Historically, I've cooled my wort with a immersion chiller and siphoned it off to the carboy once it gets down to a reasonable temperature. I recently installed a false bottom and ball valve. This works well and the elbow attached to the ball valve avoids most of the hop material (whole leaf), but I am seeing a good bit of cold break going into the carboy, which i could avoid with the siphon. Am I missing something here? Would whirl pooling work (i'd think not, since the material would just collect in the center of the false bottom and go through the screen)?

I don't have a huge problem with the cold break, but my main purpose of installing the false bottom was to limit the trub from transferring.

Edit: here is a shot of the latest batch after draining through the false bottom: https://plus.google.com/photos/109320349507283895324/albums/posts/5698298615184160834

3 Answers 3


Cold break in the fermenter is not a problem. It's even been cited as a yeast nutrient.

  • So there isn't any chance of off flavors from cold break? From what i've read, as long as it is visible in the wort, then it isn't going back into suspension if you follow normal process (e.g. don't warm it up). See the photo in the edit on the original post.
    – Jason V
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 18:51
  • In 414 batches I've brewed, I've left the cold break in every one....no off flavors.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 21:28
  • I agree. Cold break has never been a problem for the flavor or ferment of my beers. I only try and limit it because I do like less of the hop debris in the ferment, but its just a personal preference.
    – brewchez
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 22:43

If you have a false bottom and your dip tube comes from your valve and goes to the center of the FB you will collect much of the cold break. The holes in the FB are not fine enough to "strain" much of it out.

In my kettle, I pump while chilling to create the whirlpool. I then pull the chiller out while letting it continue to whirlpool for another 5-10 minutes. (Mainly because you don't get a good whirlpool with the chiller in. The wort moves fine, but the coils create too much turbulance to get any type of decent cone of debris).

My dip tube comes off the valve and makes a 90 degree turn torwards the side wall of the pot. I still get some break and hops, but much of it stays in the center of the pot.

I used to use an FB in the kettle, but went to the side wall pickup set up simply because I didn't want all the hop debris and break in my fermentor.

Now whether it matters if break material gets in the fermentor is a different debate and not really part of your specific question about FB mechanics and equipment.


I was looking into this last weekend. My mentor has been brewing for 10 years and he says whirl pooling within the immersion coils will collect the sediment and then you can open the valve and drain the wort into primary.

Here is my setup that I will be using in the next day or two.

*create a whirl pool using a power drill and wand/paddle attachment. *run the drill for 30-40 seconds within the chiller's coils *chill the wort (during which time the heavier trub is pulled into the vortex) *open valve and drain into primary.

Centripetal force will pulls the heavier trub to the center of the vortex, while the lighter wort will be pushed to the walls of the pot. open the valve and the wort drains off without the trub. hopefully that makes sense. (it's hard to explain without pictures and a white board).

update my frist attempt at whirlpooling was sucessful, but not what I expected. I hit the wort with the power drill contraption full power. Almost sent the worth all over the basement. the wort aerated very well, but the trub was pulled to the top, suspended in the foam rather than being pulled into the center.

Transferring into primary appeared clean to me. It was opaque, but didn't contain hops or other solids. I was greedy at the end and tipped the kettle to get the last 1" of wort. that was a mistake, pulled in a lot of trub.

the angle of everything was awkward too. the paddle is 32" and the kettle was already at waist height. next time I will try whirlpooling on the floor and then raise the kettle and begin the cold break.

  • Let me know how it goes... I have never used power tools inside the kettle while brewing :)
    – Jason V
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 17:57
  • I thought that the centripetal force did the opposite. The spinning fluid creates a higher density moving out towards the walls. The higher density then pushes suspended particles towards the center of the vessel.
    – brewchez
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 22:36
  • @brewchez I thought the same thing, but that's the way it was explained to me. I'll update my answer tomorrow after I brew. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 0:07
  • 1
    Was listening to a Brew Strong podcast and the explanation given was that the particles naturally move to the slower section of the whirlpool, which is logically the center and then precipitate down.
    – Jason V
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 15:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.