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Old 08-07-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
Sep 2010
Chicago, IL
Posts: 96
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

I was brewing last night with my SWMBO and we were happily on our way to cooling our 10 gallon batch of sweet delicious tripel through our counterflow chiller. After joyfully watching about one quart of cooled wort flow through the line and into a better bottle, everything stopped. We screwed with everything! We adjusted the heights of things, looked for kinks in the lines, and had generally a horrible time lifting and pushing 80 pounds of near-boiling liquid all over the deck to get the flow going.

After 30 minutes of absolute hell, we decided to simply re-sanitize and re-boil everything and use our old immersion chiller, then use our autosiphon to empty the pot. That worked like it always did. When the pot was finally cool enough, I took off the hose barb from the spigot.

Whole leaf hops. Crammed like a homeless man into a subway seat at dawn. Blocking my flow.

If you brew with whole leaf hops for the first time ever and want to use a counterflow or plate chiller or anything else that requires using the ball valve on your pot, make sure you have:

A) a false bottom


B) a paint strainer bag

I hope to hell this is common knowledge and that I'm the only moron who'd try using whole leaf hops without a way to separate them. Yikes!

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Old 08-07-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
Apr 2010
Westminster, MD
Posts: 12

I was thinking about using a mesh bag. My hops will be ready to harvest in a couple of weeks.

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
Dec 2010
Shelton, CT
Posts: 95

I went right back to pellets for that reason. Using whole leaf just seemed to clog everything and add more steps without any benefits.

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
strat_thru_marshall's Avatar
Mar 2010
Oklahoma City
Posts: 1,641
Liked 31 Times on 25 Posts

whole leaf hops always clog the crap out of my system as well. I use only pellets for this reason. Also because whole leaf takes up more space in the freezer, and makes a much bigger pile of hop waste at the end of the brew day.

I think if we were using pro-brewer systems with tubing bigger than 1/2" ID, we'd be fine...but at those small sizes it just takes one or two whole cones to plug it all up.

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
seabass07's Avatar
Apr 2011
Posts: 1,321
Liked 156 Times on 112 Posts

I'm surprised they didn't clog your autosyphon as well. They always clog mine. They are a PITA if not in a bag.

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Old 08-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
Heavyweight homebrewing author & shootist of air
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,975
Liked 3691 Times on 3171 Posts

That's why I always bag hops,whole leaf or pellets. I hate the clogging & mess.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
usfmikeb's Avatar
Jan 2011
Leesburg, Virginia
Posts: 3,148
Liked 238 Times on 201 Posts

I use these:


They're reusable, and have have a finer weave than the throwaway socks.

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