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Old 10-28-2008, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default Straining hops.

Yesterday I made my first batch of ale in a long time (over 10 years). It was great to come home and my IPA is happily bubbling away in it's bucket and the faint aroma of Saas hops.

It was a tiring day. In addition to racking 18 gallons of cider into secondaries, this my first full 5 gallon boil and use of a wort chiller (I bought the parts in the 90s and never put them together). While I was sanitizing I discovered that the new better bottle I bought leaks at the port. Fortunately I had a clean bucket standing by.

In the years since I last made a batch of ale I forgot how hard it is to strain the hops out of the wort. I'm sure there is a better way to filter hops out of the wort than using the filter that came with my funnel. Suggestions?


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Old 10-28-2008, 03:12 AM   #2
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How do you transfer from your boiling vessel to the fermenter? If you use a siphon/racking cane, stirring the wort into a whirlpool (stir fast!) will collect most of the hops and break material together into a cone shape in the center after it's settled. Just put the cane away from pile 'o stuff in the center, and transfer to the fermenter.


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Old 10-28-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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For leaf hops, if you are using a racking cane, stick a sanitized stainless steel scrubbie on the end of the cane as a filter. Should work well. For pellets it can be tough. I think some folks on here have had luck with the really fine mesh nylon bags to contain the pellets during the boil. I will be trying this next brew (this Saturday), so maybe I will be able to give you direct feedback on that method.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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If I'm making something with a ton of hops, I use a sanitized spaghetti strainer over my bucket. I usually siphon the first half of the wort, since I'm a weakling and can't pour 5.5 gallons of wort. The hops sludge will all settle to the bottom anyway. In a Better Bottle, though, those are only 6 gallons to begin with, so I'd probably strain more carefully, to give you more "room" for fermentation.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #5
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The HBS sells nylon nets (like a shower cap) that you place over the top of the bucket. I use 6 clothes pins to hold it in place after the weight of the water and hops are poured in. You need to use your spoon as a scraper to get the water to pass through faster. Then sparge the hops with water...
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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I set a stainless steel mesh kitchen strainer over my bucket and pour the wort through it. Strains out all the hops, even pellets, and helps with aeration, too.

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Old 10-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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Just buy yourself a hop bag. I have no idea how I ever went without one!
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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Answering several questions at once.

I was using pellets, not leaves.

I didn't rack, I used a 2 quart measuring cup to transfer the first 3 gallons and poured the rest. I'm sure that stirred everything up good.

I did use a strainer and a colander, and they did strain out a lot, but the fine mesh strainer in the funnel would clog up every quart or two.

Next time I think I'm going to try the hops bag, stir to get whatever comes out of the bag to settle in the center and then siphon from the edge. Thanks everyone.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:15 AM   #9
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I just racked from my secondary (dry-hopped) to bottling bucket with a siphon but I put a hop bag over the end of the siphon and used a rubber band to hold it on. I barely got a single piece of hop residue in my bucket. As far as from the kettle to the fermenter, I just bought a SS strainer form Target that should sit on top the bucket. We'll see how that works this weekend.....
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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Saturday I did my first batch using only the stainless steel scrubbie (Placed under the dip tube). I had 2.5 ounces of whole leaf hops and the scrubbie worked perfectly. I didn't get any hops into my fermenter, they do soak up a fair bit of beer though.

I normally use a suspended hop bag (PVC Ring and 5 gallon paint strainer bag) plus the scrubbie, but thought I'd give it a chance by itself and it works great!


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