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Problems with Whole Hops in Brewkettle

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D-brewmeister

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I recently brewed my second all grain bach (woo hoo :D) and everything seemed to be working out fine (mash tun still working like a champ!) till I began transfering from my brew kettle through the wort chiller into the fermenter. In the boil, I used .5 oz of pellet hops, which I put in a hop bag, and 1.5 oz of whole cascades, that I let boil loose. But when I opened my new weldless spigot in my brewpot, I saw the wort moving fine for a few minutes and then it stopped flowing. Just to give you a better picture of my equipment, on the inside of my brewkettle, I have a hose barb screwed into the inside of the fitting, and a stainless steel braid strainer clamped on to that (the water supply hose type, about 6 inches long). When I noticed the flow had stopped, I poked my spoon into the pot and poked it around the area of the strainer, and the wort started flowing again, but only for a moment, at which point I was forced to try and scoop out all the whole hops, all the while poking at the strainer to keep things moving. Kind of a pain. Does anyone else have a sim. problem with whole hops? I suppose I could put all my hops in boiling bags, but I know that you get better utilization if they are allowed to float free. Do I need to get one of those big Bazooka screens, or would that still have the same problem? On the brighter side, the brew seemed to work out well, and it is currently happily bubbling away in my new 6.5 gal carboy :)
 

BitterRat

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D-brewmeister said:
I recently brewed my second all grain bach (woo hoo :D) and everything seemed to be working out fine (mash tun still working like a champ!) till I began transfering from my brew kettle through the wort chiller into the fermenter. In the boil, I used .5 oz of pellet hops, which I put in a hop bag, and 1.5 oz of whole cascades, that I let boil loose. But when I opened my new weldless spigot in my brewpot, I saw the wort moving fine for a few minutes and then it stopped flowing. Just to give you a better picture of my equipment, on the inside of my brewkettle, I have a hose barb screwed into the inside of the fitting, and a stainless steel braid strainer clamped on to that (the water supply hose type, about 6 inches long). When I noticed the flow had stopped, I poked my spoon into the pot and poked it around the area of the strainer, and the wort started flowing again, but only for a moment, at which point I was forced to try and scoop out all the whole hops, all the while poking at the strainer to keep things moving. Kind of a pain. Does anyone else have a sim. problem with whole hops? I suppose I could put all my hops in boiling bags, but I know that you get better utilization if they are allowed to float free. Do I need to get one of those big Bazooka screens, or would that still have the same problem? On the brighter side, the brew seemed to work out well, and it is currently happily bubbling away in my new 6.5 gal carboy :)
Well, you have a couple options. You can get a bazooka screen and that will solve it, or you could get a false bottom for your kettle. I have a false bottom in mine and while draining the wort, the bottom with the hops resting on it acts as a filter for the beer, you'd be amazed how much junk gets filtered out!!
 

Janx

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I just have a little screen filter...kinda like a bazooka, and the whole hops never clog it up. Now pellets clog it like mad, but the whole hops seem to act as a filter bed for me as well.
 
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If your using a false bottom, then I assume you are using a spigot on the bottom of the kettle under this false bottom. Doesn't this allow all of the hot break to pass into the fermenter?
 

Janx

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The hops tend to filter out a lot of the break I get. And then racking to the secondary gets it off the rest of the trub in the fermenter.
 
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The New Complete Joy Of Home Brewing - Charlie Papazian said:
The phase during the boiling and cooling of beer wort when protiens precipitate.
He further says that this can lead to off flavors and haze. I believe I have seen this precitpitate form and it appears as small white snowflake's in the wort. I also read that it is very easily removed from the wort if you allow it to settle to the bottom before siphoning off / draining the wort and leaving a small ammount in the bottom with these and other sediments.
 

BitterRat

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
If your using a false bottom, then I assume you are using a spigot on the bottom of the kettle under this false bottom. Doesn't this allow all of the hot break to pass into the fermenter?
Well, the spigot is under the false bottom, but the hops rest on it and filter out the hot break and anything else . So in effect, you have a clearer beer going into the fermenter.
 

ryser2k

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I used a bag for my hops during my last batch. I put my hop pellets for my Steam beer in my grain steeping bag (after I had removed the grain, of course). I don't know if it's "proper" to use your grain bag for this but I didn't have another bag on me. Anyway, it worked great! Usually it is a royal pain filtering all those hops out of the wort when I pour it into the fermenter. This time, I only had to filter out the Irish Moss that I dumped directly into the pot. I haven't tasted the beer yet, but I have read elsewhere here that boiling in a bag decreases hop effectiveness by 10%, but using pellets increases it by 10%.

I'll let you know how it turns out, but unless it is a dramatic difference, I think I am going to do it this way from now on.
 
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