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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Center Pickup w/ False Bottom or Side Pickup w/o False Bottom

View Poll Results: Center Pickup w/ False Bottom or Side Pickup w/o False Bottom
Center Pickup w/ False Bottom. 11 33.33%
Side Pickup w/o False Bottom. 22 66.67%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:02 AM   #1
craigsphillips
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Default Center Pickup w/ False Bottom or Side Pickup w/o False Bottom

So I've read a ton of threads on HBT and still can't decide which way I want to go with my brew kettle outlet. To give you the lay of the land, my keggle system is designed to recirculate the wort through my march pump back to the top of the kettle creating a whirlpool during the chilling process before pumping directly to the fermenter. In case you were wondering, for right now, I use an immersion chiller, but I may end up switching to a CFC at some point. Either way, the idea will be to whirlpool the wort prior to transferring it to the fermenter to avoid transferring excess hop and cold break material (only pellet hops are used). I wanted to poll the audience and get some feedback. Please post comments or ideas, as well.

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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What type of kettle do you have? I would go with a FB & center pickup only if it's a converted keg. Otherwise, with a regular kettle I would go with a FB and side outlet port.

Judging by the two options listed, I would guess that you are using a converted keg and I would vote for option #1 and preferably with a full width FB.

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
What type of kettle do you have? I would go with a FB & center pickup only if it's a converted keg. Otherwise, with a regular kettle I would go with a FB and side outlet port.

Judging by the two options listed, I would guess that you are using a converted keg and I would vote for option #1 and preferably with a full width FB.
Thanks for responding, Catt22, you're always helful. You're correct, I have a converted keg for my boil kettle. I'm not sure how one would use both a false bottom and a side pick up as suggested in your response. Are you sure you didn't mean side pickup without a false bottom? Also, just curious, why would a converted keg be treated any different than any other "regular" kettle?
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Kegged: Clouded Mind Wheat (Style: American Wheat, OG: 1.058, FG: 1.016, SRM: 7.7, IBUs: 18.5, ABV: 5.48%)

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Old 03-10-2011, 03:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsphillips View Post
Thanks for responding, Catt22, you're always helful. You're correct, I have a converted keg for my boil kettle. I'm not sure how one would use both a false bottom and a side pick up as suggested in your response. Are you sure you didn't mean side pickup without a false bottom? Also, just curious, why would a converted keg be treated any different than any other "regular" kettle?
The FB with a side outlet is only practical with a regular kettle and not a converted keg as the outlet must (must might not be the best word here) be below the FB. This is not a problem with a regular flat bottomed kettle, but the convex keg bottom presents a different challenge as the outlet port is typically installed just above the bottom weld line. A FB would need to be above that port which would make it ridiculously high above the keg bottom. I suppose this would be OK for a BK, but the dead space below would be excessive if used as a MT. Kettles like the Polarware and Megapots use a side drain port below their false bottoms and no pickup tube is required. Blichmann uses a full with FB in their kettles with a pickup tube because their FB is mounted very close to the bottom and rests on a formed ledge around the perimeter of the kettle bottom. The Blichmann kettles are unique with this design an so it their FB.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #5
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I could really use some opinions, so please share your vote and comments. Thanks in advance.

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Kegged: Clouded Mind Wheat (Style: American Wheat, OG: 1.058, FG: 1.016, SRM: 7.7, IBUs: 18.5, ABV: 5.48%)

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Old 03-11-2011, 03:49 AM   #6
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Well, it has really very little to do with the thousands of members on HBT. It's a matter of personal preference. Depending on whether you want to use pellet or whole hops, and what type of chiller you use, the answer should be pretty clear.

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Old 03-11-2011, 05:28 AM   #7
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OK, so I'm using an immersion chiller and pellet hops, but it's still not clear to me why one setup would be so much better than the other and since I don't have experience with either I thought I would draw from other brewers experience. They both seem to have their advantages and disadvantages. Cost savings of not buying another expensive false bottom is one big advantage to using a side pickup w/o the false bottom such as the side pickup sold by BargainFittings.com (http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=45&product_id=159). I also thought after whirlpooling most of the hops would collect in a cone in the middle of the kettle and be left behind, but maybe not. On the other hand, I understand that an advantage to using the false bottom would allow me to maximize the amount of wort collection while filtering out the hops. However, I was afraid that the false bottom would clog from the pellet hops. I thought either one would work well with an immersion chiller or a CFC for that matter.

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Bottled: Kona's Pale Ale (Style: American Pale Ale, OG: 1.057, FG: 1.014, SRM: 12.1, IBUs: 38.8, ABV: 5.61%)
Kegged: Clouded Mind Wheat (Style: American Wheat, OG: 1.058, FG: 1.016, SRM: 7.7, IBUs: 18.5, ABV: 5.48%)

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Old 03-11-2011, 06:24 AM   #8
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Converted keg w/false bottom and center pickup. 100% pellet hops shown in these pics. Pumped through a CFC and back to the kettle in a continuous loop for chilling:









Works with pellet hops, whole hops or a combination of both.

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Old 03-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #9
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Splendid! Something to make note of, is that this is using a CFC. Whatever might make it past is of little consequence because that type of chiller is hard to clog...you could just as easily use an IC...because Catt22 recirculated, he was dealing with the cold break which is a killer for any kind of filtration.

Using a plate chiller, there would need to be a second stage of filtration to keep it from clogging.

You really can't go wrong with this kind of setup if you're sitting the fence. It's durable, easy to maintain, and is pretty reliable as long as you properly attach things before you brew. It also can be used as a second mashtun.

"Whirlpooling" is more of an aesthetically pleasing concept...as long as you're separating the hop matter from the wort it doesn't really matter what shape the trub pile is at the bottom of the kettle.

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Old 03-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
Converted keg w/false bottom and center pickup. 100% pellet hops shown in these pics. Pumped through a CFC and back to the kettle in a continuous loop for chilling:



Works with pellet hops, whole hops or a combination of both.
Where is that false bottom from?
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