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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Filter/Strainer for Plate Chiller
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
BarnabyHooge
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Default Filter/Strainer for Plate Chiller

I'm looking at ordering a plate chiller but I'm waffling on whether to use a Hop Rocket as an inline filter, or spend that same money on an inline strainer from Brewer's Hardware. I'd like to go the versitle route and get a Hop Rocket, but I have doubts about its effectiveness as an inline filter without leaf hops loaded in.

Any thoughts? I've read enough about the HR, but nothing all that specific about it's abilities as just a filter.

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:50 AM   #2
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Filters tend to be a pain in the ass IMHO. Brewers hardware has a tri clamp one that seems to be ok, but if you just WP the beer comes out fine. Most of us up here just pressure cook our plate chillers and havent had any problem with crap plugging them.

Up to you, but filters are just more crap to have to clean on brew day and you really dont need it.

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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I had the same problem when I first got my plate chiller.

I started putting all boil additions into a SS tea/spice ball, which filters out about 90% of hop/addition matter, and what's left is small enough to easily pass through the plate filter.

Here's the one I have, which easily fits about 6-7 oz of hops, even after they expand in the boil. They make even larger ones if you are into uber IPAs, but I have never made anything that this one can't handle myself:

http://www.amazon.com/Twist-Lock-Spi.../dp/B0047Z2FKW

$9.00 to accomplish the same thing as a $60-70 inline filter/hop screen. This method actually probably works a bit better, as I think an inline filter would slow your flow if there was enough debris.

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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I'd be reluctant to use something that size for my boil additions. When I dry hop with pellets in bags the expansion is always surprising. I feel like I've gotten a lot better hop charecter after ditching the nylon bags too, but that may all be in my head...

In anycase, I appreciate the input.

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Why not get/make a hop spider? It won't be as cheap as tea-balling your hops but you'll be able to get a lot more in there. I made my spider from stainless steel parts (except for the nylon bag) and it works great. Not even all that much to make it.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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I just don't like the idea of boiling the nylon or cleaning it afterward. I know there's extra cleaning involved with the filter and plate chiller, but adding a laundry component to my brewday makes me cringle.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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Laundry?? There's no stinking laundry. You just rinse out the nylon HOP bag under hot water in the sink. Very easy to do.

Don't over-think this.

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Old 02-05-2012, 05:42 AM   #8
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I'm in the process of building an electric brew kettle, and my plan is to whirlpool, with a diptube for pickup located right near the edge of the tank. Since I'm going to be going with tri-clamp fittings everywhere, the dip tube will be soldered/brazed/welded (TBD) into an tri-clamp gasket orifice plate.

(imagine a tri-clamp gasket with a stainless steel plate in the middle of the gasket with a small hole bored - I'll just make the hole the right size for the dip tube, and the gasket will go between the tank ferrule and a ball valve)

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnabyHooge View Post
I just don't like the idea of boiling the nylon or cleaning it afterward. I know there's extra cleaning involved with the filter and plate chiller, but adding a laundry component to my brewday makes me cringle.
Actually that's a benefit. It's the other way around. Would you rather have a loose bag that you can throw in with your fittings in a shallow solution of PBW at the end of brew day, or some big unwieldy stainless mechanism (be it a stainless hop spider or an in line filter) that is one more thing to clean out with a brush cause it's too big to soak. (and believe me you will have to brush it out well if you've been trying to push wort thru pellet matter in an in-line filter).

Plenty of professional breweries (even old time-y ones like Ommegang) use muslin or nylon filter bags in the boil kettle- and they all use plate chillers. Nylon's melting point is over 300 degrees. I have an electric kettle, so I have it suspended so it doesn't touch the elements for this reason, but the rest of the solution is 212. Does it come out of the kettle green with hop oil? Sure a bit. Would increasing your hop bill by 2% take care of that... absolutely. Do I need to ask myself any more questions? Not at all, sir.

IMO any solution that just involves in-line is going to plug up at some point. I don't care what you use. At least, that's a huge headache for people who do just pellets and use a plate (and also my boil kettle has a bottom outlet, which exacerbates this issue). Go ahead and make a Pliny clone with the brewers hardware job and see if your wort pump slows to a crawl... I think so, but I don't own one. I use biodiesel filter bags from filterbags.com. I've got a couple 250 micron ones and a couple 400 micron ones. Paint strainer bags worked fine though. I think they are around 600 micron.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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I'm pretty happy with my current solution. In my bk keggle, I have a 12" Jaybird false bottom and dip tube. Works great for whole hops. When I use pellets, I built a 9" diameter stainless hop spider out of 30 mesh stainless wire cloth that is 18" tall and traps almost, ALMOST all of the pellet hops I use. It hasn't been a problem clogging my plate chiller and almost nothing comes back out when I back flush during after brew cleaning.

Whirlpooling may be easier in the end, especially with a flat bottom kettle but there's over a gallon of loss in a keggle to go that route and I didn't want to add that into my calculations. That's also 10 bottles of beer after the keg is filled every batch.

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