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Old 09-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
jmkratt
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Default Utilizing hopback with plate chiller and pump

So I am still learning AG brewing, I have about 10 batches done and am ready to incorporate my hopback for some IPA's. I have done a fair amount of research and have now successfully confused myself and I am hoping someone can set me straight.

What I am doing now as soon as the boil is done:
Recirculate: Brew Kettle > Chugger Pump > Plate Chiller > Brew Kettle

This seems to be working just fine.

I don't know if this will work with the hopback though. I know the hopback adds flavor/aroma due to the high temperature of the wort. However as the temperature of the recirculation drops drastically will using the hopback provide any benefit at all?

My plan was to add the hopback as follows in the recirculation:
Brew Kettle > Hopback > Chugger Pump > Plate Chiller > Brew Kettle

I would sincerely appreciate any comments or suggestions.

Thank you!!

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Old 09-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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sure...you should notice a difference. It will be similar to that of flame out additions. You won't get any (or very little) bitterness, but you should get flavor, aroma...a little "perceived bitterness", but probably no more IBU. Personally I would put the hopback after the plate chiller to reduce risk of hop particles getting stuck in the pump or the plate chiller.

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkratt View Post
What I am doing now as soon as the boil is done:
Recirculate: Brew Kettle > Chugger Pump > Plate Chiller > Brew Kettle
You should be able to transfer the wort directly into the fermentor after going through the plate chiller rather than back into the BK. I've heard of guys using the hop-back before the plate chiller to filter out hop material from the boil so your plate chiller doesn't get clogged. I've never used one, but that's my understanding.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBiGZ View Post
sure...you should notice a difference. It will be similar to that of flame out additions. You won't get any (or very little) bitterness, but you should get flavor, aroma...a little "perceived bitterness", but probably no more IBU. Personally I would put the hopback after the plate chiller to reduce risk of hop particles getting stuck in the pump or the plate chiller.
Would it be foolish to continue the recirculation to reduce the chance of particles getting stuck in plate chiller or pump? I was just going to keep the system going until the wort had cooled to pitching temps.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
You should be able to transfer the wort directly into the fermentor after going through the plate chiller rather than back into the BK. I've heard of guys using the hop-back before the plate chiller to filter out hop material from the boil so your plate chiller doesn't get clogged. I've never used one, but that's my understanding.
I can't get the wort cold enough after one-trip through the plate chiller, hence the recirculation.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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really, we go right into the carboy from the BK>Chugger>Chiller>Carboy with valve 1/2-3/4 open... But I am wondering too, if recirculating will clear it up... We are using a hop spider and it has made one hell of a difference...

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Firebat138 View Post
really, we go right into the carboy from the BK>Chugger>Chiller>Carboy with valve 1/2-3/4 open... But I am wondering too, if recirculating will clear it up... We are using a hop spider and it has made one hell of a difference...
Ah! I've been using the valve fully open, will change that immediately! Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:47 PM   #8
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Here's my setup, boil ,hoprocket, chiller, pump.

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Old 09-20-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Here's my setup, boil ,hoprocket, chiller, pump.
It was my understanding that you don't want to put any restrictions on the input of the pump. Looks like you've put a ton of restrictions. Can someone else comment?
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kerklein2 View Post
It was my understanding that you don't want to put any restrictions on the input of the pump. Looks like you've put a ton of restrictions. Can someone else comment?
I know Chugger says it's a rule of thumb not to restrict the inlet, at least on their pumps.
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