March Pump + CFC:Do I really need to bag my hops?

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bniesen

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I know this has been done to death but I can't find a definite answer. I plan on brewing an IPA this weekend and I would like to get away from using a hop bag. I started using a March pump a few batches ago along with a DIY CFC (3/8" dia.).
I am going to use 3 oz. of hop pellets throughout the boil. I plan on recirculating the wort through the CFC while stirring until temp drops, then dump into the primary. I could whirlpool but my dip tubes are set to just off-center of my keggle.

Should I still use a hop bag? Or will the pump and the stirring help break up the "hop sludge" and keep the CFC clog free?

If I was brewing something with a lighter hop bill, I would probably just toss them right in and see what happens. Seeing how this has 3 oz., thought it would be wise to get a second (third, fourth, fifth..... opinion)

Thanks for the insight!
 

voltin

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It depends on what kind of hops you are using. I have had no problems running pellet hops through my pump and CFC. You might end up with some hop sludge in your pump, CFC, and fermentor but it should clean up ok and the beer will be fine.

Whole hops are another story. Every time I have used whole hops without some kind of containment it has clogged everything up, especially my ball valve. I would recommend some filter to keep the hops in the kettle, next time I planning on trying a stainless steel scrubber under the dip tube to see if that fixes the problems.
 

fletchsj

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chances are you'll clog your chiller. I'd forget the bags and get a false bottle then you'd have no worries at all. just toss stuff in the pot
 

Snafu

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I made a DIPA a few batches ago and used nothing but pellets and my hop spider. Had no issues at all with my pumps. One batch prior to that when I was using whole leaf hops, damn thing clogged in the first 2 mins.

Keeping in mind my QD's are part of the problem, I use the Poly plastic one and they have a "X" in the middle of the flow. Some kind of support I guess.

I would think you can get by with out the hop spider, but I always use mine on every brew.
 
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bniesen

bniesen

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Cascade pellets, and my dip tubes are roughly 1/2" from the bottom of the keggles. False bottom, eh! Looks like another project added to the list. In the mean time, I'm going to look to see what options I have for nylon bags at my LHBS. My last brew day, I let the hop bag get to close to the outside bottom of the keggle and the heat put a small hole in the bottom corner. I'm going to look for a bag with a more coarse mesh.
 

voltin

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With pellets you should be ok. If you are worried about getting all the hop matter in the kettle, you can let the wort sit for a few minutes after FO, then drain and dump the first few pints or so of wort to get most of the hop matter out.
 

wedge421

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As long as you are not concerned about losing beer to the lose hops then you should not have an issue. I ran basically the same setup for years. My only complaint was when I brewed a DIPA I would lose close to a quarter of a gallon of wort to the hop pellets. I just now use individual nylon bags that I just throw out when im doing a DIPA. But long and short no you shouldnt clogs but you will get hops in the fermenter
 
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bniesen

bniesen

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I'm not worried about getting hops into the primary. I plan on dry hopping without a bag when I rack into the secondary, then carefully rack it off the hop trub when it comes time to bottle it.
 

LandoLincoln

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anyone think there will a problem with clogging?
Let me tell you a little story about my last brew day...

My brewing buddies and I were brewing a wit beer with coriander and orange peel. I just made a new stainless steel hop spider. But did we use it for the orange peel chunks, coriander and hops? HECK NO. Why? Because we are morons.

We use a 3/8" copper CFC with a March pump as well, btw.

So when it comes time to pump the wort out after the boil...nothing happens. Pump is pumping away, wort not coming out. After a minute or two it dawns on us that the orange peel is probably clogging the CFC. So we hook up the CFC to a garden hose and backflush it. Kablooey! Tons of orange peel and coriander bits come flying out.

"Guys, why didn't we use the hop spider for this stuff?"

"Uh...because we're stupid?"

So anyway, in answer to your question...no, I don't think you'd be able to clog a march pump and CFC with pellet hop / hot break / cold break material, but orange peel chunks and coriander will clog the CFC nicely, but the March pump will still be able to churn through that crap.
 

JRems

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You should be fine. I made an ipa with 12oz of hops and did not clog the pump or CFC.
 
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bniesen

bniesen

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Brewed this morning and decided to risk it without the hop bag or "spider". I just tossed them in throughout the boil. I am pleased to report that there was no clogging. I got impatient and didn't allow for it to cool down enough for there to be much cold break. I mashed a little higher than what I wanted to and was a little less than gallon off on my volume even though I used Brew Target brewing software.
Lessons were learned and in the end beer was made!!
 
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bniesen

bniesen

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There is a hell of a lot of trub sitting in my primary. Looks like I will be using a "Hop Spider" on my next batch. Luckily I have all the parts for this already.
 
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