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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > What Am I Missing? A-G HELP
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:29 PM   #1
barside laundry
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Default What Am I Missing? A-G HELP

I made my 2nd AG batch today and things started smooth as butter but I came up short again! I followed Charlie Papizan's guidelines:

10 pounds of grain

2.5 gallons 170 F in Mash Tun (10 gallon cooler)

Mixed and let rest for 90 minutes (154F)

Sparged out with 5 gallons of 170F water (actually 182 but when it reaches the grain bed it is 170)

Before the boil, my kettle (15 gallon keg w/electric heating element) had 5.5 gallons in it so I ran 1 gallon of 182F water from HLT through grain to bring kettle upto 6.5 gallons.

Boiled for 60 minutes making 2 hop additions along the way. (pellets just tossed in, no bag)

With about 10 minutes left I noticed I only had 5.25 gallons so I added 1/2 gallon of water and it quickly returned to a boil.

At the end of the boil I put the lid on and ran wort through my homemade wort chiller (as seen in BYO). With close to 3.5-4.0 gallons in my carboy the wort flow stopped. On the inside of my keg (kettle) I have a 3/8 copper tube extending from the ball valve to the bottom-middle of keg. On the end of the copper I put 12 inches of stainless steel mesh and knotted the end. It seems that the hop trub clogs the mesh. Also I am using a counter flow chiller that is made of 3/8 copper instead of 1/2 so my flow rate is not that fast (22 minutes for 5 gallons of water to flow from keg to carboy).

What can do to fix this? Use whole hops so there is less trub? Buy a bazooka? Start boil with 8 gallons? By the time I had run the last gallon through the grain the wort was clear, I got all the color and sugar out of the grain. My OG was 1052 (right on target).

Please help.

Frustrated home brewer slightly missing extract.

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Old 02-20-2006, 09:46 PM   #2
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Instead of tha stainless mesh you could try the hop stopper.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:01 PM   #3
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The hop stopper is good for whole hops but when using pellets (as I found out last night) it will clog also. I had to stir and scrap the hop scum from the hopstopper to get my flow rate back. I still had 2 gal in the kettle and it stopped completely. This is the first time I have had this problem with this gizmo. It may be that I had quite a bit of break material too. I feel your frustration.

Whole hops will work better in terms of not clogging your braid but they will absorb a substantial amount of wort. I say just design your recipes/volumes to account for such losses. That way we won't be trying to find a way to squeeze blood from the this turnip.

One other thing. I also use a pump. If you have a substantial flow rate the hopstopper works like a charm but if your flow rate is slow it can fail also. I almost switch to my pump last night but didn't want to take all the time to clean my lines before doing so. I was already beat..so I just kept scrapping and stirring.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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I'm a little confused by all this, why not just use muslin bags for the hops (pellet or whole)? They only cost a quarter or so. Or even use the nylon bags.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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Default 3/8 CF chiller...too small?

Do you think my 3/8 counter flow chiller is too small to create enough vacuum to pull a siphon through such resistance? Does anyone elso use 3/8 for CF chiller? I like the idea of a hop stopper but I have a heater element running across the bottom of my keg.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:07 PM   #6
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I can't use muslin bags because of the 4500 watt heating element running across the bottom of my keg. The bag would immediatly burn upon touching the element.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barside laundry
I can't use muslin bags because of the 4500 watt heating element running across the bottom of my keg. The bag would immediatly burn upon touching the element.
That's interesting. Got a picture, I'm interested in comparisons for electric vs. Propane. How long to boil? Any idea on how much juice you use for a brewing session in dollars? Also, if it would burn up the hop bag wouldn't it burn the hops themselves?

Sorry for so many questions, but I've seen pics of electric elements in kettles before but never had anyone to ask these questions to.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:26 PM   #8
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I'd go for whole hops. I got mine from http://www.freshops.com, and am very pleased with them.
I've also heard good things about http://www.hopsdirect.com but have not tried them yet.
You will need about 10% more whole leaf hops compared to pellets, and will have to pay postage. Even so, they both come out much cheaper for me than buying pellets in the local HBS.

-a.

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Old 02-20-2006, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barside laundry
I can't use muslin bags because of the 4500 watt heating element running across the bottom of my keg. The bag would immediatly burn upon touching the element.
Suspend them from a piece of string or fishing line so they can't touch the bottom.

Trying to keep small ID tubing from clogging with hop debris is fruitless. Keeping the hops in bags or nylon stockings works well.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
Suspend them from a piece of string or fishing line so they can't touch the bottom.

Trying to keep small ID tubing from clogging with hop debris is fruitless. Keeping the hops in bags or nylon stockings works well.
Took the words right out of my mouth. lol.
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