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Old 03-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #521
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Do you think the 16 sized mesh would still be too small even though you should have a lot more surface area on your setup over the Bazooka screen? I think the smallest you can go with keeping the ability to flow your wart is obviously the goal to screen out the most junk. If 16x16 seems to filter the material than maybe having more surface area on your setup will solve the flow problem the Bazooka has with getting clogged.

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EXCELLENT point. I was thinking about this....put very simply, if the screen clogs, it's doing its job!

I feel pretty confident that the 16 mesh will stop the grain. The pellet hops are a whole different story. But if they stay in the basket, then they're still swimming in ~70% of the boil volume, very much unlike a nylon mesh bag which are way too restrictive...which is kind of the point of this whole project....getting away from nylon bags and having a single point of use for grain and hops.

The perfed SS bottom did a great job of allowing the boil to rise right through; no volatile eruptions around the sides. That problem is solved.

Now, I need to find out what size mesh will keep MOST of the pellet matter in the basket...because if too much gets through to the hopback module (like this last brew), I'm going to be having to fiddle with stopping the pump, detaching the module, and completely washing it out. I will say this though, the SS scrubbie has done a great job....I just jam it right in there. But it becomes a solid mass o' hops if too much gets down the drain.

I need to think about this...if I get greedy and go too fine, i'll still have to deal with hauling a basket full of wort out of the kettle and waiting for it to slowly drain. If I go too coarse, I'll have way too many annoying equipment failures...in which case I might as well get rid of the plate chiller and go with an IC.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #522
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Have you considered making a hop trap and only using the basket for the mash? That triclamp filter unit could be fitted with a fine screen basket in place of the scrubby and then you could recirculate the boil through that filter basket until it was loaded with hops, then either dump it, or if it's caught all the hops you need it to, bypass it and start cooling.

Is your unit the same one St Pat's sells?
http://www.stpats.com/sanitaryfittin...ilter/Strainer
They have an insert of both coarse perforated for grape seed removal, and a super fine mesh for milk, I bet you could come up with a similar solution that would trap all the pellet hops in your filter cartridge and save you the trouble of making the basket turn double duty.

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Old 03-14-2011, 12:47 AM   #523
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You'd be amazed at how quick the screen/filters will clog if you don't hold back the bulk of the sludge. The trick is to keep as much in the kettle before it ever goes down the drain. It's a PITA to disconnect the hopback, (actually a millipore filter housing) especially when it's full of hot wort.

I've considered creating my own "cartridge" based on the various sizes of screen I have....kinda like a coarse to fine graduation with an inch in between....all meant to fit in the hopback.

I'm a stubborn bastard. I need to replace the screen anyway, because it's too coarse for the grain. So I figure I'll go with 12 mesh and that'll catch way more hops than this past brew. If I can hold back say 70% of the hops in the basket, and a bit more in the kettle (the drain has a filter)....then the hopback should be able to do its job without failing several times in the brewing session.

The thing is, the plate chiller is worthless because I can't take advantage of its speed/efficiency if the pump can't push the wort through the prefilters. So if I can only partially burden the hopback, everything will be great. The chiller is an absolute beast if I'm going full court press....it's 3/4" ports allow a LOT of flow, and it's being pushed by a powerful pump. I've never overchilled until I got this thing!

Now, I just need to make the maintenance/upkeep easier or I'm going to get fed up with it and go back to an IC or chillzilla.

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Old 03-14-2011, 01:15 AM   #524
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Do you HAVE to use pellets? leaf or whole would be caught by whatever you do for the grain alone. I know you get better performance from pellets but figured I would ask. I agree there has to be a happy medium for catching most of it.

I believe Bobby_M built a hop screen project for use with a dip tube. I think he recomeded a 18x18 or so the last go around. I think a 16x16 or even a 18x18 mesh would work well given that you would have an entire basket of it. I would think it would allow enough surface area to get the majority of the wart through. Like you said, if its clogging then its catching what you don't want going through your pump and chiller.

I'm eagerly awaiting you to find the magic combination so I can copy it

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Old 03-16-2011, 04:45 AM   #525
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Do you HAVE to use pellets? leaf or whole would be caught by whatever you do for the grain alone. I know you get better performance from pellets but figured I would ask. I agree there has to be a happy medium for catching most of it.
No, I actually prefer whole hops.....but i want to build something that can multitask. I would probably have less headaches and more money if I did regular BIAB with curtain material....but I'm kinda committed at this point. I'm getting close
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:48 AM   #526
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And here we are....GEN 3 of THE BASKET!!!!

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Old 03-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #527
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And here we are....GEN 3 of THE BASKET!!!!
That's some purdy SS you got there! When is your next brew so you will know how it works under pressure?
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:34 AM   #528
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Looking good, that looks like a nice medium. Did you get this 12x12 at Mcmaster Carr?

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Old 04-20-2011, 07:36 PM   #529
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Yup, got the 12x12 from McMaster.

FWIW, I am now drinking the Arrogant Bastard clone I did using the 2 ply 6 mesh. There was a LOT of grain that made it out into the boil....I strained most of it out (at least I think I did) but the beer has a very tannic flavor to it. So I guess I'll chalk it up to experience and drink the beer all by myself. It's not terrible, I just wouldn't share it. It seems to be cleaning up with time, so maybe it's just young.

That being said, the Modus Hoperandi Clone I did for my first batch is AWESOME. Like sucking on a grapefruit and eating bread at the same time! I'm stil dialing in small stuff (and working on lots of other projects) and I think I'll be doing another batch soon with the Gen III basket. Will post pics!

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #530
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UPDATE:

The 12 mesh STILL let an unacceptable amount of grain and hop matter through. It was much better than last time, but I still had problems with the finer grain particulates getting into the boil. A little bit is fine, but this was like oatmeal floating on the surface!

An additional discovery I made, was that the fine screened gasket in the hopback module was causing more problems than it was fixing. So, I just kept the SS scrubbie in there and used a screened gasket with much bigger 1/4" holes. The plate chiller tolerated it fine, and the flow was really fast.

At this point, I'm getting close to throwing in the towel and just using a bag....if you're reading this massive thread and want to learn from my mistakes, I'd say 20x20 is probably the way to go. 30x30 is just too fine; the boil won't make it through...and anything less than 12 mesh is going to cause serious clogging/tannic flavors due to grain in the boil.

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