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How do you do it? (Racking into a fermenter)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by inchrisin, Oct 15, 2013.

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  1. inchrisin

    inchrisin Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I typically don't use better bottles and carboys for primary fermentation. For those of you who do:

    After you finish chilling your batch and you're ready to rack over to your fermenter (carboy or better bottle) is there a way to pour through a funnel? I've attempted twice and I usually get about 3.5 gal of beer and 2+ gal of foam. I typically just pour when moving beer over to my ale pale. I'm wondering if I'm overlooking something. I'm just expecting an overwhelming response to be to rack into the BB or carboy.

    What say you?
     
  2. mklever42

    mklever42 Apr 28, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    My boil pot has a ball valve on it and I have a piece of silicon tubing that is on the barb. Then I set my big strainer in/on the funnel. My boil pot is on my work bench, I open the ball valve and watch the wort go thru the strainer, get a little aeration and the strainer also filters out some of the crud. Piece of cake. Plus taking a gravity reading with the ball valved pot is way easier as well.
     
  3. Tebuken

    Tebuken Jun 6, 2009 Argentina

    Just diminish flow rate and falling height
     
  4. JrGtr

    JrGtr Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    I pour it from the kettle through a strainer into the fermenter. I do sometimes end up with foam, but sometimes not. I figure it probably has something to do with the style of beer being brewed, but I haven't yet paid attention to what style does and does not create a lot of foam. I use big enough ale pails that if generally contains the foam. I will then put the cover on loosely, to let the foam subside before I take the final original gravity and pitch the yeast.
     
    Mothergoose03 and Eriktheipaman like this.
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I always rack chilled wort from my boil kettle to fermenter but never have had an issue with foam. I am racking to buckets. I don't know why it should be different with a BB.
     
  6. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Moderator Subscriber

    I either rack with auto siphon (if ballvalve gets clogged), from the ballvalve on my kettle, or via my march pump, all with the tubing just inside the neck to promote aeration as it splashes down. I had a good gallon of Ian this morning with my brew, but it all died down a few moments later.
     
  7. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Sep 4, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Same here and have never had the issue the OP is concerned about.
     
  8. JrGtr

    JrGtr Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    Rereading the IP, I guess he's using carboys for primary, and having problems getting the wort in there without spilling all over the place.

    OP, I would think hard about siphoning it through a sieve set in a funnel. A small diameter hose would limit the amount of beer going through, and you should be able to stop it long enough to clear the sieve when needed. Also, the spigot on the funnel would let you direct the flow down the side of the carboy, which would limit the foam.
     
  9. inchrisin

    inchrisin Sep 25, 2008 Indiana


    Because I use one of these: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/anti-splash-funnel-with-strainer.html

    The last gallon of wort has to get pushed past a full fermenter and 2 gal of foam. I get a lot of foam on my shoes and I get noticeably upset.



    The beer all goes into the funnel without a sieve. This is directly from the kettle that I heft up and pour into the funnel. The issue is over foaming and the loss of wort because it is turning to foam and blowing out of the neck of the Better Bottle. I wouldn't use it unless I have to. BTW I'm out of fermenters.
     
  10. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Dec 20, 2006 New York

    Instead of pouring use a siphon hose.
     
    jbakajust1 and azorie like this.
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Got it. I used to pour wort cooled through a kitchen sieve into my buckets. I stopped doing it. A couple times I dropped the sieve into the bucket and had to fish it out by hand, but my biggest concern is that I would drop or spill the wort on the floor. A secondary concern is that pouring probably disturbs the cold break, some of which probably went through the sieve. I don't have a valve on my kettle, so siphoning seems like the best option.
     
  12. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    Unless you have o2 and an aeration stone, I am guessing it's easier to aerate the wort into a bucket first. I would probably use my bottling bucket, and then rack from the bucket into the carboy more quietly using the spigot and some tubing set to the bottom of the carboy. An extra container to sanitize and clean on brew day? Yes, but maybe worth it if you are as concerned about manually aerating the wort as you are about losing wort on the carboy transfer.
     
  13. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I've also noticed when using that funnel and a carboy, air often gets trapped in the fermentor. The weight of the wort in the funnel holds it down tight against the mouth of the carboy, and the volume in the funnel seals off an air escaping. This usually causes a small amount of pressure to build, and will blow some foam out around the "nozzle" of the funnel.

    To avoid this, I'll pour more slowly and will also gently lift the funnel up off the mouth of the carboy enough to let air escape. It helps if you have four hands of course.
     
  14. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Moderator Subscriber


    Saves the lost wort and your back!
     
  15. MLucky

    MLucky Jul 31, 2010 California

    It's not such a bad thing to get foam. In this situation, you *want* your wort to be full of oxygen, and an aggressive pour will help with aeration. Just don't go nuts.

    Anyway, FWIW, I use an autosiphon. This has the advantage over a spigot of being able to draw from the top of the kettle so you're getting clearer wort. If it's a hoppy beer, I put a (sanitized) steel wool scrub pad on the end of the siphon to keep hop matter out, which works pretty well if you use whole hops as I like to do. I don't use a strainer at the siphon end. Using this method, I do get some trub into the fermenter, but this hasn't been a problem. Once primary fermentation is over, that stuff settles out pretty quickly.
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I do get some trub into the fermenter, but this hasn't been a problem.” Having some trub in the primary is not an issue. In fact, having some trub in the primary is reported to result in a healthier fermentation.

    Cheers!
     
  17. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Subscriber

    This is the only part of the brewing process where 4 hands are needed. I also use a large funnel and I have a sanitized stainless steel kitchen strainer in it, and my wife holds the funnel and the strainer handle to stabilize them while I pour the wort from the brew kettle. To release the air pressure inside the carboy during the pouring process I roll up a 4" rope of aluminum foil that I curl around the carboy carrier handle bracket and then stuff the remaining inch into the carboy neck with the funnel's spout. This holds the funnel's spout away from sealing the carboy's mouth and allows the air to easily escape.
     
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