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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Blichmann boil screen for pellet hops
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:25 PM   #181
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Per the manual we recommend using a large muslin grain bag for whole hops if you have trouble with plugging. (1) you will get significantly better batch yield since the hops absorb so much wort and (2) hop utilization is negligibly affected in the large bags. (3) cleanup is much easier. When the boil is done just fish out the bags, squeeze out the wort and discard/compost. This will resolve the trouble you are experiencing. Hops that have been boiled for an hour or so get pretty soft and non-permeable so are prone sticking to the filter. Late hop additions don't seem to be as big of a problem.

Immersion chiller - just leave it in the pot the whole time - including draining - that should reduce the chances of hitting it.

As far as starting a whirlpool with 5gal in a 15gal pot - pretty big pot for such a small amount of wort so not a surprise that it is a problem. I use a paddle on a drill myself and that works great for me. But I haven't tried it on a batch size smaller than what the pot is intended for so can't comment further than that.


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Old 05-13-2010, 08:40 PM   #182
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I must be missing something (I never did a whirlpool prior to getting my BoilerMaker). I can't figure out how you are getting a whirlpool to form with an IC in the pot. Then again I have been trying to do it by hand with a spoon so maybe some mechanical assistance would change that. I will have to see if I can find a paint stirrer or paddle for a drill and play around with it.

Thanks for confirmation that the leaf hops may be causing a lot of the problems.


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Old 05-13-2010, 08:47 PM   #183
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When I was using an IC I just whirlpooled before putting it in. THe whirlpool slows pretty quickly so after about 5min I put the chiller in and 10min later turned the water on after it was heat sanitized. Or you could whirlpool after taking it out I suppose, but you'd need to make sure everything was sanitary at that point. If you're worried about it hitting the finger pull you could just spin it toward the back for the boil, and when you have drained it below the finger pull you could rotate it into position to clear the dip tube when you lift it. I don't think the small amount of fine perf showing would be a big deal.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:54 PM   #184
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Thanks for the additional input. I will play around with it. I can't wait to get it dialed in so that I can be 100% completely happy with my new BK.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:15 PM   #185
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It's like one of these.

I just attached it to my cordless drill, put it in the middle of the pot (making sure not to hit the hop blocker or sides of the pot), started slow and got faster which started a whirlpool.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:29 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snail View Post
It's like one of these.

I just attached it to my cordless drill, put it in the middle of the pot (making sure not to hit the hop blocker or sides of the pot), started slow and got faster which started a whirlpool.
Those small diameter paint stirs plus the rpm's you mentioned above "and got faster" will suck in air and aerate your hot wort. Going with a larger diameter slower speed stir away from the cold break pile to let you increase the mass in the BK for a better whirlpool. A slow stir then let it settle vs keeping it in suspension stiring will benefit you better. This is what i've found with my trials and errors in the past.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:35 PM   #187
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Those of that have one, would you recommend it to others? What about large leaf hop loads?
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:46 PM   #188
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Mine's sitting on the shelf if you want to buy one.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:01 PM   #189
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This seems like a never ending engineering problem to solve. After experiencing every chiller style there is and playing around with just about every hop separation design I've ever seen with both pellet and whole hops, it's clear to me that each solution is better suited to different scenarios. It's also interesting that my observations have conflicted with others so who knows...

Chilling with an IC adds cold break to the "filter load" so finer meshes really choke out fast, especially if you're using pellet hops (hopstopper designs). Fortunately, fine filtering is NOT necessary when you use an IC and I'd even argue that filtering hops out is completely unnecessary when you use an IC. Just put your pickup tube off to the side and let it rip.

On the other hand, Hop filtering is of utmost concern when you use an external chiller. The filtering can be very coarse for a large diameter CFC tubes but must be finer for a plate chiller. The hop stopper (fine mesh) style seems to work best for this requirement and is greatly helped by having at least a small portion of whole hops in the mix. The wort has to be run out pretty slow once the level drops to near the screen.

For me, the ideal solution (although it's not what I have at the moment) is an offset siphon tube with a very coarse screen (bazooka tube mesh size) to deal with whole hops. Bag ALL pellet hop additions for bittering and flavor and try to use whole hops for flame out free floating in the wort. This is for external chillers specifically. If you have to use pellets for finishing, bag anything over 2 oz but make up for the utilization issue by aggressively sloshing it around in the wort.

I can appreciate why Blichmann and the hopstopper dude are trying to solve the problem because it's one of those things all brewers are struggling with. If you use an IC, I say screw it and let the hops into the fermenter.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:00 AM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
This seems like a never ending engineering problem to solve. After experiencing every chiller style there is and playing around with just about every hop separation design I've ever seen with both pellet and whole hops, it's clear to me that each solution is better suited to different scenarios. It's also interesting that my observations have conflicted with others so who knows...

Chilling with an IC adds cold break to the "filter load" so finer meshes really choke out fast, especially if you're using pellet hops (hopstopper designs). Fortunately, fine filtering is NOT necessary when you use an IC and I'd even argue that filtering hops out is completely unnecessary when you use an IC. Just put your pickup tube off to the side and let it rip.

On the other hand, Hop filtering is of utmost concern when you use an external chiller. The filtering can be very coarse for a large diameter CFC tubes but must be finer for a plate chiller. The hop stopper (fine mesh) style seems to work best for this requirement and is greatly helped by having at least a small portion of whole hops in the mix. The wort has to be run out pretty slow once the level drops to near the screen.

For me, the ideal solution (although it's not what I have at the moment) is an offset siphon tube with a very coarse screen (bazooka tube mesh size) to deal with whole hops. Bag ALL pellet hop additions for bittering and flavor and try to use whole hops for flame out free floating in the wort. This is for external chillers specifically. If you have to use pellets for finishing, bag anything over 2 oz but make up for the utilization issue by aggressively sloshing it around in the wort.

I can appreciate why Blichmann and the hopstopper dude are trying to solve the problem because it's one of those things all brewers are struggling with. If you use an IC, I say screw it and let the hops into the fermenter.
+1 Bobby, and I'd say that the same goes for a tube-style cfc, like the chillzilla. Really, the fine filtration is reserved for the plate chillers....too much of a headache if you ask me.......


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