James Spencer and I are happy to announce the next in our series of Brew Your Own/Basic Brewing Radio collaborative experiments. We have two experiments this time, and you can participate in both (or either) by simply brewing a single batch of beer.
Experiment 1 -- How does trub in the fermenter affect your beer?
For homebrewers who use immersion chillers, after boiling and chilling wort, they must transfer it to their fermenter. (If a plate chiller or counterflow chiller is used, chilling and transfer happen simultaneously.) Some homebrewers try to minimize the amount of trub (protein, hop material and other "gunk" at the bottom of the kettle) that gets transferred and just rack clear wort. Others, thinking that the yeast may reap a nutritional benefit from some trub carryover, rack some trub to their fermenter along with the wort.
In our collaborative experiment, we want to test if beer made from clear wort vs. wort with some trub in the fermenter can be distinguished. And, if they can, we want to find out what the differences are.
For any homebrewer who wants to participate, the experiment is simple -- all you need to do is brew one batch of beer and ferment equal amounts of wort in two identical fermenters. After boiling and cooling, whirlpool the wort and let the trub settle. Transfer half of the wort to your first fermenter, taking care not to pick up any trub. Transfer the rest of the wort to the second fermenter, carrying over a substantial amount of trub. (It's up to you to decide how much, just write down an estimate when you do. For example, "half the trub" or "2 quarts.') If you have a plate chiller or counter-flow chiller, you will need to let the wort in one of the fermenters settle, then rack the clear wort into another fermenter....