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Cheap way to strain pellet hops our of brew kettle?

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Griffsta

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I have a converted keg for a boil kettle.

What is a good way to keep the pellet hops out of my fermentor without having to go the route of an expensive false bottom?

Is there a good manifold design?

How about a SS braid?

What about just straining the wort as it exits (through a musiln bag)?

I want to keep the cost down, but have something that is good for pellet hops. Thanks.
 

HenryHill

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Either put them in a fine bag in the boil, or siphon from inside a fine bag.
 
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If you are using a CFC Do not figure, "I'll just siphon them as they come out of the chiller before going into the fermenter. Ruined my Best/smoothest/fastest brew day to date this past weekend. I usually use a SS mesh scrubbie around my pickup tube. Well i forgot to put it in before 4.5 Gallons were near boiling before adding my final runnings. Eh, I'll just sanitized a muslin bag and filter before going into carboy.

well about an hour and a half later I finally managed to blow all my clogs lose with my CO2 bottle, trqasnfer to a sanitized bucket, clean boil kettle, add SS scrubbie, sanitize kettle and add wort back to kettle, then run CFC as normal. Lost 1/2 - 1 Gallon of wort in the process.

So yeah, Don't do that.

I think I'm going to go back to using my hopsak suspended from the kettle. Was a PITA to use with the IC, but now that I have a CFC it will be easier.
 
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Griffsta

Griffsta

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I have read that many people dont like to use the hopsack. Im not sure why...

I dont see why I couldnt just put all my hops in musilin bags and pluck them out before I chill the wort.

I use an immersion chiller.

All I want is to not have a ton of hops in my fermentor (cheaply).
 

SumnerH

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I have read that many people dont like to use the hopsack. Im not sure why...

I dont see why I couldnt just put all my hops in musilin bags and pluck them out before I chill the wort.

I use an immersion chiller.

All I want is to not have a ton of hops in my fermentor (cheaply).
I just put a strainer bag over the fermentor before I pour the wort into it and lift it (and the hops) out before pitching.

Just chill with them still in the pot.
 

conpewter

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I've used a stainless steel scrubie over the pickup tube to strain out hops, but I mostly use whole hops. You probably want to look into hop sacks, they are the cheapest method.
 

usurpers26

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Well, take it for what it's worth. We regularly make IIPAs - IBUs well north of 100, use all pellet hops in the keggle and cool the wort with a CFC.

No filter, no clogged dip tube, no clogged CFC...ever. Maybe we are just super lucky - but I wouldn't be too concerned.

I have a converted keg for a boil kettle.

What is a good way to keep the pellet hops out of my fermentor without having to go the route of an expensive false bottom?

Is there a good manifold design?

How about a SS braid?

What about just straining the wort as it exits (through a musiln bag)?

I want to keep the cost down, but have something that is good for pellet hops. Thanks.
 

conpewter

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Don't use a SS braid to filter pellet hops. I tried that on one of my first boils (before I switched to whole hops). The braid clogged in no time.
 

Catt22

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Well, take it for what it's worth. We regularly make IIPAs - IBUs well north of 100, use all pellet hops in the keggle and cool the wort with a CFC.

No filter, no clogged dip tube, no clogged CFC...ever. Maybe we are just super lucky - but I wouldn't be too concerned.
Exactly the same for me. Whole hops do need to be held at bay with at least a scrubbie or screen, but pellet hops have never been a problem. I do the whirpool thing at the end of the boil and most of the debris just accumulates in a pile near the center of the kettle. Hope bags seem to inhibit hop utilization IMO.
 

zman

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I just use a big Tea ball. I put the hops in and just toss it into the boil. NO muss no fuss, and no real amount of spent hops in the kettle or the fermenter
 

flyangler18

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what is this famous whilpool thing, and how do I do it?
Whirlpooling is quite simple. During and after cooling, stir the wort in a circular motion for several minutes. This will suspend all the kettle sludge and hop particles. Now walk away for at least 20 minutes and allow the junk to resettle. The circular motion will settle the kettle sludge in a cone shape in the middle of the kettle, then you can siphon into the fermenter along the outside edge.

For this reason, I prefer to use whole hops in the kettle for the filter bed it provides as I pump through my CFC and into the fermenter.
 

steelerguy

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Whirlpooling is quite simple. During and after cooling, stir the wort in a circular motion for several minutes. This will suspend all the kettle sludge and hop particles. Now walk away for at least 20 minutes and allow the junk to resettle. The circular motion will settle the kettle sludge in a cone shape in the middle of the kettle, then you can siphon into the fermenter along the outside edge.

For this reason, I prefer to use whole hops in the kettle for the filter bed it provides as I pump through my CFC and into the fermenter.
Right on! The easiest way to not get hop pellet junk into the fermenter is to not suck them up in the first place. Near the end you just have to make the call which is more important, do you want that extra wort with some break and hop material or do you leave it behind.so you don't get it in your fermenter.
 
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Whirlpooling is quite simple. During and after cooling, stir the wort in a circular motion for several minutes. This will suspend all the kettle sludge and hop particles. Now walk away for at least 20 minutes and allow the junk to resettle. The circular motion will settle the kettle sludge in a cone shape in the middle of the kettle, then you can siphon into the fermenter along the outside edge.

For this reason, I prefer to use whole hops in the kettle for the filter bed it provides as I pump through my CFC and into the fermenter.
I thought the ideal situation was to cool the wort as quickly as possible after the boil. Doesn't this add quite a bit of time?
Or is the desire just to chill quickly once you start chilling?
 

flyangler18

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I thought the ideal situation was to cool the wort as quickly as possible after the boil. Doesn't this add quite a bit of time?
Or is the desire just to chill quickly once you start chilling?
Yeah, you want to chill as quickly as possible after the boil. After cooling to pitching temp, for the whirlpool technique to work, you need to give the suspended trub ample time to settle out in a cone shape in the middle of the kettle. Whirlpooling favors IC users.

Jamil's Whirlpool Immersion Chiller uses a pump and a recirculation arm to keep things moving.
 

Catt22

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You can also approximate Jamil's whirpool fast cooling method with a counterflow chiller by pumping the wort through the chiller and back into the kettle continuously until you get the temp down to 140 F or so. Once the wort is relatively cool you can give it a stir to create a whirlpool in the kettle to get the trub/hop debis to form the pile in the center. Let it settle for a few minutes then pump through the chiller into your fermenter. This is my current method and it works for me.
 
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Griffsta

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This all sounds great, but my dip tube is smack dab in the middle of keggle. Therefore, if I do the whirl pool technique, then I will be sucking up all the nasty.

I suppose I could move my dip tube closer to the edge.
 

Catt22

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This all sounds great, but my dip tube is smack dab in the middle of keggle. Therefore, if I do the whirl pool technique, then I will be sucking up all the nasty.

I suppose I could move my dip tube closer to the edge.

Nah! Your dip tube will only inhale a very small amount of the trub/hop debris. Not enough to be even mildly concerned about. You can verify this visually after the keggle is emptied. The debris pile will still be there and mostly intact. No need to move the dip tube to the side at all.
 

flyangler18

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This all sounds great, but my dip tube is smack dab in the middle of keggle. Therefore, if I do the whirl pool technique, then I will be sucking up all the nasty.

I suppose I could move my dip tube closer to the edge.
Or you could stop using pellet hops in the kettle. I have a dip tube on my 15 gallon kettle with a hopstopper-style screen over top. Whole hops settle into a nice bed and keeps break material at bay so the wort runs clear through the CFC and into the fermenter.

Barring that, a suspended hopsack like that shown earlier in this thread is a great option. It won't keep everything out, but it'll hold back a fair bit.

Unless you're making something obscenely hoppy leaving lots of hop goo, I see no reason why it can't go right into the fermenter.
 

Catt22

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Unless you're making something obscenely hoppy leaving lots of hop goo, I see no reason why it can't go right into the fermenter.
Right! The hop debris and any trub that gets into the fermenter won't do any harm at all and I've read that it can actually be beneficial to the yeast providing them with needed nutrients. It will all settle out in the primary and you can leave it behind when racking.
 

BierMuncher

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Are those hop sacks (or paint strainers) reusable? Can you wash them out or do you have to toss it?
5-gallon paint strainers from Lowe's. About $3.00 for a pack of two.

I use, reuse and reuse.

I just dump the hop sludge down the shop sink (i use pellets), turn the bag inside out and give it a good hot dousing with the sink hose. Then into the sanitizing side of the sink until I need it again.
 

madewithchicken

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I just put a strainer bag over the fermentor before I pour the wort into it and lift it (and the hops) out before pitching.

Just chill with them still in the pot.
This is what I did last week and I think it is going to become my normal practice.
 

harley03

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Put them in a bag or use something similar to what I use below. It seems to work well. :mug:

 

kirscp

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I use an IC and stir while chilling. Takes me around 10 minutes to get my wort to 70 degrees. I take my IC out, clean it up, etc, then syphon my wort into my fermenter. I just try to stay above the troob. I've done this my last few batches, works well. I do use a 1/2" syphon tube, so it doesn't take that long.
 

DamageCT

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Whirlpooling is quite simple. During and after cooling, stir the wort in a circular motion for several minutes. This will suspend all the kettle sludge and hop particles. Now walk away for at least 20 minutes and allow the junk to resettle. The circular motion will settle the kettle sludge in a cone shape in the middle of the kettle, then you can siphon into the fermenter along the outside edge.

For this reason, I prefer to use whole hops in the kettle for the filter bed it provides as I pump through my CFC and into the fermenter.
Ive always been worried to whirlpool, doesnt that introduce the possibility for bacteria in the air to get into the wort?
 

BierMuncher

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Ive always been worried to whirlpool, doesnt that introduce the possibility for bacteria in the air to get into the wort?
Nah. At this point your beer is plenty strong enough to handle some exposure to the air. Plus, you'll need to aerate the wort anyway. Once the full fermentation gets underway, the churning CO2 will purge the unwanteds and the fresh hops and growing alcohol content will also act as beer antioxidants. Fear of exposure to the air tends to be a little overblown.
 
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If that helps you any... the brewpub I moonlighted for temporarily did a 15 minute whirlpool, and 15 minute settle, and the outlet of the kettle was on the side of the bottom of the floor, with the floor being slightly concave. It worked incredibly well.

I do the same for my homebrew set-up. I whirlpool 5 minutes or so, and let settle for 15 minutes, then I have a copper ring on the upper portion of the concave portion of my keggle, and I get very little hops/proteins.

M_C
 
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