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Fermenting on Hot Break?

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Bribie G

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I know a couple of brewers here just tip all their hot break into the fermenter and report good results. I did a side by side experiment with the cold break a few years ago and it didn't seem to affect the quality of the finished beer at all.

Has anyone done side by sides with hot break / no hot break?

If this method works it would probably really decrease losses and make everything simpler.
 

manticle

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You'd need to try some long term side by sides since one of the main effects of HB is on accelerating staling reactions, I believe.
 

Bribie G

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Might try a batch. The first question I guess would be: if it works ok then why do all commercial breweries remove the wort off the hot break before fermenting? And I guess the answer would be that they don't want valuable fermenter real estate taken up by crap that they can't bottle, keg and sell.

For a quickly drunk keg brew the staling might not be an issue.

Actually I'd guess a side by side would be fairly simple.

Do two identical brews and cube one with the hot break, the other without (as far as possible).
When fermenting, pour the clear top halves of both cubes into one fermenter and all the crud into the second.
Pitch with the same yeast.

Bottle at least some of each brew and sample at monthly intervals.
 

manticle

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My understanding is that a fair amount of reseacrh has been carried out into the effects of HB on a commercial scale.
Considering shelf life and storage can be unpredictable, I can imagine that very few commercial breweries would even consider risking it and their equipment is more than likely designed to remove it with ease. I believe there are other negative contributors from HB as well, including haze.

I've never seen it as difficult to avoid so I do and I save the trub for starters (allow the break to settle, decant clear wort) so there is very little waste. Add carrageegan, short whirpool, stop draining at the right point.

As homebrewers we like to observe things for ourselves in small batches so I can understand the desire to see for oneself but I'm pretty certain the effects are well documented in a variety of studies.

Less so cold break and I ferment with mine. I'd like to see more brewing science articles about that - not found many through my own searching.
 

wbosher

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Does any one really keep beer long term? I wish I had the self control to do that.
 

carniebrew

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I put at least 3 bottles of each of my brews away in a 'long term storage' box in the cupboard, they don't get touched until they're at least 3 months old. The plan is to try each one at 3, 6 and 12 months. If I keep more than 3 then I add some intervals in between. Tasting notes at each interval go into my brew log (Excel).
 

manticle

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wbosher said:
Does any one really keep beer long term? I wish I had the self control to do that.
I've aged some beers for up to 2 years before bottling.

Others won't last 2 weeks.

Beer dependent.
 

tricache

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I have seen a lot on the US forums that they scoop it off...I can't imagine it would do anything crazy, it would drop out in fermentation with the rest of the "gunk" in the beer
 

QldKev

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Can seem to find it, but there was another side by side test done on here a couple of years back. They claimed that the beer with the hot break fermenter out better and tasted cleaner.

edit: Thinking about it it could have been a discussion referencing a US test, and I think they had a blind panel test.
 

manticle

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tricache said:
I can't imagine it would do anything crazy, it would drop out in fermentation with the rest of the "gunk" in the beer

I don't understand the logic here - yeast and hops drop out too but they make a pretty crazy difference most of the time. Chemical reactions occur during fermentation and conditioning all the time.
 

warra48

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wbosher said:
Does any one really keep beer long term? I wish I had the self control to do that.
I still have about a dozen bottles of a Belgian I brewed 3 years ago. Wish I'd kept it all. It's better now than it was early.
Also had a Stout which lasted very well for 2 years in the bottle.
 

waggastew

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I partial mash and end up with about 7L of wort in the kettle. I therefore am a bit reluctant to leave all the trub (incl HB) in the pot as I would only get about 4-5L clean as I don't have a tap on the kettle. I use whirlfloc so the first 4L are clear but the last couple tend to drag a bit of trub with them. I pass the wort through a strainer as it goes into the fermentor but I usually leave about 500mL to a 1L behind. I have however been known to pour additional water through the trub in the strainer to get all the goodness out.

Bottom line is it ain't pretty or good practice but my beers get plenty of positive comments (and the odd award). I have never had problems with most of the documented areas of 'head retention problems, poor flavor stability, and harsh bitterness'*. I wonder if other issues at a HB level i.e. oxidation during bottling are a bigger issue and mask the problems?

* http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue1.4/barchet.html

The other aspect I always wondered about was that if the hot break makes it into the fermentor surely it precipitates out onto the bottom in the first few minutes/hours? Unless it is resolubilised by the fermentation process or interacts with yeast/alcohol/fermentation products surely it doesn't make it into/affect the final beer. There is bound to be alot of research about that but probably not at small volumes?
 

tricache

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manticle said:
I don't understand the logic here - yeast and hops drop out too but they make a pretty crazy difference most of the time. Chemical reactions occur during fermentation and conditioning all the time.
Isn't hot break clumped up proteins? A lot different to hops which is plant matter which is used for bittering, flavour and aroma...or yeast is a microorganism which is used for flavour, aroma and producing alcohol itself
 

bum

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"I ferment in my kettle all the time and it didn't kill me. Not even once! Waste of time, all this brewing practice and research. It's just for getting pissed anyway!"
 

thylacine

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Bribie G said:
I know a couple of brewers here just tip all their hot break into the fermenter and report good results. I did a side by side experiment with the cold break a few years ago and it didn't seem to affect the quality of the finished beer at all.

Has anyone done side by sides with hot break / no hot break?

If this method works it would probably really decrease losses and make everything simpler.
basicbrewingradio.com

February 23, 2012 - "Trub Experiment Results"
"James and Chris Colby, editor of Brew Your Own magazine, go over the results of the BYO-BBR Collaborative Experiment on kettle trub in the fermenter."
 

Lurks

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Since obviously what we need is another barely valid anecdote, I thought I'd chip in.

When I started AG, I really wasn't sure quite sure about the whole break thing. I was also no-chilling. I pretty much tipped the lot into the fermenter. I made some excellent beers but I also had the only two experiences I had of unquestionable staling. Both were dark beers, one was a stout. It started off okay and then went undrinking in the space of a couple of months.

I've never had that happen again since leaving the hot break in the kettle. On the other hand, I've varied the amount of cold break I leave in the kettle from all of it to none and I haven't even seen a relationship with chill haze. So I'm not sure I give a rats about that.
 

Nick JD

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thylacine said:
basicbrewingradio.com

February 23, 2012 - "Trub Experiment Results"
"James and Chris Colby, editor of Brew Your Own magazine, go over the results of the BYO-BBR Collaborative Experiment on kettle trub in the fermenter."
This.

Have a listen.
 

CosmicBertie

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I put everything in too. Doesnt appear to me, or my (ex)drinking buddies, to have any discernible effect on the beer.

I've even experimented by putting a new batch of wort onto the full trub cake (yeast, hot break, and cold break) of a previous one, same results. And the beer ferments in about 4 days :D
 

tavas

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I have fermented on hot break once. Rancid rat piss would have been a better flavour.
 

Nick JD

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tavas said:
I have fermented on hot break once. Rancid rat piss would have been a better flavour.
A quick listen to the podcast posted above will confirm that it was not your hotbreak that made your beer taste like ratpiss, but some other issue.

But I do admire your commitment to correct scientific due process that resembles theology.
 

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