New way to control Pellet Hop gunk!

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marcb

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dogbar said:
Pretty sure it's the break material, not the hops. I've done better with it since I started waiting until after the hot break to put it in, as another poster suggested.

When I wash it off at the end, that stuff can be coating the bottom and outside.
Here's my break material for today's brew. Note that I whirlpool but I do not return into the basket. I use a 300, it drains fine and doesn't clog. Also why I recommend using a false bottom in your brew kettle

image-626551394.jpg


image-1002870603.jpg
 

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So far I've had it get semi clogged up once in a beer that only used 2oz Sorachi Ace, yet 9oz of various other hops didn't clog it. I think it has to do with the specific hops being ground to different levels, though I could be wrong.

Possibly it could be that it should be soaked in oxyclean/pbw after every use and it's getting progressively more clogged up with each brew.
I was one of the first to complain about it not draining well, and fearing bad utilization of the hops.

Then it dawned on me. I get massive hot breaks when I brew, and usually FWH as well.

What I suggested, and still do- is if you FWH, leave it in until you can tell it's rising and foaming. You can see the top will get really milky. I'll pull the basket. Let the hot break happen and finish. Then I toss the strainer back in.

I've found my basket will drain better, and faster, and it's also a helluva lot easier to clean as well.
 

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OK, so hot break seems to be clogging these filters. That makes sense, that crap is nasty. I'm wondering about skimming the break as it forms, it's junk you don't want in your wort anyway. I skimmed the last batch when I brewed on Saturday, the pot was much easier to clean, I'm thinking that skimming would help keep these filters working better as well. But I haven't used one of these things, what do you think?
 

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It could have been break material with my last brew as I had a lot of nasty foam, some of which I skimmed. However, I did pull the spider every 15 minutes or so, and it was draining great until near the end (I was hop bursting so it got 4 of the 7 ounces late). Need to have a few more large hop beers to understand exactly what is happening. With 4 oz or less, the spider performed great and I was able to use it to filter during plate chiller recirculation with no issue whatsoever. So for me, the jury is still out. I did notice that the outside of mine was green, unlike marcb's photos above that have just a hint of hop matter on the outside, mine was the color hop...
 

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Pretty sure it's the break material, not the hops. I've done better with it since I started waiting until after the hot break to put it in, as another poster suggested.

When I wash it off at the end, that stuff can be coating the bottom and outside.
I didn't put it in until the after the hot break. It could still be the issue, but it's weird that it was only an issue in the last batch. It wasn't bad enough that I was very concerned.
 
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marcb

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stonebrewer said:
It could have been break material with my last brew as I had a lot of nasty foam, some of which I skimmed. However, I did pull the spider every 15 minutes or so, and it was draining great until near the end (I was hop bursting so it got 4 of the 7 ounces late). Need to have a few more large hop beers to understand exactly what is happening. With 4 oz or less, the spider performed great and I was able to use it to filter during plate chiller recirculation with no issue whatsoever. So for me, the jury is still out. I did notice that the outside of mine was green, unlike marcb's photos above that have just a hint of hop matter on the outside, mine was the color hop...
And the pic above has 12oz of hops in it. I've taken to stirring the basket quite vigorously at every addition and every so often during the boil so that there is no mountain of hop sludge at the very top that is mostly solid,more of a hop soup. I also think there are significant differences in the consistency of hop processing that makes quite a difference. Maybe for the next experiment I will hop filter in a 300 basket and then run my whirlpool return through the 400 to see if it Jams up with break material and/or provides good break filtration. All in all I am pretty happy with my current process and result otherwise I wouldn't keep posting pics ; )
 

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I'm about to shoot Chad a drawing of a 6" x 16" filter for my keggle that will fit inside my IC (will leave the IC in for the entire boil). Since I use an IC instead of a plate chiller should I just go with a 400 to help with draining seeing how I don't have to worry about clogging a plate chiller like a lot of you guys do?
 

zanemoseley

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Well I just went ahead and went with the 300 micron, seems most people are happy with it. I almost went with the 400 but if I ever go with a plate chiller then it will come in handy and if I ever decide to sell it most people would probably want the 300 micron. I'll post a picture when I get it. I'm also getting a dry hopper.
 

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I'm about to shoot Chad a drawing of a 6" x 16" filter for my keggle that will fit inside my IC (will leave the IC in for the entire boil). Since I use an IC instead of a plate chiller should I just go with a 400 to help with draining seeing how I don't have to worry about clogging a plate chiller like a lot of you guys do?
Zane, this is exactly what I plan to do. I ordered the 4x10 and really should have gotten the 6x14 (working on a swap with Chad now), but I plan to hook it to the side of my IC (with the filter resting in the center) and just leave it in the entire boil.

Idea came about with me wanting to whirlpool while I chilled, but I can't fit both the filter and the chiller in the kettle at the same time, not unless the filter is in the center. I suppose I could leave the filter on the side of the kettle for the entire brew and then move it to the center when I add the IC and chill, but why complicate life?
 
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marcb

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tgmartin000 said:
So anybody noticing any difference in their hop utilization with these bad boys?
Yes indeed. Based on the restriction of the hop bags I was using my hop utilization is way better than it was before. The psycho Pliny clone pictured earlier in the thread has been tasted twice against fresh bottled Pliny and has better balance (bitterness) more hop aroma and flavor! So yeah, hop utilization with these kicks a$$.
 

sweetcell

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hop utilization is better than bags but less than free-balling. i use a ladle to spoon hot wort into the top of the filter/spider (what should we call these things? how about a hop basket?) a couple of times during the boil and i suspect that gets me really damn close to free-balling. isomerization happens in the boiling liquid, not in or right against the hops... the oils and acids are quickly leached away from the hop matter and into the boil.

yes, i like to call hops directly in the boil "free-balling".
 

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Yes indeed. Based on the restriction of the hop bags I was using my hop utilization is way better than it was before. The psycho Pliny clone pictured earlier in the thread has been tasted twice against fresh bottled Pliny and has better balance (bitterness) more hop aroma and flavor! So yeah, hop utilization with these kicks a$$.
marcb,

the original inspiration for your 'crazy idea' was to prevent scorching below the filter bottom and allow a pathway for gas to escape so that the space below the basket would not become full of trapped gas - from that point of view, how did your design work? Did you get bubbles coming ouit the side and/or through the basket bottom or did you end up still getting trapped gas?

-fafrd
 
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marcb

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fafrd said:
marcb,

the original inspiration for your 'crazy idea' was to prevent scorching below the filter bottom and allow a pathway for gas to escape so that the space below the basket would not become full of trapped gas - from that point of view, how did your design work? Did you get bubbles coming ouit the side and/or through the basket bottom or did you end up still getting trapped gas?

-fafrd
Hi fafrd,

I decided to test that theory out on a smaller batch in case scorching occurred (instead of 22 gallons of dba) so I haven't tested it yet. I should at least be able to test it in a boiling water pot this week but Saturday I'm headed to the UK for a week so the real test might be a few weeks out.
 

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Question on Chad's dry hopper: I'm a dry hopping newbie and always thought you were supposed to pull the hops after about a week. Do you leave his dry hopper in the keg until the keg is empty? Or are you supposed to bend a hanger or something and fish it out at some point?
 

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Just got my latest creation from Chad. I had a "half moon" hop filter made so that I could add my IC without having to remove my filter.

Here's a video of me taking the measurements for Chad.


And here is the finished product.....



It fits absolutely perfect. Now I can add hops throughout the boil and not have to remove/replace the hop screen when adding the chiller.













 
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HefeLibre

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That is really slick. What do you think the volume of that is relative to the cylindrical hop baskets? Looks like alot more wort/hop contact.

Anyone have a recommendation on chad's hop baskets on optimal size for the 15 gal more beer kettles? They are 18.5 inches in diameter and 14.5 inches deep.
Would the 4X10 be too small for high hopped beers? But the 6X14 a bit too big? It would be about 1/2 off the bottom. Not using a kettle screen but thinking of it.

I currently use a chiller coil but also have a plate chiller I want to use eventually once I settle on one of these.

The large half moon shape seems good also for regular hops.

Looking to get one of these hop baskets for my next brew: a citra pale ale.
 

pfgonzo

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This is why I love this site. Everyone is so damn creative!

Yambor44, that IS slick. What kettles/size are you using? Respond ASAP (pretty please), as I have an order pending with Chad, and may switch it up to what you had done.

Thanks!
 

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pfgonzo said:
This is why I love this site. Everyone is so damn creative!

Yambor44, that IS slick. What kettles/size are you using? Respond ASAP (pretty please), as I have an order pending with Chad, and may switch it up to what you had done.

Thanks!
Yeah, that is a great idea. I may just have to consider that getting one of those made for my kettle.
 

Yambor44

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Yambor44

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Question on Chad's dry hopper: I'm a dry hopping newbie and always thought you were supposed to pull the hops after about a week. Do you leave his dry hopper in the keg until the keg is empty? Or are you supposed to bend a hanger or something and fish it out at some point?
I ferment most times for three weeks. I dry hop the last week of that three weeks.
 

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Hi all,

I liked the design Yambor44 had done I took a crack at drawing one up for my More Beer 15 gallon heavy duty kettle. The ID is 17 5/8" diameter by 14" deep..

My chiller coil is 12 inches in diameter.
I budgeted for an extra 1.5 inches of play to avoid the chiller catching on the basket.

Does anyone think this is too little or too much?
Also, took into consideration if using a false bottom (2 inches).
The basket would hover 1/2 inch above a false bottom or 2.5 inches
of true bottom.

I'd likely go with 300 micron screen size since that seems to be
working out the best. Will eventually be using a plate chiller.

Hop Basket Design 300 Micron 3.jpg
 

IslandLizard

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Looks really nice.

Is your planned hop basket large enough? Can you calculate its volume and compare it with a 4x10 or 4x16?

For 10 gallon batches I feel the 4x10 is too small, particular for larger hop bills. In a previous message we found that 8 oz maybe the 4x10's functional limit.

You want your basket to be large enough to hold at least most of your common hop amounts.

Also, I don't think in the current design you'll get much or enough circulation through the side that hugs the kettle. How close is that?
 

HefeLibre

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I was told there would be no math involved. :)

Well according to the horizontal tank calculators out there:

The 4 X 10 cylinder comes in at 125 cubic inches or @ .5 US gallons in volume.

If we assume the hop basket is part of a larger cylinder with a diameter
of 17.5 inches and a depth of 11.5 inches but only 4 inches full,
it comes in at 476 cubic inches or @ 2.06 US gallons.
About 4 times the volume. @ 20% wort/hop coverage.

Seems like a nice ratio. Stirring during the boil before the chiller coil is added
seems like it would get good mixing.

Took my calculations from here:

http://www.1728.org/cyltank.htm
 

Carlscan26

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HefeLibre said:
I was told there would be no math involved. :)

Well according to the horizontal tank calculators out there:

The 4 X 10 cylinder comes in at 125 cubic inches or @ .5 US gallons in volume.

If we assume the hop basket is part of a larger cylinder with a diameter
of 17.5 inches and a depth of 11.5 inches but only 4 inches full,
it comes in at 476 cubic inches or @ 2.06 US gallons.
About 4 times the volume. @ 20% wort/hop coverage.

Seems like a nice ratio. Stirring during the boil before the chiller coil is added
seems like it would get good mixing.

Took my calculations from here:

http://www.1728.org/cyltank.htm
If you took the panel that makes the width of that basket (14 11/16) and made a cylinder out of just that piece it would have a diameter of approx 4.68 inches so its actually got more surface area than the 4" cylinder would. Do you have a MoreBeer chiller too? I have the same kettle and their chiller - mine measures 12" too. Also, did you size the height for the MoreBeer false bottom?

I'm interested in one of these too ... What do you think of a 1" clearance instead of the 1.5"?
 

Carlscan26

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Yambor44 said:
Just got my latest creation from Chad. I had a "half moon" hop filter made so that I could add my IC without having to remove my filter.
Yambor - what did this cost?
 

HefeLibre

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If you took the panel that makes the width of that basket (14 11/16) and made a cylinder out of just that piece it would have a diameter of approx 4.68 inches so its actually got more surface area than the 4" cylinder would. Do you have a MoreBeer chiller too? I have the same kettle and their chiller - mine measures 12" too. Also, did you size the height for the MoreBeer false bottom?

I'm interested in one of these too ... What do you think of a 1" clearance instead of the 1.5"?
I did account for the false bottom. Although I've never used it in my boil kettle.
The dimensions I am currently thinking are 14.5 inches across the long section, 3.75 inches from the kettle wall and 12 inches deep. This gives me 1/2 inch off the false bottom or 2.5 inches of true bottom if I'm not using the false bottom.

There is a handle on the false bottom that you need to orient a certain way to avoid running up against the hop basket. I reduced the size a bit to deal with that hopefully.

The only other concern I have is, will the kettle lid rest nicely on with the hop basket in place, or does it not matter during the boil. I usually like to keep the lid on during when running the chiller coil but probably resting on top will be fine.

Here's a couple pics. The chiller coil is from more beer and 12 inches across.

20130313_028182.jpg


20130313_028183.jpg


20130313_028184.jpg


20130313_028185.jpg
 
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marcb

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HefeLibre said:
I did account for the false bottom. Although I've never used it in my boil kettle.
The dimensions I am currently thinking are 14.5 inches across the long section, 3.75 inches from the kettle wall and 12 inches deep. This gives me 1/2 inch off the false bottom or 2.5 inches of true bottom if I'm not using the false bottom.

There is a handle on the false bottom that you need to orient a certain way to avoid running up against the hop basket. I reduced the size a bit to deal with that hopefully.

The only other concern I have is, will the kettle lid rest nicely on with the hop basket in place, or does it not matter during the boil. I usually like to keep the lid on during when running the chiller coil but probably resting on top will be fine.

Here's a couple pics. The chiller coil is from more beer and 12 inches across.
The lid will rest on top of the filter but that's fine, he can rig you some drop downs but I don't think you'll need them. The kettle in the pic looks strangely familiar : )
 

Carlscan26

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I did account for the false bottom. Although I've never used it in my boil kettle.
The dimensions I am currently thinking are 14.5 inches across the long section, 3.75 inches from the kettle wall and 12 inches deep. This gives me 1/2 inch off the false bottom or 2.5 inches of true bottom if I'm not using the false bottom.

There is a handle on the false bottom that you need to orient a certain way to avoid running up against the hop basket. I reduced the size a bit to deal with that hopefully.

The only other concern I have is, will the kettle lid rest nicely on with the hop basket in place, or does it not matter during the boil. I usually like to keep the lid on during when running the chiller coil but probably resting on top will be fine.

Here's a couple pics. The chiller coil is from more beer and 12 inches across.

Looks like you and I are running identical setups - or we will be once I add a false bottom :mug:

Looking at the MoreBeer website they show the handle in the center. I'll call them when they open to ask as this would potentially affect things for me.

From your sketchup pic it looked like 4"-4.5" was easily doable, but from those pics it looks like 3.75" would be the max with .25" of clearance?

How tall is the handle on the false bottom? I was going to suggest doing a shorter screen to clear the handle by say 1/2" to get the wider screen until I started looking at the dimensions as I'm less worried about total volume as I am surface area:

Your current design:
14.5" Wide X 12" Deep = 174 sq inches

I'm guessing at what additional width we could get by going to 4.5" deep and what the handle height is:
15.5" Wide X 10.5" Deep = 162.75 sq inches
15.5" Wide X 11" Deep = 170.5 sq inches

So that could actually be taking a step back with the shorter ones even with the additional width.

The other consideration is that I mostly do 5.5 gal batches - so much of the screen won't even be used so that clearance at the bottom is a big deal. In this kettle 1 gal uses .95" in height so 2.5" equals about 2.4 gals. Today my bags tend to float but they do eventually sink somewhat. So raisingthe height would lessen the exposeure space even more. Maybe I'm over thinking this part but I'm thinking maybe not using the false bottom at all then...or getting a domed false bottom and a pickup tube? Or just sticking to your planned height of at least 12"

Lastly, I think for the lid to fit reasonably well we would also want a 1/2" drop so 11.5" height: 14.5" Wide X 11.5" Deep = 166.75 sq inches (a 4W X 11.5D cylinder would have 144.44 sq inches of surface area).
 

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Looks like you and I are running identical setups - or we will be once I add a false bottom :mug:

Looking at the MoreBeer website they show the handle in the center. I'll call them when they open to ask as this would potentially affect things for me.

From your sketchup pic it looked like 4"-4.5" was easily doable, but from those pics it looks like 3.75" would be the max with .25" of clearance?

How tall is the handle on the false bottom? I was going to suggest doing a shorter screen to clear the handle by say 1/2" to get the wider screen until I started looking at the dimensions as I'm less worried about total volume as I am surface area:

Your current design:
14.5" Wide X 12" Deep = 174 sq inches

I'm guessing at what additional width we could get by going to 4.5" deep and what the handle height is:
15.5" Wide X 10.5" Deep = 162.75 sq inches
15.5" Wide X 11" Deep = 170.5 sq inches

So that could actually be taking a step back with the shorter ones even with the additional width.

The other consideration is that I mostly do 5.5 gal batches - so much of the screen won't even be used so that clearance at the bottom is a big deal. In this kettle 1 gal uses .95" in height so 2.5" equals about 2.4 gals. Today my bags tend to float but they do eventually sink somewhat. So raisingthe height would lessen the exposeure space even more. Maybe I'm over thinking this part but I'm thinking maybe not using the false bottom at all then...or getting a domed false bottom and a pickup tube? Or just sticking to your planned height of at least 12"

Lastly, I think for the lid to fit reasonably well we would also want a 1/2" drop so 11.5" height: 14.5" Wide X 11.5" Deep = 166.75 sq inches (a 4W X 11.5D cylinder would have 144.44 sq inches of surface area).

There is actually a little more clearance. If you look at the ruler/straight edge in one of the pic, the coil is about inch inside from the ruler's outside edge.

Also, the handle on my false bottom is not centered like they appear on More Beer's website. It is toward the edge, and I can orient it in such a way to
keep it from obstructing a hop basket.

My FB came from More Beer but it looks like they altered the design. The "handle" is the same as the feet used to elevate it. So they are about 2 inches in height.

I've never tried using an FB to minimize hot break but need to try it.
Maybe it helps when doing large volumes of wort. Doing 10 gallon batches,
there may be other more practical ways.

Anyone, does it really help or are there other ways to filter the wort effectively keeping it out of the fermenters etc?

Or is an FB used for other purposes in the boil?

It may be more practical for me as well to disregard the FB altogether.

Having a conical, for example, seems to accomodate dropping this problem You could drop out any stuff that has settled after a few hours/days.

But I get minimizing it to begin with helps too.
 

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There is actually a little more clearance. If you look at the ruler/straight edge in one of the pic, the coil is about inch inside from the ruler's outside edge.
I wasn't sure given angles/perspective, etc. I'd vote for adding .5" to the basket and only having 1/2" clearance.

I was considering the FB for hot break filtering as a bonus, but primarily for whole hops - I made an IPA recently with a combination of pellets in bags and whole hops loose and they clogged my bazooka tube.
 
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Carlscan26 said:
I wasn't sure given angles/perspective, etc. I'd vote for adding .5" to the basket and only having 1/2" clearance.

I was considering the FB for hot break filtering as a bonus, but primarily for whole hops - I made an IPA recently with a combination of pellets in bags and whole hops loose and they clogged my bazooka tube.
I bought a Fb for my brew kettle for whole hops but am very pleased with how much extra crap it catches and keeps out of my fermenter.
 

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Just talked to MoreBeer - the picture on the site is wrong; the FB is like the one you have in your pictures. They say it's only 1.75" high though.

I bounced the idea of using a domed false bottom with a silicone tube to the valve (http://morebeer.com/products/stainless-steel-false-bottom-12-diameter.html) and the rep I was speaking with said he was actually about to switch to such a setup, that it would help with hot break, for sure provide hops filtering AND it would also let the chiller sit lower.
 

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Does anybody reading this thread have one of the MB 12" domed FBs? I asked about it's height but he could only guess it as 3/4".

I'll assume 1" at the peak, so we could safely add 1.5" to the basket height giving us: 13 Tall X 14.5 Wide for 188.5 sq inches which is the same as a 6X10 tube (188.4)! This assumes that we don't make it deeper, and only have a 3.75" depth.

At this point, I'd say put it back to 4" deep too :)
 

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Does anybody reading this thread have one of the MB 12" domed FBs? I asked about it's height but he could only guess it as 3/4". I'll assume 1" so we could add 1.5" to the height giving us: 13 Tall X 14.5 Wide for 188.5 sq inches which is the same as a 6X10 tube (188.4)! This assumes that we don't make it deeper, and only have a 3.75" depth.
mine is in the mail. i'll be receiving it next tuesday. i can tell you then.
 

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The lid will rest on top of the filter but that's fine, he can rig you some drop downs but I don't think you'll need them. The kettle in the pic looks strangely familiar : )
I leave the lid on when ramping up to boiling as it significantly speeds that up. Since I brew outside I always cover the pot at flame out and during chilling, etc. so having the top seat well is of interest to me. I think with a .5" drop we should be fine, provided that the metal hangers aren't too thick as there is some play (maybe 1/8"?) with how the top fits on the pot.
 

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