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Best way to siphon up wort (and not trub)

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Lurks

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Hello chaps,

I'm quite happy with my set up now but there's one thing I'm having a spot of bother with. After the boil, trying to suck up the wort into my fermenter without sucking up trub.

My kettle is a rather large 50L pot, which is quite wide and therefore shallow when I get to the bottom. Having whirlpooled, I've got a cone of trub in the middle but when I get to the bottom, a certain portion of the trub is really quite motile and I can't help but suck it up unless I leave about six litres in the pot.

Lately I've taken to pouring the last of it out into a few juice bottles and letting that settle, and pouring off the clear wort but it's a bit of a faff and I'd rather do it in one lot really. I suppose I could just add more water and leave all the shit in the bottom but that seems excessive.

The thing is, I only really noticed this problem after I began chilling. Previously I seemed to have less trub and it stayed put. So could it be the light fluffy stuff is cold break and maybe I don't need to worry about sucking it up as much?

Cheers for your thoughts.

Mat.
 

wbosher

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I just got a syphon last week, and I had a similar issue on my last brew. I've only used it once.

I found it took so damn long that I ended up just tipping the 40L pot up and pouring it into the fermenter after syphoning off about half. My 2yo son playing with the hose while I was doing it didn't help.
 

DarkFaerytale

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do you have a tap on your pot? on my old pot i used a U shaped piece of copper from the outlet and facing the wall of the pot

let me draw you a 5 year old's picture

 

Truman42

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Try to slow down your flow rate by putting a tap on the output of your syphon. As you get near the bottom of your kettle slow the flow rate right down so you dont pull the trub cone apart.

Also are you using whirlfloc tablets or similar in you boil?

I wouldnt stress too much about getting trub in your fermenter. I sometimes had a 1 inch layer when doing BIAB, but its nothing a few days of cold conditioning wont fix.

@ wbosher.....patience patience my friend. Its going to take 4 weeks before your beers ready anyway so whats an exra 5 mins while waiting for it to drain?

And PLEASE PLEASE if your transfering direct to a cube for no chill I wouldnt allow anyone, (let alone a 2 year old) anywhere near the hose while its draining 80-90C wort. Let it drain and play with your son while it does so he occupied.

The thought of the hose splashing boiling hot wort all over him sends shivers up my spine.

And if you do chill he shouldnt be anywhere near the hose for your beers sake. Kids crawl around a lot on the floor and those bugs on their hands can get into your beer. I sanitise my hose inside and out and cover the fermenter with a cloth sprayed with starsan, then just let it drain really slowly over 10 mins while I update my brewing software and start to clean up.

Edit: Good question from darkfaerytale. I assumed you used a syphon because you say "Suck up the wort.." If you have a tap do what he suggests with the copper and also turn your valve down to slow flow rate.
 

Diesel80

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Never had any real issues with siphoning from my 80L pot (single brews).

I just use a silicon hose clamped to side of pot. Start siphon, and then leave cube on ground and then put oven mit on and control the business end of proceedings monitoring the trub situation.

Siphon starter (safety wise) is a good idea though.

Cheers,
D80
 

wbosher

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@ wbosher.....patience patience my friend. Its going to take 4 weeks before your beers ready anyway so whats an exra 5 mins while waiting for it to drain?

And PLEASE PLEASE if your transfering direct to a cube for no chill I wouldnt allow anyone, (let alone a 2 year old) anywhere near the hose while its draining 80-90C wort. Let it drain and play with your son while it does so he occupied.

The thought ofsplashing boiling hot wort all over him sends shivers up my spine.

And if you do chill he shouldnt be anywhere near the hose for your beers sake. Kids crawl around a lot on the floor and those bugs on their hands can get into your beer. I sanitise my hose inside and out and cover the fermenter with a cloth sprayed with starsan, then just let it drain really slowly over 10 mins while I update my brewing software and start to clean up.
The wort was cold, so no chance of burning. My kids are usually nowhere near me when I'm brewing, but this day my wife came home earler than expected with the kids and he came running out to the garage to see what Daddy was doing.
 

Truman42

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wbosher said:
The wort was cold, so no chance of burning. My kids are usually nowhere near me when I'm brewing, but this day my wife came home earler than expected with the kids and he came running out to the garage to see what Daddy was doing.
Thats good then I can rest easy...Cheers.

i see from your avatar hes aleady a beer fan... :D and probably just wants to learn the tricks of the trade.
 

Lurks

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My kettle pot doesn't have a tap, I have to siphon over the lid which is a bit of a pain because at some point I have to decide to stop and can't easily start it again when I'm near the bottom.

I'm using brewbrite.

The good tip here seems to be to slow down the flow. I've got quite a long drop so it's a heck of a flow. If I slow it down at the end then it should be much easier. Cheers for that, don't know why I didn't think of it.

Come to think of it, I'm using quite a hefty silicon pipe, because I used to no-chill so it was hot. Now it's cool, I suppose I can use just about anything suitable sanitized.

It also occurred to me that I could tip the pot over, let it settle some more and pour off the remaining clear wort somehow. I'll try the 'slow hose' approach first.
 

wbosher

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Sorry to hijack your thread Chinamat :)
 

rehab

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Auto Syphon is what I use. Usually from kette to fermenter after chilling, it has a stopper so I don't transfer much of the cr*p.
 

jammer

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Really wouldn't worry about that cold break material. A bit of it won't do any harm, in fact, the yeast use some of it as nutrient, as well as protiens needed for head retention. It'll all settle out in the f v with no ill effect on the beer.
I've dumped the whole lot in when I got annoyed with the siphon. Wouldn't recommend that, but a little is ok, is what I'm saying ; )
 

TidalPete

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Chinamat said:
Hello chaps,

I'm quite happy with my set up now but there's one thing I'm having a spot of bother with. After the boil, trying to suck up the wort into my fermenter without sucking up trub.

My kettle is a rather large 50L pot, which is quite wide and therefore shallow when I get to the bottom. Having whirlpooled, I've got a cone of trub in the middle but when I get to the bottom, a certain portion of the trub is really quite motile and I can't help but suck it up unless I leave about six litres in the pot.

Lately I've taken to pouring the last of it out into a few juice bottles and letting that settle, and pouring off the clear wort but it's a bit of a faff and I'd rather do it in one lot really. I suppose I could just add more water and leave all the shit in the bottom but that seems excessive.

The thing is, I only really noticed this problem after I began chilling. Previously I seemed to have less trub and it stayed put. So could it be the light fluffy stuff is cold break and maybe I don't need to worry about sucking it up as much?

Cheers for your thoughts.

Mat.
Even with a tap & pickup tube I've always had this problem of the trub cone flattening out as the wort level drops in my 70-litre pot.
Tried all sorts of things before finally allowing in the recipe for the 5 litres of trub (in my case) to be left over after draining to fermenter. Emptied the trub into a 5-litre jug (homebrew shop) & chilled overnight before filling an empty 2/3- litre juice bottle with the resulting clear wort for the next starter & ditching the slurry. Froze the juice bottle to keep for future brews.
A little cold break is beneficial as mentioned?
Hope this helps?
 

Lurks

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TidalPete, sounds ideal to me. Cheers!

I guess a bit of the concern comes from this coinciding with quite a lot of effort to knock down my chill haze. So far nowt to any avail, but that's why I was trying to suck up pretty much nothing.
 

warra48

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I design recipes for a 25 litre batch.
When I run off, I only drain 23 or 24 litres to the fermenter, leaving a litre or two behind.
Costs a few cents more, but it's insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
It's my way of leaving most of the crap in the kettle.

And running off slower definitely helps.
 

GuyQLD

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I no chill so only hot break is in the equation, I use a ss racking cane with silicon hose for my brews, I was losing a good couple of litres to trub before I made a couple of changes.

• 90 boil / 30 min boil before first hop addition - picked this up of a German website and apparently has something to do with better protein coagulation in the absence of hop oils. I didn't quite understand the malarky but it seems to have made my trub a lot heavier, it sticks together now.
• lid on - this kills convection currents which stir up looser trub, only a problem for no chill obviously.
• this is probably most important, speed. You have to throttle it somehow so the weight of the wort remaining in doesn't rise to fast, this is what makes it collapse. If you throttle back enough, the wort can escape and leave a drier cone which is less prone to collapsing. I use a bulldog clip and a zip tie (high tech I know) but I'll upgrade to an ss hose clamp which will give me a better solution.

one day I'll add a tap, but this works pretty well if its all you have access to. I lose about 1 litre of actual wort now. I think it was qldKev who I got the original advice from, to give credit where credit is due.
 

stux

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TidalPete said:
Even with a tap & pickup tube I've always had this problem of the trub cone flattening out as the wort level drops in my 70-litre pot.
Tried all sorts of things before finally allowing in the recipe for the 5 litres of trub (in my case) to be left over after draining to fermenter. Emptied the trub into a 5-litre jug (homebrew shop) & chilled overnight before filling an empty 2/3- litre juice bottle with the resulting clear wort for the next starter & ditching the slurry. Froze the juice bottle to keep for future brews.
A little cold break is beneficial as mentioned?
Hope this helps?
I do the same, except pour the future-starter into a large ziplock bag and freeze on a flat shelf in the freezer (after squeezing out the air). Just find it easier than storing bottles.

Only thing is the zip lock bags tend to aquire holes in them as you toss them about in the freezer, so when I defrost I place them in large tupper ware or something like that.

You're going to boil it up anyway


Auto-siphons don't work on boiling wort btw... they melt ;)

But this siphon starter does http://gryphonbrewing.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=61&products_id=348

PS: I snapped the elbow part of my auto siphon today :(
 

AntonW

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I made a u-bend from copper pipe & sweat fittings. It lets me siphon hot liquid without collapsing the clear plastic tube, and it also lets me take the wort from any level i choose.
I also stir, wait for it to settle, and try and plan for it in the recipe.

Sometimes I stuff it up, but mostly it works really well.

I fill the siphon with water from the tap, handle it carefully, and start it by:
-keeping my finger over the end of the clear plastic tube
-holding the loose end of the clear plastic tube in a stein down below
-putting the u-bend in the thing i'm going to siphon
-doing this all very quick, in that order but almost all at the same time
-pinching the clear plastic tube once the siphon is going
-putting the clearplastictube where it needs to be - you can put more copper pipe on this end to hold it down
-watching the u-bend to make sure you don't pick up too much of the stuff you don't want
 

Lurks

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'twas a brew day yesterday, I had another crack at trying to do this properly armed with really nothing more than a technique change. Throttle the siphon hose.

First off, the boil was longer than usual, nearly two hours. I did that because I could see I was over volume and I wanted to get the OG down to target. I had a 90 minute boil planned anyway. I whirlpool with the chiller in place after I've hit about 30-40c. My chiller is designed to fit in the large pot, so the trub ends up in the middle. This time I had a truly spectacular amount of break. I mean I had barely siphoned down and I could see the top of an enormous cold break cone.

It's really quite impossible not to suck this up. It's very light and mobile and frankly there's so much of it, it's unavoidable. As discussed earlier, it shouldn't matter a heap anyway.

The problem is that with such a monstrous amount of break, I really didn't have any idea where the hot break was. I chickened out when I was pretty much just sucking up break. I was way under volume, there was 10L of wort in the pot still. So I poured it out into bottles to tip off clear wort... took so long and wasn't really effective so I did a paper filter on a couple of them (kitchen towel works a treat) until I had an appropriate volume.

This process is broken. When I was no chilling I knew exactly how much to suck up. I'm prepared to go and buy/built better equipment, pot with tap or at the least an auto siphon with a hose that's easier to throttle.

Gah. The chilling is ace otherwise, I hardly anticipated causing more problems than I had before... :(
 

Diesel80

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Chinamat,

might be worth asking the chillers who have falsies in their kettles where the break settles.
If it all settles on top of the falsie and the pickup is underneath, you may have you answer right there.

Will need a tap installed then.

Good luck.

Cheers,
D80
 

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