Significant trub losses BIAB

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Narapoia

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I am getting really disappointing trub losses in my BIAB batches. I did two batches on the weekend one with around 32L post boil - of which I collected around 22L of clear wort. The second batch was 33L > 23L. I have had batches previously where around 30L post boil yielded 24-5 L which is better but still below what I read some people getting in online discussion.

Process is

1. Mash in SS basket with Mash bag as well. No stirring after the initial, clumping prevention, mash in stir.
2. Usually sparge with 4L of water as the basket makes it so easy. Add whirlfloc at the end pf the boil.
3. Post boil I cool with an immersion chiller and stir to increase efficiency.
4. At target temp I leave the wort to settle for 30-45 mins.
5. Transfer to fermenter through ball valve tap with intake set at the 5-6L level on my kettle which till this weekend represented my standard trub losses.

I've increased batch sizes to try and generate more clear wort but the trub seems to increase relatively with the batch size. There's definitely variability depending on the grind - the batches this weekend were clearly done by the same person at the LHBS and maybe the mill was set too fine and they produced a lot of flour.

Anyone encountered anything like this and if so how did you work around? Or just any other advice?
 
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MHB

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I suspect you may be seeing Cold Break. Cold break material takes hours if not days to settle, fortunately its fine to send cold break to the fermenter.
The trub you need to leave in the kettle is made up of hot break and any flour and hop debris. Its true that the amount of trub will go up proportionally with the batch size. In a conventional kettle you loss should be a fairly consistent 5-10% of the end of boil volume.
I would suggest that you get a cube and at the end of the boil, whirlpool, wait for all motion to stop then decant the hot wort off into another container, watch to see how far you can go without drawing in trub.
Work out how much to leave for future brews, but as mentioned I would be surprised if it was more than 10% or 3L in a 30L batch.
Mark

Still not worked out exactly what you mean by 1/ above, stirring the mash post mash in wont make lumps.
M
 

Narapoia

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I suspect you may be seeing Cold Break. Cold break material takes hours if not days to settle, fortunately its fine to send cold break to the fermenter.
The trub you need to leave in the kettle is made up of hot break and any flour and hop debris. Its true that the amount of trub will go up proportionally with the batch size. In a conventional kettle you loss should be a fairly consistent 5-10% of the end of boil volume.
I would suggest that you get a cube and at the end of the boil, whirlpool, wait for all motion to stop then decant the hot wort off into another container, watch to see how far you can go without drawing in trub.
Work out how much to leave for future brews, but as mentioned I would be surprised if it was more than 10% or 3L in a 30L batch.
Mark

Still not worked out exactly what you mean by 1/ above, stirring the mash post mash in wont make lumps.
M
Thanks - much appreciated and good to know about the cold break. Is there any way to tell the flour/hot break from cold break visually (other than cold break looking 'fluffier'?).

My kettle is flat bottomed and I've tried whirlpooling a couple times but without a noticeable cone forming so that might be a technique thing so will re-add that to the process next time. Maybe the hot break was forming the cone and I was seeing cold break come through the tap and just assumed it wasn't working.

Would it work to do my regular process - cool then whirlpool and take the clear wort to fermenter, then do the last 20% into sanitised clear containers to work out where I'm hitting the heavier stuff?

Edited the OP to clarify around stirring - entirely my grammar at fault there.
 

MHB

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In a full kettle it’s going to be hard to see the difference between cold break and trub, which is why I suggest you do a drawdown of hot wort. Use the information from that to set the height of your pickup so you are leaving the hot break in the kettle and getting most of the wort into your fermenter.

Same applies to whirlpooling, you just won’t be able to see what is going on through the cold break, I guess you are probably right in your assumption about seeing cold break and misidentifying it. Whirlpooling is generally very effective, unless you have lots of stuff in your kettle like bulky pickup tubes and stick elements, they can disturb cone formation.

I would want to whirlpool at the end of the boil, decant all the clear wort into another container and have a good look at what is in the kettle bottom. That really is the simplest and most effective way to work out how effective your whirlpool is and how much you should be leaving behind (do this with a pale beer so you can see better).

Just a side note, the effectiveness of Whirlfloc is very pH dependant, Sydney water is usually pretty much OK, but it might be worth checking the pH at the end of the boil should be <5.2pH.
Mark
 

duncbrewer

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Just chipping a sub question, should I be adding whirfloc or similar to the kettle for inherently cloudy beers such as a wheat beer or a hazy ipa?

I previously haven't but do add to all my other beers.
 

Narapoia

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Just chipping a sub question, should I be adding whirfloc or similar to the kettle for inherently cloudy beers such as a wheat beer or a hazy ipa?

I previously haven't but do add to all my other beers.
I'm sure MHB will have a more comprehensive answer - but the recipes I have used for Hefes include Whirlfloc so I used it in the batches I made. (Also 2 hour boil time which makes it a long day, so I haven't done much Hefe despite loving it.) From my reading I thought the haze was meant to be from the yeast, but my beers have dropped clear.
 

duncbrewer

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Thanks I thought the haze in a wheat beer basically due to the proteins in suspension and the yeast poorly flocculating provides the flavour and adds to the haze. A kristalweizen is clear but still tastes like a wheat beer. Really not sure whether leaving the whirlfloc out was correct. I did still hold a lot of trub back after a good whirlpool in my last Hefe.
 

stm

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Don't use the SS basket and don't sparge. That just disturbs the bed. Lift the bag slowly and gently, and squeeze (can do this is a separate large crate or bucket).

Add Brewbrite at T-10.
 

Westheimer

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Just chipping a sub question, should I be adding whirfloc or similar to the kettle for inherently cloudy beers such as a wheat beer or a hazy ipa?

I previously haven't but do add to all my other beers.
Never add whirlfloc to Hefeweizen, but always to Kristallweisse.
 

MHB

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No dont, a Heffe wort should be crystal clear, the haze is from yeast.
Mark
 

Markbeer

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This sort of makes me think back to when I had large trub losses when I was using BIAB.

I switched 3v and the losses became minimal all else the same.

The vorlauf step clarified the wort which is missing from BIAB. But with BIAB my preboil efficiency was higher as I was able to squeeze the bag. This efficiency was lost with the trub losses post boil.

Not advocating any particular method, but that's my experience with trub losses.

I converted to 3v a easier to make larger batches, especially with a good whirlpool.

See below, a litre or so from 50 litre preboil

IMG_20200502_102903.jpg


Don't use the SS basket and don't sparge. That just disturbs the bed. Lift the bag slowly and gently, and squeeze (can do this is a separate large crate or bucket).

Add Brewbrite at T-10.
 
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Narapoia

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Bit of an update here @MHB - last couple batches whirlpooled and collected a lot more liquid regardless of clarity as you recommended - cutting Trub losses to around 10%.

Just tested an early bottle for each batch and it's great - none of the off flavour that I used to get when tipping all the kettle contents into the fermenter and more beer for a day's work. Thanks for your help.
 

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