No problem...I was thinking about this a l lot yesterday because I wrestle with wanting to let the hops be free and wanting to keep the brew session time as short as possible within my all grain system (3V2p). Cleaning the hop spider takes time and so should cleaning the hopstopper. The mesh is about the same and the size is comparable. Now the Electric Brewery states that you can just rinse the hopstopper out and dry it well. There could be a small amount of time saved there vs a hop spider because the spider picks up oils and has the solid residues while the hopstopper may not have the oils and some of the residues stay in the pot itself. I generally give my hop spider a good brushing inside and out. I could just blast it with hot water but I think it would get brown pretty fast.
Addressing your concern though, I am thinking that the IC won't help but rather the solution has been provided by @day_trippr
, add on a port. I don't monitor the amount of cold break occurring when dropping to whirlpooling temperature however I am skeptical it is significantly different between using a PC and an IC. Having said that, next consider something said in the Hop Stopper manual:
The second sentence is acknowledgement that recirculation has problems. And you have personally observed this as well. If you don't recirculate through the pump while whirlpooling hops, either hand stir or let steep, I don't think you would have a problem transferring since the Hop Stopper is limited at 1 gpm. A 12 gallon runoff is therefore theoretically 12 minutes. I generally can run my pump full bore when transferring if it's an ale. In summer I may recirculate just a quick bit to get temperatures lower initially. It being close to winter, I just got a lager down to 60F even after a whirlpool @165 with just a slight throttle on the pump! The 1 gpm limit is a time loss but not terrible, maybe 5-6 minutes? But the first sentence in the quote is the decider. If you disagree with that, and I am skeptical without more data and an unbiased opinion (they are selling these), then another port seems in order, one where the recirculation isn't through the Hop Stopper. It could then be done with an IC or a PC. If using a PC, do the really quick temperature drop through the Hop Stopper and PC, then switch over to the other port to recirculate while whirlpooling. Then back to the Hop Stopper port. Could be messy because the PC is low and switching hoses and leaving the PC open would leak wort. Not insurmountable and I'm considering giving this a go myself. I've been measuring my pick up tubes as well and may upgrade to 5/8" OD while doing so. Seems unnecessary for the Hop Stopper port but I will do it on the new port if I do as well as change out the one on my MT. Going to consider it some more because it's about $100-125 (I have a ball valve on hand already) and requires the new port.