3 gallon boil off and too much solids....argh.

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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3 gallon boil off and too much solids....argh.

Postby ebeer » Sun Nov 28, 2004 9:10 pm

Did my second all-grain brew yesterday using a brewstand and converted kegs for BK, HLT, and MT. All was going well, until I found my sparge rate was too fast. My sparge time for a 10 gallon batch only took 27 minutes. I think that is the key culprit to my lower than expected OG (1.057, but going for 1.067).

What really concerns me are two things. First, my wort volume before boil was 11.5 gallons. After the 60 minute boil and 40 minute wort chill, my yield was only 8.5 gallons. This evaporation rate of 25% seems far too high. Second, I found a ton of solids in the boild kettle. I filled one plastic fermeter to 5 gallons. Then filled a second, expecting to get around 10 gallons. The fill stopped at 3.5 (8.5 total). As the second bucket sat for a few minutes, the solids really settled in the bottom (see pic below). May be hard to see but basically it's 1.75 gallons of solids.

Any help on the excessive boil off or excessive trub greatly appreciated.

Image
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Here is what I think....

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:21 am

E,

I have to make some assumtions. If your water measurements were correct you had two procedural problems. The first was that you did not account for the water that the grain would absorb and retain. Without knowing your grist bill I am just guessing that the grain held about a gallon. Secondly you probibly had a very vigorious boil at a lower barometric pressure (that speeds evaporation). Lastly wort volume shrinks by about 4% from boil temperature to pitching temperature.


I looks as if you had a large amount of protein (hot break) that you knocked out of the kettle. You should rack, pump or pour the wort from the top of this hot break, some is good but not too much. I use English 2 row malt which has a lower protein content. You can also try and 'scoop' the hot break out of the kettle before you add your hops. I would also go to a 90 minute boil, slightly slower. The longer boil will help break down the proteins.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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"Rack, pump or pour" and boil time?

Postby ebeer » Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:36 am

Thanks for the info Tom. Grain bill was 15lb American 2-row, 5lb Crystal 10, and 5lb GW Pale. I'm a little confused about the hot break. When the proteins hot break, does the solid float? As I mentioned, I filled two 5gal fermenters, and the solids didn't appear until the end of the second 5gal - leading me to believe they were floating on top since my spigot tube is a the bottom of the boil kettle.

If that's the case, I guess I should follow your suggestion and boil slower. I expect some trub, which I can just stop short from putting into the ferementer. I also didn't know about the 4% loss from boil to pitch temp. Is that on top of the general 10% loss guidelines I read about?

Last question (really). When listing boil time, do brewers list only the time the wort is at a boil? For example, after sparging the temperature of the wort in my boil kettle was 132 degrees. Took me about 20 minutes to achieve a boil, then I hopped and boiled for 60 minutes. Is that 60 minute boil or 80?

-E
ebeer
 
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Boil....

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:53 pm

E,

Start timing your boil after you reach 212 deg. F (100 deg. C). there are a couple of reasons for doing this. First is that it "fixes" a set time that you can measure or just observe by looking at the kettle. Secondly it sets up the wort by mixing all of the different gravity additions (or adjuncts).
That is why I stated a 90 minute boil, which may take 2 hours from 'heat on to knock-out'.

It is not as critical for small batches but as they get larger there tends to be more varience. I worked in one brewery where the kettle would not boil if you did not start heating the wort as you filled, then it would foam up and boilover before it was filled.......(18 barrel batches were had to do well 13 was a good number to shoot for). This was because of the kettle dimentions and the gas burner size.

My experience with American 2 row malt has been that it is not as highly modified as the English 2 row malt. It also tends to be grown more for the large brewers that use more adjuncts (corn,rice,wheat or rye). It tends to be 'grassier' tasting and does tend to produce more coagulated protein 'chunks' in the wort. Not that you can make excellent beer from this malt but it sometimes takes more work. As home brewers we do not get a spec sheet with the malt that we buy....so we do not know what to expect.

Here is what most craft brewers do with respect to the boil.


90 minutes: started at boil (212 deg F)

30 wort boil (to set the SG of the wort)
bittering hops added.

15 minutes from heat off add aroma hops

heat off second addition of aroma hops (optional)

whorlpool and start knockout.

This will help establish a solid method for all your beers, then you can adjust as required.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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