Various whirlpool/dry hopping/keg hopping questions

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dogjam

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Hello folks,
I'm an AG brewer who is switching to kegging from bottling. I always end up with bitter/astringent hop trub in my hoppy beers after whirlpooling/dry-hopping despite using hop bags. I have a few questions and will be grateful for any advice:
-When whirlpooling (with an immersion chiller), are you constantly stirring/whirlpooling during this hop addition (i.e., for like 30 minutes)? Or do you just whirlpool for a few seconds several times during this period? Do you pull the immersion chiller out for these whirlpoolings?
-When dry-hopping and keg-hopping, do you just drop the hops in and leave them, or are you gently stirring/agitating to get the hop goodness to diffuse out (while trying to avoid oxidation)?
-Any special tricks to keg-hopping besides using a hop bag to keep trub out of your final product?

Thanks for any advice!
DJ
 

day_trippr

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fwiw...

- For whirlpool hops I chill the wort to below 170°F (last batch I tried 150°F) and keep it there for 20 minutes with a recirculation pump running full bore, then chill to pitching temperature, only removing the hops when the wort is down in the 80s. I'm going for the essential oils with as little IBU contribution as possible (I get those from the small 60 minute and large flame-out hops prior).

- I always use free-swimming pellets for dry hopping. I'll give the fermentors a gently rocking a few times a day to re-sink the mush. If these are post-fermentation hops I'll already have the fermentors under a low pressure (.4 psi) CO2 head pressure until they're kegged. I never pull the hops prior to kegging, I do a 48 hour cold-crash (again, under CO2 head pressure) then rack off the nicely compressed mass.

- For keg hopping I always use whole cones in sanitized muslin bags, dropped in once the keg is thoroughly chilled, left in until the keg kicks...

Cheers!
 

Pappers_

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I also just drop the hops in for dry hopping, no muss no fuss. Don't do whirlpool additions, but do whirlpool for the first five or ten minutes of chilling and recirculate the wort back, so its whirlpooling the whole time.
 

RM-MN

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Try using your hop bag differently. Instead of bagging the dry hops, wrap the dry hop bag over the inlet end of the siphon and hold it in place with a rubber band. Then try to keep the end of the siphon out of the trub.
 

OG-wan Kenobi

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I use this for dry hopping and I like it, I add 25% more dry hops to compensate but it keeps my beer clean so + and - , - https://www.homebrewing.org/400-Micron-Hop-Filter-with-Lid-Chain_p_7113.html - To whirpool with my immersion chiller going I add the hops at about 170-175 and stir around the chiller as I don't have a pump I use a long spoon and just get the wort moving as it chills
 
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dogjam

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Thanks for all the great advice! I ended up converting to the Grainfather system, and so now use a big hop spider and recirculate through there at whirlpool temps. For dry-hopping I use a canister-style hop screen, and I use the same thing for keg hops. Works great! Thanks again!
 

thehaze

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I would strongly advise against hop spiders in the Grainfather or any similar system. I've used a few times... a no-go for me. I've brewed 56 batches with the Grainfather and never, ever bagged hops and never had any issues. They will provide adequate filtering, provided your process is OK. For comparison, I've used up to 12 oz of pellet hops in my Grainfather with no issues transferring clear wort to the fermenter.
 

couchsending

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Agreed.. getting close to 200 batches in a Grainfather and only used a hop spider 3 or 4 times. The hops will act as a better filter to keep even more trub out of the fermenter if you throw them in loose. I’ve used close to 10oz in the kettle with no clogs and regularly do 5-8oz. The flow might be rather slow at times but I’ve never had it clog.

The bitter/astringent sensation is not from adding hops in the whirlpool. What are you dry hopping in?
 

Jag75

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Wont the hops get sucked into the pump of the Grainfather ? I've had grain plug up the filter before . Last brew I did was a NEIPA. That's quite a bit of hops to block the flow. Unless I'm missing something.
 

thehaze

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Never has the pump sucked hops. I assume you ask if the pump ever clogged and the answer is no, never had it happen. I whirlpool for all beers, no matter the amount of hops.
 

couchsending

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Wont the hops get sucked into the pump of the Grainfather ? I've had grain plug up the filter before . Last brew I did was a NEIPA. That's quite a bit of hops to block the flow. Unless I'm missing something.
Whole cone hops maybe, pellets won’t clog the pump. Make sure you take the ball spring valve thing out of the top of the pipe as well.
 

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