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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Warning: Noob mistake to avoid at all costs
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Warning: Noob mistake to avoid at all costs

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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I use these:

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

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