How do you prevent hops from entering your Counter-flow Wort chiller?? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 04-17-2007, 03:06 PM   #1
Mar 2006
Posts: 60

Did my first, solo all-grain brew on Saturday with my new, homemade wort chiller. Everything was working great, the beer was coming out cool, couldn't have been more happy. Then, all of a sudden, no flow. I was using both pellet and leaf hops, and it turns out a leaf hop got caught in the copper tubing of the CFC. Couldn't get it out to save my life, and I still had 4 gallons to cool. So, through the pot into the bathtub and turned on the cold water.
Eventually, I got the stuck hop out, but it was too late to use the CFC again. I ended up pitching my 2L Trappist yeast starter (big beer!, OG=1.072) into the wort at 81F and had active fermentation in a few hours. I think I turned out fine, no contamination from the prolonged sitting at warm temps due to the large, fresh starter, I hope.

My question is how do people stop hops from getting into the CFC? I don't have a brew kettle with a ball valve or anything, and I won't be doing that until I get my SS keg. So, what I am looking for is something to hook the CFC inlet tubing up to and submerge into the brew kettle. Any ideas?
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:18 PM   #2
Lil' Sparky
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Feb 2006
Honolulu, HI
Posts: 3,959
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You have to use a filter for you pickup/siphon. If you're using a racking tube, you could try using a hop bag tied to it. Or, you could just put your hops in a mesh bag next time and pull it out when the boil's over.

I think most people who use a CFC have a kettle w/ a ball valve and pickup tube. Then you would use a hopstopper, bazooka tube, copper scrubby, or keep using a mesh bag. If you do a search, you'll find a lot of threads on the different methods.

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Old 04-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
Jul 2005
Poo-Poo Land
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This has some great examples of how to strain.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
Ol' Grog
Sep 2006
Chickasha, OK.
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Fine mesh hop bag. I wish I'd have done that when I first started. Less trub, easier cleanup on the IC and generally less messy.

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
Nov 2011
Boise, ID
Posts: 354
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I am just ironing out the kinks in my CFC system, and I did the same thing today. I ended up blowing out the blockage backwards with my Kegging system, after sanitizing everything, then fishing my hop sack down into the pot where my whirlpool pickup is to "guard" the output shank- hopefully nothing got contaminated....

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Old 01-19-2014, 10:05 PM   #6
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,466
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I have a HopStopper (Googe it) connected to the outlet port on my kettle. It catches all the break material. I also use a cylindrical stainless mesh device to contain my hops (pellet) during the boil. Nothing but clean wort makes it out of my kettle valve.

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Old 01-21-2014, 12:50 AM   #7
Jan 2009
Holly, MI
Posts: 562
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7 years later...

This thread might be from before the "hop spider" concept.

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Old 11-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #8
Renaissance Man
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Sep 2011
Portland, OR
Posts: 149
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I finally bought a sink adapter and barbed attachment to backflow water through my CFC. I had a block a few brews back and my neighbor reminded me how important it was to back flow and clear any debris. Well I've been soaking the chiller in PBW and more and more disgusting crap is coming out from the wort plates. I always soak it in StarSan before the end of my boil so I know it is sanitary but I can't even imagine what flavors this gunk would impart in my beers. Now I have it in a pot with soapy water and PBW on the stove, trying to "boil" out the gunk in multiple phases. Ugh.
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Old 11-27-2014, 04:44 PM   #9
Jul 2012
Lewisburg, PA
Posts: 219
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I don't use a CFC but I was looking for a way to keep hop material out of my beer so I got one of these. It works great and you can just hose it off after brewing. The only complaint I have is that it retains wort, so I hold it tilted for a bit to drain it, but it's worth such a minor inconvenience.

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