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Old 01-05-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
alowell
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Default Brew Kettle False Bottom?

Here's a question for everyone. Does anyone use a false bottom in their brew kettle? In my old setup I had one because I didn't whirlpool and just had an immersion chiller. It helped in keeping trub and hop pieces out of my primary. Now, I have a keggle which I bought off someone. It also has a false bottom and a pickup tube going through the false bottom in the center. I guess there are two questions here:

1. Is it worth whirlpooling? I was going to build a whirlpool inlet if I ever needed to do more than one pass through my plate chiller. If I didn't whirlpool, would the false bottom be adequate. If I did whirlpool, would I take the false bottom out and install a side pickup tube? (That was a long run-on question!)

2. Has anyone left the false bottom in and whirlpooled? Does the trub cone collect on top of the false bottom?

I'm basically looking for the best setup here with a plate chiller, false bottom, and pickup tube. Wondering what people's experience with this is. Thanks again, HBT!

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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I have a FB in my BK, use whole hops and a plate chiller. I don't whirlpool and I don't have any clogging issues. If on the rare occasions I use pellets, I put them in a nylon bag.

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Yes, I too have a false bottom with dip tube in my kettle. Works great for me.

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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Yep, I have a FB in my BK and I pump through a CFC back to the kettle in a continuous loop while chilling. I do the whirlpool thing too after the wort has cooled adequately, then it's pumped to the fermenters. This has been working very well for me.

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
Yep, I have a FB in my BK and I pump through a CFC back to the kettle in a continuous loop while chilling. I do the whirlpool thing too after the wort has cooled adequately, then it's pumped to the fermenters. This has been working very well for me.
So, is your pickup tube on the side of the brew kettle then? Or do you whirlpool and still pickup from the center under the FB?
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
Yep, I have a FB in my BK and I pump through a CFC back to the kettle in a continuous loop while chilling. I do the whirlpool thing too after the wort has cooled adequately, then it's pumped to the fermenters. This has been working very well for me.
Pumping it back into the kettle after the CFC? Guessing that cools the entire wort quicker. Are you constantly adjusting water flow as the mass in the kettle is cooled by the returning wort?

Guessing that wouldn't work if using a hop back?

I just got a CFC and have used it twice via gravity. Now I have a pump and am in yet another learning mode.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alowell View Post
So, is your pickup tube on the side of the brew kettle then? Or do you whirlpool and still pickup from the center under the FB?
The pickup tube on mine is in the center. IME, the suction at the tube opening is not very strong and only the debris very close to it gets picked up. The amount of debris that makes it into the fermenter is trivial IMO. Might be a problem when using a plate chiller though, so that is something to take into consideration.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
Pumping it back into the kettle after the CFC? Guessing that cools the entire wort quicker. Are you constantly adjusting water flow as the mass in the kettle is cooled by the returning wort?

Guessing that wouldn't work if using a hop back?

I just got a CFC and have used it twice via gravity. Now I have a pump and am in yet another learning mode.
Yes, that's the theory and it works very well. I run both the wort and the cooling water full blast for rapid cooling.

A hop back will probably inhibit the flow drastically. I have made several attempts at building and using a hop back without much success. I had severe clogging problems and finally gave up on it. I've come to the conclusion that a very similar effect can be achieved simply by adding the hops at flame out (or thereabouts) and cooling the entire volume quickly.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
I've come to the conclusion that a very similar effect can be achieved simply by adding the hops at flame out (or thereabouts) and cooling the entire volume quickly.
That is what I am doing currently with great success. I was thinking that a hop back would help to filter more trub.

Full blast huh? I'll have to try that with the pump as with gravity I needed to turn my water flow down to a trickle or I would have 45 degree wort.

I am right in the middle of changing my entire process again as I move to a single tier system. It's like I am a noob all over again.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
That is what I am doing currently with great success. I was thinking that a hop back would help to filter more trub.

Full blast huh? I'll have to try that with the pump as with gravity I needed to turn my water flow down to a trickle or I would have 45 degree wort.

I am right in the middle of changing my entire process again as I move to a single tier system. It's like I am a noob all over again.
I like 45F wort! Seriously, it depends on the time of year and how cold my tap water is and also whether doing a lager or ale. I'm in the process of building a pre-chiller to use with an ice bath for improved summertime chilling. Currently, I chill as far as practical with only tap water and then chill it down further in a fridge. I know that the extra lag time before pitching is a bit risky, but so far no issues.

Don't kid yourself. The improvements to your system/process will be never ending just like everyone else's.
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