From the HBD Archive
From: brians <>
Subject: Propensity Lager Difficulties
Date: 1992-03-31 15:31:00 GMT

MHS: Source date is: 31-Mar-92 09:34 EDT

ZLPAJGN%LUCCPUA.bitnet@UICVM.UIC.EDU wrote about an attempt
at Propensity Lager:

>When it was cool enough, I strained out as much on the
>hops as I could (Pap.'s recipe calls for straining or
>sparging the hops straight after the boil :-? ), and that
>proved to be a long and tedious process. I had thought,
>given the nature of pelletized hops, that I'd have to use a
>COFFEE strainer, but the kitchen strainer proved to be
>enough of a trial!! I had to pour a bit, spoon
>through the strainer to let the wort pass, spoon out the
>spent hops,then start again. The whole process took about
>half an hour!!

Yep, from my experience that's about par for the course for
straining hops. As you no doubt noticed, pellet hops break
up into myriad hop leaves and powder that clog like nobody's
business. Look around for a hop bag--I use a nylon bag in
my beers, it keeps the hops all in one place, removes the
need for filtering, and despite the fact they don't get to
swim through the wort, seems to give me all the bitterness
and aroma I want.

>When I finished, the wort in the fermenter looked like
>thick, milky caramel!

This seems perhaps a little odd; I'd never describe any of
my wort as "thick, milky caramel." However, you might just
be seeing the effect of trub--hot and cold break material
that might not have been terribly well filtered given your
necessary multiple-step filtration technique. In general,
unless you've been given foul, spoiled extract, there's
almost nothing you can do wrong in the boiling stage that
you'll be able to actually see that soon, so I would advise
not worrying.

>Fermentation began vigorously within 24 hrs and is
>continuing still...The wort is STILL a milky-caramel in
>color! Is this normal? Will it clear eventually? If not,
>do I need to rack to a secondary?

Milky colors in fermentation are normal--you've got billions
of little living specks of yeast tearing through your wort
sugars, and their population can make the beer look kinda
milky. I expect it'll clear on you. Racking to a secondary
is a good idea if you're concerned about clarity--I always
get a decent amount of "extra" yeast to fall out in a
secondary--but since your post suggests you'd have to use
the same container for secondary and the transfer would make
you worry, I'd suggest not bothering. Drink the stuff out
of a porcelain mug if clarity bothers you! Let us know how
it looks in a week or so; if it still looks like milky
caramel (geez, I'm gonna have to go buy a candy bar after
this post!), you might want to try racking just to see what
it would do.

Brian Schuth

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