Just a follow-up on my experience switching from pellets to whole hops. I posted about a month ago about problems I encountered after switching from pellets to whole hops. The two main issues (related) have been clogging problems when draining wort from brewpot to primary, and when racking from secondary to keg (after dry hopping).
Well, the solution in both cases has been hop bags. This weekend, Bostonbrewin' and I brewed an IPA with loads of whole hops, and using hop bags in the brewpot made the transfer to primary the easiest ever. Then today, I racked a dry-hopped IPA from secondary to keg, but zip-tied a hop bag over the (source side) racking cane to prevent clogging. The first attempt failed, because I didn't put the little black plug on the cane inside the hop bag, and the bag itself clogged the cane. But after fixing that, the dry-hopped beer racked perfectly!
My previous IPA came out pretty good, but a little cloudy (not chill haze). After seeing the difference the hop-bag screen made in racking, I expect this batch to be much clearer.
Anyway, I'm happy to report that after trying (a) hop bags in the brewpot, and (b) a hop bag screen when racking out of the seconday, the results are great and I'm sold on whole hops vs. pellets.