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Old 04-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #1
30Bones
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Default Best way to keep hops out of the fermenter?

I use pellet hops in my keggle with a side outlet. My immersion chiller has a whirlpool arm on it as well. I have tried letting it whirlpool for 15-20 after cooled, even let it sit another 15-20 before transferring to my fermenter and still pick up a ton of hops. FWIW the whirlpool does not appear to be whirlpooling a whole lot either. Granted we are talking 6-11 gallons of fluid to pump around. I run it as my whirlpool arm as the in and the lower pickup as my out if that makes sense.

I tried a DIY hop spyder but didn't like it because I have to remove it to insert the immersion chiller and it gets in the way of the whirlpooling. Otherwise I would get a stainless hop spider and call it good.

I have not heard great things about hop stoppers, so I am not really in the market to try one.

I tried zip tying a 1 gallon paint strainer bag to the outlet hose and even that was a mess and super slow process even with the pump valve throttled way back. That was a 10 gallon batch with only 3.5 oz of hops!

Pics of my keggle, I have never used the top fitting since my chiller has a whirlpool that sits into the wort better.

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Old 04-10-2014, 03:10 PM   #2
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Try pumping through a conical shaped mesh bag. Rig a stand to hold the bag over your fermenting bucket or over a strainer into a carboy. As the hop debris clogs the bottom of the bag your wort will flow out the sides of the bag. The wort should flow down the outside of the bag to keep it from being messy.
I use this method to pour from the kettle into a carboy. I have a second set of hands to hold the bag so for me the stand is not needed.
Might need a longer hose to avoid trying to get the kettle up high.

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Old 04-10-2014, 03:23 PM   #3
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I have a pump, so raising the kettle is not needed.

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Old 04-10-2014, 03:48 PM   #4
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I had the same problem, and it was stopping up my chiller. A whirlpool moves everything to the middle, but can leave some around the edges if your pot is small. In addition, if you continue to pull wort out (from the edge) while the wort gets to the end (bottom), it tends to pull trub and hops from the middle to the outside. Be sure to leave some wort behind to avoid this problem.

I cured the problem by first whirlpooling in the boiler using my pump, then whirlpooled into my liquor tank leaving some wort behind in the boiler so that when the wort moves down to the bottom, it doesn't drag junk from the middle to the outside (where I am pulling out the wort). Let it settle, and move the wort from the liquor tank to the fermenter. My wort is typically crystal clear when it hits the fermenter.


Hope that helps,

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Old 04-10-2014, 04:02 PM   #5
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My HLT pulls from the center right at the bottom. I have thought about running everything to my MT and through the false bottom with an extra filter screen in the bottom to catch "most" everything.

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Old 04-10-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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I think I will eventually get a hop spider from Stainless Brewing Filters. Both are 6"x14" and 300 micron. Seems like the best solution to the problem.



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Old 04-10-2014, 07:25 PM   #7
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How's the hop utilization effected by those stainless hop spiders? I just bought a plate chiller and will try simply whirl pooling first - I can get quite a bit of motion in my BK. If that doesnt work in keeping the hops out, I might try one of these stainless units too - if they don't mess with utilization.

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Old 04-10-2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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That's a question far above my knowledge.

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Old 04-11-2014, 02:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30Bones View Post
That's a question far above my knowledge.
I would shorten you're pickup tube to the edge of the keggle and try to whirlpool.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:25 AM   #10
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I have a keggle similar to yours. When I use pellets, I generally bag them in muslin and hang them with a piece of butchers twine so it hangs about halfway into the wort (if youre concerned about losing extraction efficiency, just add about 10% more hops). I use a plate chiller and have never had a clog going this way.

The way your dip tube is set up, you'll need something to separate if you're using any kind of loose hops in the boil; whirlpooling works, but only to a certain extent and with a small amount of hops. While I was working on modifying my false bottom, I actually started using a SS lint screen made for the outlet on a washing machine, secured with a SS hose clamp. Just made 10 gallons of a hop-bursted IPA (13 oz whole hops), and had no problems with this method. Just a thought.

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