thing I tried did not go so well however.

I tried whirlpooling and siphoning from the brewpot. In the past I always poured through a funnel and strainer. I liked this new way but I did not really notice any benefit to the whirlpooling. I still ended up with signifigant trub. Perhaps I did not do it correctly? Here is what I did.

I placed the brewpot in an ice bath to cool as I do not yet have any sort of chiller. After cooling it down to about 80 F I whirlpooled (with sanitized spoon) for a couple minutes, put the lid on and let it settle for about 10 minutes. the wort was still, but with foam on the surface when I took the lid off. I then siphoned (had a couple false starts) with a copper scrubber on the intake of the racking cane. I did end up tilting the pot slightly in the end to get more of the liquid. There was very little left in the pot in the way of solids. Did I miss something in my procedure?

I also tried an improvised aerating tip using a piece of racking cane with hoies I drilled. I was not too impressed with this. I read about using 3/8" copper tubing so I guess I will try that next time (wider inner diameter?) Good old shaking it did the trick in the end :wink:

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Re: Giving some new techiniques a whirl.

Postby jctull » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:09 pm

fully_krausened wrote:One thing I tried did not go so well however.

I tried whirlpooling and siphoning from the brewpot. In the past I always poured through a funnel and strainer. I liked this new way but I did not really notice any benefit to the whirlpooling. I still ended up with signifigant trub. Perhaps I did not do it correctly? Here is what I did.

I placed the brewpot in an ice bath to cool as I do not yet have any sort of chiller. After cooling it down to about 80 F I whirlpooled (with sanitized spoon) for a couple minutes, put the lid on and let it settle for about 10 minutes. the wort was still, but with foam on the surface when I took the lid off. I then siphoned (had a couple false starts) with a copper scrubber on the intake of the racking cane. I did end up tilting the pot slightly in the end to get more of the liquid. There was very little left in the pot in the way of solids. Did I miss something in my procedure?

I think you need to let it sit for at least 20 minutes for things to fully settle. Also, if you tilt the pot you are likely disturbing the settled trub enough that you are sucking some of it up and into the fermenter, and you are putting gravity to work against the cone you just tried to create.

I would recommend that you don't use a copper scrubby either (these seem to make the siphon halt quite early), unless you are sucking in a bunch of whole hops leaves or something. Make sure the siphon tube is right up against the edge of the pot so the suction is being disturbed a bit.

Finally, you can use a binder clip or something on your hose to limit the rate of flow; this will also prevent too much suction from occurring.
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Postby apd1004 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:11 am

I got pretty good results from adding a ball valve spigot with a bazooka screen to my boiling pot. I did the project easily myself and it was much cheaper than buying a brewpot with the valve already installed. The March-April 2007 issue of BYO magazine has a good article on this, but I made mine well over a year ago and am quite happy with it. I think the project cost me less than $50, but it would have been much cheaper if I didn't have to buy the step drill bit too.

With the ball valve you have good control over how fast the kettle drains and you don't have to worry about siphoning, and the bazooka screen is as fine a screen as any cooking strainer you might use. Using the ball valve you can slowly drain the pot so that the screen doesn't get clogged. I drain my pot immediately after the boil through my homemade counterflow chiller (I call it my BrewZooka...) using the gravity the ball valve system provides, and overall the whole system works very well.

The only problem with all this is that the spigot sits about 1" to 1-1/4" from the bottom of the pot, so you lose all that wort underneath - at least a couple pints or more depending on the size of your brewpot. You can tilt it to get more out, but I'd rather just scale my wort to account for that loss. I'm currently using just a 20-quart brewpot and brew a 3-gallon wort, so the loss of 2 pints is significant.

My next project is to upgrade to a 40-quart brewpot with the same ball valve so I can do a full 5 or 6 gallon boil, and use BeerTools to scale the recipe up to account for the lost wort under the bazooka screen.
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just a tube, or racking cane and tube?

Postby fully_krausened » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:46 am

Make sure the siphon tube is right up against the edge of the pot so the suction is being disturbed a bit.


Ah. This might explain part of the problem. My racking cane is way taller than my pot so I had it laying on a diagonal to the oppostie side in the bottom. I guess I will try making a shorter racking cane just for the brewpot and clipping it to the side next time. I will also try letting it sit longer. It just looked settled so I figured it was. There was no apparent movement, but then, it is hard to see what is really going on in there. I do have a clip on my siphon that came with it. It never occured to me to use it to slow the flow. Isn't there a chance it would stop the flow altogether?

I got pretty good results from adding a ball valve spigot with a bazooka screen to my boiling pot


I have thought about this. Unfortunately I use an enameled pot and I do not think it would be a good idea to drill a whole through it. Also, I am trying to work with what I have for now. Guess I am being cheap, but I feel like I have already spent a lot on equipment.

Thanks.
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Try this retrofit

Postby billvelek » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:16 am

apd1004 wrote:Snip ...
The only problem with all this is that the spigot sits about 1" to 1-1/4" from the bottom of the pot, so you lose all that wort underneath - at least a couple pints or more depending on the size of your brewpot. You can tilt it to get more out, but I'd rather just scale my wort to account for that loss. I'm currently using just a 20-quart brewpot and brew a 3-gallon wort, so the loss of 2 pints is significant.
... snip
You should be able to retrofit your installation to get more of that wort. Assuming that you have at least a short length of hose attached to your spigot which drains down into a carboy or bucket, then by using gravity feed through your spigot and hose it provides you with suction (siphoning action) that you can use to get at the wort below the level of the spigot until air starts getting into the hose to interrupt that action. If you are leaving that much wort behind, it sounds like your bazooka is attached directly to the spigot and it is letting air in the line at the level of the spigot and so you have no siphoning effect, and therefore all you can drain is down to the bottom of the spigot feed. If so, then if you will attach a short piece of solid tubing that curves downward and allows the bazooka to lie flat on the bottom of your pot, then you should be able to drain until the wort hits the top of the bazooka, which will be the first opportunity for air to enter the line and interupt the siphoning effect. Assuming that your bazooka is a half inch in diameter, that should give you another half to 3/4's of an inch of wort.

And 'fully_krausened', are you doing extract brewing? I might be wrong, but I don't think there is as much break material from extract as from all grain, because the extract has been boiled already to concentrate it, so that might explain your experience of apparently not seeing trub left behind in the kettle, but I can't explain the trub in your fermenter if you are sure that it isn't just hops and yeast. Personally, I don't whirlpool, so I don't know anything about how long you need to wait for settlement, etc. Instead of whirlpooling, I skim and remove the hot break as it forms in the easly boil, and don't worry about the cold break because I've read that it is actually good for the yeast. I then just pour into a bucket, but I guess I really ought to give raking a try, too.

EDIT: To answer your next post, slowing the flow in a siphon will not affect the siphoning itself provided that you are allowing air to fill the hose through an inadequate seal between hose and raking cane. You can even reverse the flow in a siphon, back and forth sort of like a 'slinky', by raising and lowering a vessel.

Cheers.

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maybe it is not trub?

Postby fully_krausened » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:44 pm

I assumed it to be trub. Yes I do extract brews with specialty grains and lately I have tried a few teeny tiny mashes (1-1.5 lb.) of base malts. I do not believe it is hops I am seeing as I use a hop bag. I used to have a lot of hops sludge (pellets) when I did not use a bag. There is generally a good 2-3 inches of sediment in the carboy settling out before active ferment starts. I also get a lot of foaming up at the beginning of the boil. I thought that was hot break but I could be wrong. :?

Much to learn. Thanks all for your input.
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