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Old 05-08-2011, 03:09 AM   #1
julian81
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Default Hop Stopper first use = not happy

So, I recently received my Hop Stopper from Dennis (Innovative Homebrew Solutions) and brewed with it today. I am not happy.

I brewed a Stone IRS clone. I did a 90 min boil and only used 1.6oz of Warrior pellets @ 90min and a whirlfloc tablet at 13 mins. As soon as the boil was done, I killed the flame, and had already hooked up my tubing to the pump -> therminator. I opened the valve on my kettle, primed the pump, turned the pump on, and out came the perfectly cooled wort (this was my first time using my therminator so it was super cool to see in action). Unfortunately as soon as it got to just under the opening where the dip tube connects to the kettle, it stopped the flow and I couldn't get it going again. As such, I had to stop the pump, and rig up a funnel + paint strainer and just pour the remainder HOT wort directly into my carboy. It's now been sitting for a few hours in my chest freezer trying to get down to pitching temps.

What did I do wrong? I did a test run with water yesterday and it drained within 8oz of my kettle which was awesome....but apparently 1.6oz is enough to clog and stop the Hop Stopper. It's supposed to be able to handle over 26oz so wtf?

Does anyone else have a Hop Stopper and mind commenting? Is there a particular trick to make this not happen? I've emailed Dennis, so hopefully he has some feedback, but I'm not very pleased. After reading all the great reviews on this site and the electricbrewery website, I was stoked to get this. It did a great job of filtering until it clogged, but clogging before I've drained my kettle is completely unacceptable.

Please help!

--julian



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Old 05-08-2011, 03:22 AM   #2
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Whirlfloc creates a lot of break material, the wire mesh gets clogged with break & hop pellet gunk. I built one of the Hop Stopper like devices and used it once before tossing into the scrap pile. I use a false bottom (leaf hops) and a fine mesh bag for pellets, zero clog issues.



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Old 05-08-2011, 03:28 AM   #3
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Hrm, yeah but whirlfloc/irish moss is kind of a common thing to add to beers. I would have assumed that with this addition clogging wouldn't be an issue as compared to the 26oz hop test that the Hop Stopper went through. Also, I'm not confident it would have worked without the whirlfloc...

But yeah, I'm not so happy with this thing. I'm leaning towards either trying the Blichmann Hop Blocker and/or the Blichmann flase bottom with nylon mesh bags for my hops (does that affect your utilization?)

Do you use a false bottom when using pellet hops too as an added filter or only for leaf hops?

Thanks for the reply!

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Old 05-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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I use the FB for all hops, now since I've switched to BIAB the FB keeps the bag off the heating element. I mostly use leaf hops but when I do use pellets I've not noticed any hop utilization issues.

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Old 05-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #5
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sounds like you lost siphon.. are you sure the spot where your diptube connects to the kettle is airtight?

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Old 05-08-2011, 03:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin_ale View Post
sounds like you lost siphon.. are you sure the spot where your diptube connects to the kettle is airtight?
Well I connected the metal ring that came with the blichmann diptube to the end of the Hop Stopper tube (same size) and slid it in...so I'm fairly certain it was...although maybe not. The weight of the Hop Stopper did pull it down a bit....do you think this was the cause? How would I fix this?

EDIT: scratch all that. It's airtight even with it sagging down a bit, because I did a test yesterday with just water and it drained within 8oz.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:51 AM   #7
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Were you recirculating? That's a no no if you are. The cold break will plug it up. I've been using mine and it works well. It also helps not to drain wide open if possible.


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Old 05-08-2011, 03:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Were you recirculating? That's a no no if you are. The cold break will plug it up. I've been using mine and it works well. It also helps not to drain wide open if possible.


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I was draining with the valve on my kettle wide open, but regulating the flow via the valve on the pump outlet. Also, I was not recirculating. I just killed the flame, opened the valve and started chilling immediately.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
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EDIT: scratch all that. It's airtight even with it sagging down a bit, because I did a test yesterday with just water and it drained within 8oz.
That's not necessarily true.. even if it's not airtight it can continue draining, but once you put some restriction on it (ie. a bunch of pellet hops), the loss of siphon becomes too much and it won't drain anymore.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:04 AM   #10
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It's going to be obvious if you look at the hop stopper and all the pores of the mesh are clogged then you know what happened. If they are not clogged then I could agree with the loss of siphon or other issues.



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