Originally Posted by RobbyBeers
I pulled a similar maneuver on my batch last night. I felt fairly comfortable pouring most of the hop gunk in, since a good number of brewers seem to think it all settles out and it's all good. On the other hand, there seems to be more disagreement over this subject than almost any other...and that's a lot, because homebrewers disagree about everything. Some folks are using hop bags and siphoning to primary with a filter over their tubing...others are just going bombs away and dumping it all in the carboy. What gives? I'm not sure my question is really going anywhere. Maybe I just want to be reassured that my batch will be ok, because there's already a crazy amount of crud on the bottom.
Nah. This one is actually fairly easy. If you want to really start a holy war, ask about bottling v. kegging. Although brewers don't seem to do holy wars as well as other geeks (e.g., emacs v. vi). I guess we just have a few beers and don't really care enough after that.
The reason for the difference in opinion, in my mind, is that brewing beer is a fairly robust process. You can do lots of things differently and still end up with good beer. So when you ask a question like "Should I filter my hops?", the answers you get are what other people have found works well for them. As humans are fairly clever monkeys, we have found lots of different ways so you will get lots of different answers.
Your beer will be fine. I haven't filtered my wort ever. The only thing I might suggest, if the clarity bothers you, is to wrap a paint filter around your auto-siphon when you transfer the beer to secondary or to the bottling bucket. It makes a pleasant difference in the clarity of the beer. If you don't mind a cloudy beer then don't worry about it and just rack carefully.