From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: re: Precipitate in wort.
Date: 1989-06-27 15:18:04 GMT

From: Richard Hargan <HARGAN@UMDD.UMD.EDU>
" - Why did the wort darken from an amber color to a dark color? Is this
" normal? Personally, I prefer dark beers, but I am a little curious as
" to why there should be such a pronounced change in color.

This is the normal darkening from cooking the wort. Long boils will
appreciably darken the wort by creating meladinoids (sp?) and carmelizing

" - What is the precipitate that has formed in the bottom of the jars? I had
" placed a small amount of vivegar in the water in the bottom of the pressure
" cooker to prevent water stains (or so the instruction manual advised),
" and I suppose it is possible that some of the vinegar vapor could have made
" it's way into the jars, but that seems a little unlikely to me. I had
" originally planned on using an unhopped malt extract in this batch, but
" after checking on my supplies, all I had was hopped extract. Could this
" explain the precipitate?

This precipitate is a good sign. It is called trub (troob) and is
precipitated protiens and tannin. A good amount of trub is formed
during the so called hot break that often occurs about 15 minutes into
the boil. (See my article a couple days ago about my wheat beer that
had so much hot break that it looked like egg drop soup.) A good hot
break is important because your beers will come out much clearer. You
don't want to add this trub to your fermenter if you can help it
because it is excellent food for a variety of marauding invaders and is
of no use to your yeast. Such beasties can directly affect the flavor
of your beer and, when the yeast flocculates out, can attack them and
release sulfury compounds that give flavors and odors associated with
"yeast bite".

"I am going to go ahead an use one of the jars of wort as a starter for some
"Wyeast and brew up a batch of Irish Ale and see what happens. I had planned
"on getting a yeast bank kit and preserve some of the starter culture for later
"use, but now I just want to see if the starter wort is contaminated.

If the domed lid on your wort stays down, you don't have to worry about
contamination. When you make your starter, try to avoid pouring any of the
trub into the starter bottle.

"If anyone has any suggestions/explainations for what happened, I would be
"interested in hearing them. Thanks.

You can avoid this by cooling the wort and racking it off of the trub into
your jars, which you can then can in the normal way.

--Darryl Richman

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