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Old 03-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
atkinsr
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Default Keggles - Confusion over best hop/grain separation and cooling solution

I think(hope) I've educated myself fairly well on the various separation and cooling methods for my new keggle.

All of this education has led to me being afraid of buying the wrong solution... and is starting to hold up the fun- I've broken down my old kit, set this one up, and have to get the rest of the parts so I can get back to making beer!

Background:
Initially, this is a single keg, but I'll be jumping up to 3 in the near future. One or more pumps are in the immediate future, so that's not an issue. I sometimes do 5 gallon batches, but will mostly be doing 10 gals, maybe even a bit more (12-13gals) of the favorites.

I've read about various methods of filtering the hops and break out - bazooka, false bottom, taco, hop back, and whirlpooling.

I'm also familiar with the various coolers and cooling methods.

What I can't decide is:
- Do I whirlpool and use the Jamil/B3 whirlpool immersion cooler with an off-center pickup?
- Do I use a hop taco with an on-center pickup and a plate/cf chiller ala therminator?
... or what is the best combination?

Momma is ok with me spending the money to do this right. She won't be too happy with me doing it twice.

Input, suggestions, recommendations?

Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
HenryHill
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You have to figure these things out yourself. There are several methods for doing anything, and you most likely will do several of each before long.

The cheapest and easiest diptube straining method is probably the SS braid. You may want to use a perforated metal false bottom at some time in the future, because as a brewer you will want to experience these things for yourself. No matter how she feels about it.

The cheapest and easiest chiller is an immersion chiller, period. There are several ways to use an IC as well, making it sort of non-obsolete-able. You may find you want to use a plate chiller or counterflow chiller, in time.

Start the easy and cheap way, and let your experience of all other methods come later, in time and money.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:03 PM   #3
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I personally think the whirlpool immersion chiller is the best solution. I cool incredibly fast, get exactly the hop profile I want, and get a great whirlpool action to leave hops and trub in the kettle. I have a pickup at the edge of the kettle to avoid picking up the hop/trub cone and it works very well for me.

Others prefer the CFC or plate chillers. I just think the ease of operation and the cleanability of the immersion design is superior. I never worry about contamination of any kind and if you get a large enough IC (50' 1/2") you have just as much cooling surface area. With a whirlpool you take advantage of that surface area and have a very efficient and effective cooling technique that is easy to clean and rapidly cools your full volume of wort.

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:03 PM   #4
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Well, I've only done it one way...but it works and I'm happy with the results!

I use a Bazooka T-Screen in my boil kettle to strain out the hops. I have a weldless ball valve kit that connects to the screen with a copper dip tube, which I made myself. You can also buy the entire kit if you'd rather not build it. Don't laugh at my soldering job...it was my first time .


Many weldless fittings and screens here: NORTHERN BREWER: Weldless Fittings

I also built myself a counter flow chiller, which works great. No chilling first, then racking. Cost me about $55 in parts. I made two and split the cost with a fellow brewer.


Later I added a pump to the mix, which really made this setup killer. However, in a gravity system the chiller works just as well and the flow is decent. If you're looking for a deal on weldless fittings, you really can't beat this place: Bargain Fittings
Great prices, and the shipping is usually pretty quick. Hope this helps!

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Old 03-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Unless I hear something to convince me otherwise, I think I'm going to go the whirlpool cooler route. Being the semi-paranoid sort, I don't like the idea of having the wort sit for 20-30 minutes for all the crud to settle. I'm thinking I'll do an edge pickup with a bazooka like pickup that wraps around the outside edge (inside the keggle, of course! lol) so I can get it moved to the fermenter ASAP.

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