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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Anyone Recirculate Through Hop Strainer?
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
Douglefish
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Default Anyone Recirculate Through Hop Strainer?

So I have been thinking lately about changing how I clarify my wort before going into the fermenter. I am wondering if anyone does this, or have thoughts? I'm thinking this could reduce my loss in the boil kettle?

Current Setup
Use a paint strainer bag in BK for Hop additions
My pickup tube in my kettle is on the side so I can whirlpool
I remove my hop bag at the end of boil
Whirlpool and then leave the break material and about a gallon of wort in the bottom of the kettle

Proposed Idea
Use a paint strainer bag in BK for Hop additions
Change my pickup tube to be in the bottom/middle of my BK
Run my pump output to go into the hop strainer
After the boil recirculate the wort through the strainer to remove all break material
run off into the fermenter through my plate chiller


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Old 02-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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I used to strain my wort through a strainer full of a mixture of new and spent hops from the brew. Yeah, hops are a good filter. I now use a false bottom in my kettle that does all that work for me. Hops fall onto the top of the FB and increase the filter capabilities.

The first beer that I racked to a keg with this method shocked me. Yeast cake was tight and compact and only about 1/4" thick. There was virtually zero trub, all yeast.


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Old 02-28-2011, 10:16 PM   #3
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The problem is that the hop bag is really going to clog up pretty badly because it's such a fine mesh. Give it a shot though and report back.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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I plan to recirculate through the hop bag while it's still in the wort. My hop would be the bag is big enough to hold all the break material and still drain, but if not I could definitely dump the hop matter and then try again.

I'll post once I try it
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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Here is the inside of my kettle. You can see how the hops would form a nice filter atop the false bottom and it filters out almost all trub in one pass.

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Old 02-28-2011, 11:55 PM   #6
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Doesn't a false bottom need whole hops to create a filter bed? I typically only use pellet
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
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I can tell you from direct experience with a Blichmann false bottom in my BK and a Therminator that you will have no absolutely no luck with pellet hops and a false bottom. None whatsoever. You will feel much pain.

However, with whole leaf, especially whole intact cones, you will have limited to full success with this approach. If your whole leaf is kind of ratty and the cones are mostly destroyed, you will get a very slow flow. It only takes a few leaves to plug up the therminator. My best success has been with whole leaf and a hopstopper but I've had good results with a large hopsack/pellets combined with the blichmann false bottom/intact whole leaf.

Here's a pic of my original hopsack holder which uses the smaller hopsack. Since then I've cut it down to allow for the use of the larger hopsacks which has helped some with utilization. It's still not as nice as free hop pellets in the wort but I've gone to a whirlpool and an IC for bigger pellet loads with good success.



As you can see this approach works (this batch had a schit-ton of pellet hop, it was essentially a Ruination clone) but utilization may be effected somewhat by the hopsack approach

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Old 03-22-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
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Default Did not work

I was hoping to be able to get the hop sack to filter out the break material before going to the fermenter. I recirculated through the hop sack and it looks like the break material is much to small to be caught by the paint strainer bag.

To bad, but worth a try. Looks like I'm going to still be whirlpooling
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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There are finer paint filter bags available than what you get at HD or Lowes. I've been pondering a similar idea.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Break = protein = yeast food - leave it be.


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