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-   -   My Whirlpool Friendly Hop Stopper... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-whirlpool-friendly-hop-stopper-181261/)

rking 06-06-2010 05:33 PM

My Whirlpool Friendly Hop Stopper...
 
So, Ive been a long time reader and learner, but I dont post very often. I have finally started to upgrade my system from its previous coleman cooler, 10 gal aluminum stove top boil kettle, to an all stainless, going to be all electric, 20 gal setup.

On my last 2 brew days, I have been working on some IPA recipes. First day, I didnt use a hop bag, on the second, I did. Both ended up with quantities of hop debris and break material in the fermenter that I was not happy with. So I was determined to figure out some way to reduce and possibly eliminate these problems from my next setup.

Going off of what I have seen on this awesome site, and some of the results people have been getting from their versions of a hop stopper, I decided to build mine own, with hopefully some beneficial changes/upgrades...

First, the list of parts:

Side stainless and weldless pick up tube from bargainfittings.com
http://greatbargain.net/opencart/ind...&product_id=94

Mesh screen - part number 9241T432 from Mcmaster.com
Stainless wire - part number 8860K11 from Mcmaster.com
Stainless Steel hose clamp

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...r/STP60295.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...r/STP60294.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h2...r/STP60289.jpg

Now you will notice that the shape of the blocker is different than most, but the pancake shaped ones, to me, seem like they would:

1. be completely covered with hops when brewing an IPA or some recipe with a large hop load. Meaning the only way to filter the wort will be through the hops then through the stopper, causing a suction/plugging of the hop stopper when using a pump.
2. be useless if you like to whirlpool. If you whirlpool with the pancake shaped ones, you will end up with the hop/break material pyramid right on your blocker, kind of losing some of the point of whirlpooling.

I made the blocker as large as possible based on the amount of screen I got from Mcmaster. The screen ended up at almost 4 inches tall. With 2 inches of hop sludge and break material on the floor of the boil kettle at the end of a boil, would still leave me a 2 inch window all around the top to easily draw in the wort. The curved shape should also allow for a better flow when I turn the pump on and vigorously whirlpool for 20 or so minutes. Since its almost a box as well, the structure is pretty strong and rigid and it does not need to be reinforced.

This did take a while to make, and stitching through those tiny holes was frustrating, painful, and so time consuming. But I think that its going to turn out to be worth it!

I have a few more things to button up on the setup and I should be putting this to work very soon for some real world results. Until then, thanks for reading!

Budzu 06-06-2010 06:12 PM

Awesome ! I'll be really looking forward to seeing your results. Thanks for posting this. Looks like a good idea for my system too.

pickles 07-25-2010 03:12 PM

So whats the verdict? Does it work as planned?

BargainFittings 07-25-2010 04:13 PM

Yes I would like to know too!

How easy is it to clean?

JKoravos 07-25-2010 05:39 PM

Looks to me like the screen is going to restrict the whirlpool quite a bit. Nice attempt, either way. I've given in to the fact the trying to strain out hops in the kettle is useless. You may find something that works most of the time, but nothing will work all of the time. IMO the best method is to whirlpool, wait and rack, or if you have a conical transfer it, wait for everything to settle then dump cone. Those methods work 100% of the time.

rking 07-26-2010 06:47 PM

I still havent had the chance to brew with it :(... Im in the process of moving, and with this being my first electric setup, I am still working out the last wiring and control issues. As soon as I have some findings, I will definitely be updating this thread!

Zaphod42 08-13-2010 03:30 PM

Design
 
I think this design is great. In theory it works the same as the Blichman device. As long as you cut the flow rate down to a trickle when the level of the wort is no longer above the level of hop matter/break material, you should be able to drain off nearly all of the wort.

It would be really great to see a pic of the bottom of your BK after a 10G IPA boil.

zoso124 09-04-2011 03:21 PM

How did this work Cory?

SamBrewer 09-04-2011 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JKoravos (Post 2180240)
Looks to me like the screen is going to restrict the whirlpool quite a bit. Nice attempt, either way. I've given in to the fact the trying to strain out hops in the kettle is useless. You may find something that works most of the time, but nothing will work all of the time. IMO the best method is to whirlpool, wait and rack, or if you have a conical transfer it, wait for everything to settle then dump cone. Those methods work 100% of the time.

I agree...
whirlpool needs the wort to rotate and only at the end all the material will stop in the center... but anyway try it and let us know if it works

shutupjojo 09-04-2011 04:16 PM

Nice work. I have tried just about everything including a hop blocker.
Pain to clean but works. I finally settled on a false bottom and a stainless scrubbie under the pick up tube. No problems ever and nice clean wort. Been using the same scrubbie for a year now.


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