From the HBD Archive
From: korz@ihlpl.att.com
Subject: Overnight cooling
Date: 1992-03-27 21:16:00 GMT

Tom writes:
>First of all, he feels strongly that trub is bad (not an uncommon view) and
>brewers should be careful to let as much as possible settle out before
>racking into a fermenter. However, he feels that copper wort chillers are
>a very bad idea, saying that copper will oxidate the hot wort as much as
>splashing it around. His recommendation is to gently siphon the hot wort
>into a plastic bucket and let cool and settle overnight, then rack off the
>settled trub into the fermenter and pitch.

I'm not a chemist (in fact, barely passed Chem in college), but I can't
see how a copper tube can add anything but copper to your wort. You
should cool your wort as fast as possible for two reasons: 1) the sooner you
get to pitching temperature, the sooner you can pitch the less time
wild yeasts and bacteria have to take hold in your wort, and 2) while
the wort is dropping from 212F to 140F, DMS is being produced (DMS will
give your beer a "cooked corn" taste).

>Does anyone else share the view that copper will oxidize hot wort? He says
>a stainless steel chiller would do the job nicely. Also, it seems to me
>that siphoning the hot wort is also likely to oxidize it. Any comments?

SS is good also, but I don't think there's any problem with using copper
and a *lot* cheaper than SS.

>His other claim is that racking to and fermenting in a secondary is
>useless, and in fact harmful. The racking will release lots of good CO2 in
>suspension in the beer,

Big deal -- releasing CO2 is not an issue.

>causing more oxidation and upsetting the yeast(?).

Another no-op. The yeast doesn't care. Transfer of beer will, indeed,
introduce some oxygen -- I agree.

>The only time one should rack to a secondary is for a long ( > 1 month)
>cool lagering. Otherwise, a single-stage fermentation is sufficient.

Yes. I agree here also. I have been using single-stage for virtually
all my ales for the last few years. I am considering going to two-stage
to see if it makes a difference. My plan is to compare:

1. single-stage + no blowoff
2. single-stage + blowoff
3. two-stage + no blowoff
4. two-stage + blowoff

The reason I plan to use the two-stage is to get the beer off the trub.
Even though I use a chiller and lately have been waiting for an hour
after bringing the wort down to 70F to transfer to the primary, I still
get a lot of trub after a day or two.

If you are lagering, or if the ferment is being done at a very low temp
(i.e. you will have a long ferment) you should rack the beer off the
trub and dead yeast before autolysis sets in.

>Does anyone share this view, or care to dismiss it? Recent discussion about
>dry-hopping indicate that lots of people regularly use a secondary.

Not necessarily. I simply dump my dryhops into the primary after the
kraeusen falls - after a day or two, I swirl the carboy to wet all the
hops.

Al.

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