How To Get More (And Better) Beer And Less Tears From Your Brew Days
It always happens, doesn’t it?
You look at the fresh beer you just brewed, cooled and transferred to your fermentation bucket or carboy and scowl a little bit because there’s all that… “stuff”… in there.
Even with a bazooka screens a lot of it makes it into the carboy.
Then you take a peek into your brew kettle and you realize you have about ½ gallon of wort that didn’t make it to the carboy because it’s surrounded by the disgusting trub that you don’t want anywhere near your final beer.
Your eyes start to water…
They turn a little red…
… and a small tear forms in your eye.
Your friends and family ask “What’s wrong?” and you embarrassingly have to answer “Oh, just allergies”.
But we both know it’s not allergies…
You walk to the fridge, grab a forty and pour a little out to pay tribute to the delicious wort that will never fermented into finely crafted, one-of-a-kind beer…
Let’s take a moment of silence for our wasted wort….
Ok. Maybe not all that happens, but it does suck to lose beer or have a bunch of trub end up in the carboy when it’s so easily prevented.
Oh and cleaning it from the bottom of the brew kettle is always so much fun!
That wort-destroying trub leftover in your beer is mostly hop residue from the hop pellets you added to the boil. Maybe a bit of irish moss or any other additions (orange peel, tree bark, etc) during the boil too.
So the obvious question is “How do you get more beer, less trub (and tears) when brewing??”
Here’s three options to help you do just that!
First up, the Hop Bag
The hop bag is a fine mesh nylon bag that you add hops and other additions to and simply drop into the boil. It’s nice because it’s an inexpensive way to keep residue out of your beer while letting the flavors from the additions come through.
It’s the most economical way to prevent mass amount of trub, but there’s two problems with hop bags
- It’s REALLLLLLLLLYYYYY hot if you need to pull it out before you cool down the beer. You could leave in during the cool down process but if you’re using an immersion chiller it will get in the way and tons of residue escapes from the top of the bag during the process of chilling if you’re trying to cool it down as fast as possible by agitating the wort with the chiller.
- If you have multiple hop or flavoring additions, you need several bags (which again, might need to be removed when hot) OR you have to pull your single bag out of boiling water several times and add the hops to the bag. I’ll just tell you now that this way sucks… Ask my burnt hand how it knows…
You can get Nylon Hop Bags for just $3.99 at our shop. At that price, you can get several to keep handy. Those things tend to grow legs and disappear. Especially if you have kids who think all your brewing equipment is fair game for play.
Second, Use a Hop Spider
These things are cool. They sit on top of the brew kettle and allow you to simply drop the hops and additions in during the boil. The bag sits in the boil and keeps the residue from getting into your beer. Also, it’s easy to remove after the boil is finish.
Just a friendly reminder to NOT grab the metal rods without gloves or oven mitts. Something about boiling hot steam and stainless steel combined with bare skin doesn’t mix.
You’ll need to replace the bag occasionally, but they’re only about $11 to replace.
You can get Hop Spiders at our shop for just $29.99 (plus $10.99 for a 1×3 nylon hop bag if you don’t have one already), it’s a small price to pay for better beer with more clarity. Grab one at the shop today (or tomorrow… or the next… We’re pretty easy going at the shop).
Third, use a Kettle Hop Filter
These things are REALLY cool. They sit on the side of your brew kettle and allow you to simply drop the hops and additions in during the boil. The advantage over the hop spider is it takes up less room, it’s made from 300 micron stainless steel mesh (which allows the flavor and bitterness from the additions to get through but next to none of the beer sucking residue) and there aren’t any bags to replace.
Simply clean it off with a steady stream of water and you’re good to go for the next brew day.
At only $39.99 the Kettle Hop Filter, you’ll be able to enjoy this piece of beer saving equipment for a long time.
If you want to see one in action, check out our Kettle Hop Filter page to see a video of one being used.
There you go… Three very simple and economical ways to keep the trub out of your beer. Which allows you to get better beer (and more of it) from your brew days and those pesky “allergies” out of your eyes.
Now that you have know-how to stop the trub, are you going to come into the shop and grab one of these trub-stopping contraptions or are you going to continue to let the trub waste gallons and gallon of your delicious one-of-a-kind beer?
See at the shop soon!
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