False bottom or filter for Mash and Boil?

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Razorback_Jack

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Hello everyone. I hope you’re brewing, fermenting, kegging, or drinking something great right now!

I brew using a Mash and Boil, and use a Blichmann Riptide to circulate and transfer. I’ve been having a problem with hop particles in the pump, and somehow even managed to break a tiny piece off of the impeller inside. Ordered a replacement impeller from Blichmann, but I want to prevent this in the future. Also, I’d like to possibly switch to a Therminator chiller, and don’t want to get all that crud in there. I would be willing to try a false bottom if there is one compatible for the M&B, that would sit below the mash tube (because I’m not going to reach down and place it in after sparge!) and above the valve. I looked at the mesh tubes that some have attached inside the valve, but they say not to use with pellet hops. If anyone has ideas, if there is a false bottom compatible with M&B, or some kind of in-line pre-pump filter that isn’t prone to clogs, I would love to know about it. Alternatively, maybe something in my methods should change. I do circulate during the last fifteen minutes of boil, but I stop the pump while stirring in aroma/flavoring hops and whirlflock tablet. Maybe I’m not giving them enough time to dissolve.

Cheers everyone, and I appreciate any and all advice.

Jackson
 

micraftbeer

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I wonder if your problem could be due to trying to circulate while boiling? I use a Riptide in my brew setup as well. In my case, I have a bare boil kettle with no false bottom or screen of any kind, but I don't circulate until after boil is over and I've killed the heat. I circulate for 5-10 minutes through my CFC to sanitize before I turn on cooling water. I brew a lot of hoppy stuff and have not had troubles clogging the pump. If I get something with A LOT of hops, I create a whirlpool with my spoon and let that spin for a couple minutes before turning on the pump to recirculate.
 

Golddiggie

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I wouldn't recirculate during the boil at this point. I do whirlpool at end of boil (10 minute recirculation, 10 minute rest) before running through my plate chiller. I did place a wort strainer in line between my March/Chugger pump and my DD plate chiller (12" long, 40 plate model) to prevent clogging. I don't run through the strainer until going to the chiller. The whirlpool run just goes through the pump head (upgraded to TC connection, center inlet, pump heads a few months back).

The wort strainer (from Brewers Hardware) has prevented the plate chiller from getting clogged up since I started using that. I seem to capture at least 3oz of hop matter (final weight) for each brew I've used it.

Another option available for people is to use a hop spider in the boil to contain the hop matter. I've used that in the past with good results. But, since changing to my new kettles, that wasn't a viable option. With the Spike SCL on top of the BK, I didn't want any gaps between the kettle and lid. Hence using the wort strainer.

As is typical with things related to home brewing, there's at least a handful of different ways to get the same end results (for the process at least). You need to find the method that matches up with either your budget or style of brewing. I'm of the mind to get the gear needed to make great beer that's also easier on me. Luckily, my day job pays well enough to support that. ;)
 

Golddiggie

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Most instructions on these say to circulate at end of boil for sanitization purposes. Many here say no need to do that because the temp at flame out is adequate.
If you look up time to pasteurize at temperatures you'll see that at/above 190F it takes a second (maybe two) to pasteurize something. Which renders it safe. So, if you send hot wort through a plate (or counterflow) chiller for a second (or two) before hitting the chill water feed, you're good. No need to run it for minutes. You can then regulate the wort flow to offset the amount that was put into fermenter (assuming single pass into fermenter post whirlpool) and get the entire batch to safe pitching temperature. I'm looking at doing this for my coming batch. Previous brew I left StarSan in my plate chiller for an hour (or so) before draining it fully and closing off the wort side (used a sanitized hose to connect the two ports).

Remember, we don't need to sterilize things for brewing, just sanitize. This is also for anything that comes in contact to the wort post boil and when it's cooled enough to be vulnerable. Above 200F, that's not very likely. Simply soaking your tubing (with fittings) in Starsan [solution] for at least a minute is more than enough. Let the Starsan run back into it's bucket/container and then connect things up so it's now a closed system. Done.
 

Barbarossa

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Most instructions on these say to circulate at end of boil for sanitization purposes. Many here say no need to do that because the temp at flame out is adequate.
Well, in that caae he can just sanitize before dropping in the hops. Anywhere past 170F works fine.

I really don't see a reason to recirculate the hops.
 

micraftbeer

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In my setup, I have a whirlpool arm that's part of the recirculation loop back into the kettle. So I recirculate a bit to get the hops gathered in center so less gets into the fermentor.

Hitting and maintaining whirlpool temperatures if you're using that hop technique works great with the CFC, I think. Recirculate a bit with a little cooling water just to drop to the whirlpool temp, then turn off cooling water and set the controller to hold temp while it recirculates.

I'm wandering a bit off topic, but just mentioning stuff I do with my Riptide workout any false bottoms or filters and have had no problems. So it seems like the OP issue probably is the boiling wort wreaking havoc in the pump head.
 

Golddiggie

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Everything I've read, or recall hearing, about running a pump during the boil (especially propane fired) mentions to have a valve on the pump outlet that you reduce the flow OUT of the pump to ensure you don't have cavitation in the pump head. I did that when I started using pumps about a decade ago and the info was easy to find even back then.

IMO, anyone that doesn't have a valve on the pump outlet is setting themselves up for pain/trouble. I have butterfly valves (TC connections on the heads) that I use to alter the flow rate from the pump depending on need. I can't see ever NOT having a valve on the pump head outlet. IIRC, the riptide has a valve integrated into the pump head. So it's even easier to reduce the flow out of the pump if used during the boil.

BTW, the info I read when getting ready to do the whirlpool method mentioned killing the heat (burner or element) before you start the whirlpool.
 
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Razorback_Jack

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Lots of good info here, but to be clear my recirculating at the end was not done to whirlpool. Just doing so to sanitize the pump and tubing. I see now that it may not be necessary to do so, just something that many have suggested doing. Looks like I can achieve that result with just a few seconds or even a minute of pumping, which is good to know.
 
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Razorback_Jack

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If the pump doesn’t really need contact with boiling liquid for 15 minutes, I guess the same holds true for the immersion chiller. I’ve been in the habit of placing my 1/2” x 50’ IC in the boil with 15 mins left, and turning on the Riptide to sanitize. To keep from dropping temp, I’ve warmed the IC up in my sparge water heater first. Placing the IC in at flameout, and then starting the pump, would sure make things easier, if indeed they will be sanitized by doing so.

Jackson
 
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DuncB

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WHat about considering a counterflow chiller, much less likely to get clogged, still pretty efficient and easy to clean/ sanitise.
I'm pleased with the coolossus, i run the wort thru it and then back into the kettle as a whirlpool.
 
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Razorback_Jack

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WHat about considering a counterflow chiller, much less likely to get clogged, still pretty efficient and easy to clean/ sanitise.
I'm pleased with the coolossus, i run the wort thru it and then back into the kettle as a whirlpool.
It’s a possibility, for sure.
 

Jag75

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If that false bottom from Robobrew will fit that be the best option imo. I think it cost me 25$. I brew NEIPAs without any issues.
 

jerrylotto

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I don't worry about santizing anything before or during the boil. That IS a sanitization step. Once the wort drops to 170F after the boil is done, everything it touches from that point on is cleaned and sanitized with dilute iodine solution BEFORE use. Everything plastic that I own is stained brown but clean :cool:
 

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