Alternative to attempting to whirlpool

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Jhedrick83

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I can never get a good trub cone when I try to whirlpool and I therefore just use an autosiphon to transfer from BK to fermenter. I do hate doing that as my BK has a built in ball valve that would be far easier to use and less mess to clean. Is there any issue with this process:

Once cooling is done, don't wait for all the hot/cold break & hops matter to settle. Place a BIAB bag (or hop sock made of the same material that I don't use) inside fermentation vessel (for me a wide mouthed fermonster), drain entire BK contents into the fermonster, pull the bag out to separate the wort from the break and hops. Aerate and pitch as usual.

Obviously, the bag would take a good dunk in Starsan first to ensure it is sanitized. Good idea? Bad idea?
 

hotbeer

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Are you using whirlfloc or some other fining? If so, I just tried the bag in the fermenter thing a few batches ago. My recommendation is don't. The whirlfloc plugged up the bag so badly that I had to resort to squeezing the bag. And so badly that I had to squeeze hard enough to rupture a few seams in the bag.

If you aren't using a fining agent, then you might get better results. Even with coarse strainers, I've found that whirlfloc tends to overwhelmingly clog them more than when I used no fining agents.

For me I think my issue getting a good cold break and trub cone in the kettle is more about how much whilfloc I've been using. Too much I'm pretty sure. I've read that too much whirlfloc is as bad if not worse than too little.

A tablet for 10 to 15 gallon batches isn't very easy to divide up into 10 to 15 portions that I'll need for 1 gallon batches. However I just got a gram scale that I hope will be a little more accurate for the tenth of a gram accuracy I'll need.
 

palmtrees

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I've also tried to strain through a biab bag before and the break material clogged it horribly. I wouldn't recommend. It was way too much trouble and resulted in more loss than I wanted. I've just given up on separating trub and have poured everything into the fermenter with no ill effects I have noticed. There seems to be a reasonable consensus on here that break material and trub in the fermenter isn't a real problem on the homebrew scale. Some folks think it may even be beneficial. You may feel differently about hop material, but you could always use a hop spider. I've never tried one and don't try to separate hop material either, though.

You could always try installing a trub dam on your kettle's dip tube to try and aid whatever trub cone you are able to make.
 
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Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

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I've tried Whirlfloc and it didn't give me a better cone. Part of the issue may just be me and the kettle. It's a 5.5 gal kettle and there's a bulkhead plug in the second port that extends a bit. Trying to stir up the whirlpool by hand I seemingly always hit the nut on the inside enough to cause problems and there's not a ton of distance between the two ports to keep the paddle or whisk at that level consistently.

There is a trub dam on the dip tube but if I let everything settle, I always suck up so much break/hops that it usually clogs up. Since I don't get a good cone, it settles in/around the dam and still clogs for me. I'm wondering if i just dump it all, not waiting for settlement may help it not clog as much.

Whirlpooling by hand. I have not invested in a pump and whirlpool arm for my kettle but that may be something I look in to. I've avoided a hop spider as I keep reading about how it affects hop utilization. I don't drink super hoppy beers and most of my trub issue is the hot/cold break.
 

JJinMD

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Well, if you never really get a good whirlpool, but you do get a hop spider, one thing you can do is filter while chilling. You can drain a half gallon and pour back in through the hop spider. When I used an immersion chiller, I would put the hop spider in the middle of the coil and just do that. Then, when I got a pump, I would recirculate similarly through the hop spider.

Your original thought was to filter into your fermentation vessel through a bag. I was really just suggesting to use the metal hop spider in that capacity. The straining would even increase your aeration, because going through the mesh should increase the surface area of your wort.
 

marc1

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You could try a hop stopper. It will allow you to use the kettle drain and hold back the trub.

 

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How are you whirlpooling? When I first started using my Spike+ BK, it wasn't as good as I expected. Changing the pitch of the whirlpool fitting made a HUGE difference. Last batch had very little go into the wort filter/strainer. I had thought to not use it next batch, but after inspection (during cleaning it) there was some matter in there. I'll need to decide (this week) if I'm going to try the coming batch with it or not.
 

Golddiggie

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OP is whirlpooling by hand.
Well that explains the suck... Glad I never needed to do that. Before I got the Spike+ kettles I was using a hop spider in the keggle. I started with the spider using a nylon mesh bag. Second (and last) was using stainless mesh to hold the hop matter. 6" diameter and went to within a couple of inches of the bottom of the keggle.

IME, it's easy to whirlpool, effectively, with a pump and fittings in the mix. Especially since I do a 10 minute pump followed by a 10 minute rest before moving the wort through the plate chiller and into fermenter.
 

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I've been whirlpooling ever since I got my pump and the only coning is the loose hops. All my trub is flat on the bottom.
Since cold break only starts to form at 70* I chill during whirlpool and shut the pump valve when at 68*. after settling for a while I'll pump it into a fermenter. Only a small amount of trub makes it's way thru. Just like a keg it forms a hole that clear wort comes out. In the end the trub layer is flat and only the hops are coned. I stop pumping when the hose gets cloudy
 
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You could try a hop stopper. It will allow you to use the kettle drain and hold back the trub.


I have the 2.0 version of the HopStopper and it is the best thing I have every used. Since I started using a pump to move liquids around and a plate chiller to cool wort, I have tried bazooka screens, hop spiders, anything to not clog the pump and/or plate chiller. None of them were great, as they all clogged on their own before all of my wort was moved into the fermenter (5-6 gallons). Now I get a solid cake in the bottom of the kettle and almost all of the liquid into the fermenter, especially important when making a super-hopped brew-my last IPA had 12 oz of hops in the kettle.
 

marc1

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I have the 2.0 version of the HopStopper and it is the best thing I have every used. Since I started using a pump to move liquids around and a plate chiller to cool wort, I have tried bazooka screens, hop spiders, anything to not clog the pump and/or plate chiller. None of them were great, as they all clogged on their own before all of my wort was moved into the fermenter (5-6 gallons). Now I get a solid cake in the bottom of the kettle and almost all of the liquid into the fermenter, especially important when making a super-hopped brew-my last IPA had 12 oz of hops in the kettle.

I have it as well. I don't get the super dry cake on the bottom like some people have shown in pictures, but it is still really impressive how much wort I can recover.
 
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Jhedrick83

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@marc1 @JAReeves Do you all BIAB in a single vessel? If so, do you still see great performance from it? I just checked out the Hop Stopper and this part of their site gave me pause:

Screenshot 2022-01-10 at 18-17-50 Hop Stopper 2 0 with custom dip tube (for Ss Brewtech kettle...png


I'm BIABing in a single vessel. I've considered getting a pump and whirlpooling that way but spending $300 for a pump set up for my $125 kettle. Tougher sell for me and SWMBO.
 

marc1

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@marc1 @JAReeves Do you all BIAB in a single vessel? If so, do you still see great performance from it? I just checked out the Hop Stopper and this part of their site gave me pause:

View attachment 755207

I'm BIABing in a single vessel. I've considered getting a pump and whirlpooling that way but spending $300 for a pump set up for my $125 kettle. Tougher sell for me and SWMBO.

I mash in the same kettle as the Hop Stopper. I use a Wilser bag, which has a pretty fine mesh. I don't recirculate during the mash. I do whirlpool for a bit to provide additional sanitization for my pump and counterflow, but I do it slow and only for a few minutes because it is not recommended to do it a lot with the Hop Stopper. It's probably why I can't get it to drain to a dry cake; I still have some liquid left in the kettle when the pump runs dry, but it is still way better than any other method I have tried.

Here's what's left after I drained my ~11.5 gallons to fermenter. It has 15oz of hops. Pretty good!

20210926_133319.jpg
 
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I mash in a wilser bag even though I am using a 3V system, because I like a fine grind on my grain for more sugar extraction. So the bag catches some of the fine particulate and the HopStopper gets the rest. My wort isn’t perfectly clear, nor do I want or expect it to be. Some of those materials are good for yeasties.
 
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Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

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Thanks guys. I mash in a Wilser bag as well. I’ll check to see if I can get a hop stopper for my kettle.

I don’t expect to catch all the particulates, not a super stickler for super clear beer. Most of my brews get long fridge naps anyway after carbing. I’m just tired of either having the siphon clog up with Trub, having the dip tube on the ball valve clog or having to leave more wort in the kettle than I’d like to in order to not clog up the siphon.
 

marc1

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Thanks guys. I mash in a Wilser bag as well. I’ll check to see if I can get a hop stopper for my kettle.

I don’t expect to catch all the particulates, not a super stickler for super clear beer. Most of my brews get long fridge naps anyway after carbing. I’m just tired of either having the siphon clog up with Trub, having the dip tube on the ball valve clog or having to leave more wort in the kettle than I’d like to in order to not clog up the siphon.

They had really good communication by email, making sure that I got the right one with the right parts. Get in touch with them before you order if you have any questions.
 

hottpeper13

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If I have more then 1/2 gal in the BK I pour it into a sanitized pitcher and put it in the lagerator at 33* overnite,pour off the clear wort into a freezer container and use it for starters. The bonus is you only have to bring it to a boil and cool it. I haven't made starter wort for 8+ years.
 

AlexKay

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I emailed them last night and already got a reply. Quite quick and helpful.
Jhedrick, did you get the HopStopper? If so, how did it work out for you?

I just got my SS Brewtech mini (5.5 gallon) kettle, tried to whirlpool by hand and ... complete clog. I may have used too much Whirlfloc (it's hard to gauge for a 1.25-gallon batch). And there were a lot of hops. But it was total failure. Looking for a solution that doesn't involve spending lots more on pumps and such.
 

Konadog

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I ordered one about the same time and love it. I can drain all but a few cups with no hop leaf getting thru. You really don't need to whirlpool with one of these things. The only draw back I see is it's something else to clean, it cleans easy, but it's something else to clean.
 
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Jhedrick83

Jhedrick83

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Jhedrick, did you get the HopStopper? If so, how did it work out for you?

I just got my SS Brewtech mini (5.5 gallon) kettle, tried to whirlpool by hand and ... complete clog. I may have used too much Whirlfloc (it's hard to gauge for a 1.25-gallon batch). And there were a lot of hops. But it was total failure. Looking for a solution that doesn't involve spending lots more on pumps and such.

I emailed them and they said-
“The screen itself is 9-3/4” diameter. We just need to make sure there is room between where the dip tube meets the bottom of the kettle and the opposite side of the kettle (see sketch below). If you don’t mind, take a tape measure and measure this distance and we will see if the screen can fit.”

So I measured and sent it off and got back


“It looks like this is going to be really tight for the screen to fit. I might have a solution for you but I’m pretty backed up still after our January shut-down. Give me through the weekend to think on this and I’ll get back with you.“

That was 2/5. No word since and that ok. I know what I’m asking about is an odd size. Having said that, I made an Abbey ale end of January where I let the kettle sit for 10-15 minutes after pulling the IC and dumped the wort and Trub into the fermenter. Most of the hop matter had settled and didn’t transfer. It’s great!
 

Yesfan

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I recently bought a Fermzilla All Rounder. First thing I thought of when looking at the connections were "clogs" when assembling the ball lock posts to the All Rounder's cap.

Trub spider.jpg


This is about 3 oz of hops from a recent brew. The beer is a German Alt. I let the hop spider hang inside of my All Rounder and put my outlet hose from the kettle into it to catch the trub. There's a couple of times I had to shut the valve off and dump the spider's contents into the pitcher in the pic. Had I thought beforehand, I'd used my larger spider and recirculated in the kettle before chilling. I had already chilled the wort though so did it this way. It still worked. Even after hitting the wort with o2 for 90 seconds and pitching the yeast, looks like I have a good healthy fermentation going.

All Rounder German Alt.jpg
 
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