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Old 03-14-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
buzzbromp
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Default Boil kettle drain techniques

Draining to my fermenter is always low due to hop buildup. Any good techniques or equipment that helps with this issue? I use a bazooka filter. I haven't tried whirlpooling yet. I assume I just stir the hell out of the cooled wort. Does this work well for both pellets and whole hops? Doesn't much of the pellet break up remain floating in the wort?

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Old 03-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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Slow not low, sorry about that. I need to stop posting with my iPhone.

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Old 03-14-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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Many use a hop-spider, but I use a one gallon paint strainer bag for two ounces or less of pellet hops, and a five gallon strainer for more. I use a heavy duty clip to secure it to the BK rim. Works perfectly for me. Pez.

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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+1 on the strainer bag.

Cool the wort and give it a fast stir to get a whirlpool going, let is set for about 20 minutes, and then drain.
If you're using a siphon, keep it off the bottom, and suck from the side of the kettle.
If you have a drain valve (or are thinking of installing one), if it's off the bottom about an inch, that's the best.
Either way, drain it down pretty low, and then watch as it gets close to the bottom. You'll see the break material sitting on the bottom.
With practice and care, you'll be able to pull off perfectly clear wort.

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Old 03-14-2013, 02:35 AM   #5
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I stopped using the Bazooka. It clogged with all manner of trub: hot and cold break, etc, let alone hops. When I upgraded to a 70 qt cooler for mashing/lautering, and it works great compared to manifolds or braids.

My boil technique is to whirlpool with a pump inline with the chiller a few minutes before flameout. This sanitizes the silicone lines, pump, and chiller. Nothings clogs when I use pellet hops, even in DIPAs, but the trub and hops collect in a huge cone in the middle of the brewpot. Then a side diptube picks up avoiding the cone.

March/Chugger pumps seem expensive, but I keep discovering new tricks for them.

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Old 03-14-2013, 02:42 AM   #6
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Another option, which I do, is to not bother with any hop bag or whirl pooling, but instead use a 6-gal bucket (with spigot at the bottom) to settle everything for 20-30 mins. Then just open the spigot into your fermenter, and the inch or so of junk left in the bucket is your hops and trub.

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Old 03-14-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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I don't quite follow how you use the silicone lines and the pump for the whirlpool. What is the silicone for? do you use it as coolant?

Whirlpooling causes the hop and protein break to deposit in the center? I would of thought it was heavier and got pushed to the wall. I guess if it deposits on the center, the bazooka would limit any benefit. I will look into the strainer bags for the hops.

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Old 03-14-2013, 03:44 AM   #8
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The bazooka clogged for me, regardless of chilling, whirlpooling, pumping, etc. Break material clogged the screen.

I can't take credit for this picture, but I found it on Google Images. Good example of side dip tube after a vigorous whirlpool:

http://i7.tinypic.com/3462cls.jpg

You can see that a HUGE screen is necessary to trap that kind of trub.

Strainer bags are only worthy for whole hops. Otherwise, they are a pain from clogging, because a lot of bittered wort is trapped in clogged mesh.

As for silicone, it's great tubing for pumps that imparts no flavor, and is tolerant well beyond boiling temperatures.

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Old 03-14-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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It seems like getting a long bazooka and bending it such that it raps it around the perimeter of the wall would work with a whirlpool. Maybe even have the filter jog upwards a little here and there would help.

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Old 03-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzbromp View Post
Draining to my fermenter is always low due to hop buildup. Any good techniques or equipment that helps with this issue? I use a bazooka filter. I haven't tried whirlpooling yet. I assume I just stir the hell out of the cooled wort. Does this work well for both pellets and whole hops? Doesn't much of the pellet break up remain floating in the wort?
What has always worked for me is to put the grains in a grain bag, or, if needed two. Also, I used hop bags. One for each time needed. I use bags which can be cleaned and reused in future brews. This seems to eliminate most of the sludge from the brew pot. I still pour the wort through a large strainer into a funnel with a finer strainer. Hope this helps.
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