Wort filtering before chilling?

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Oct 9, 2017
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TL;DR: What is your process for wort-filtering before chilling?

I'm looking at counterflow & plate chillers. (Not looking for advice there -- yet! That'll be a different thread, when the time comes. Focus! ;) ) It seems to me that, for any chiller that the wort flows through -- i.e., not an immersion chiller -- you'd want at least some filtering of The Big Stuff™ before pumping it through.

Not to mention the "must be primed" nature of hot-liquid pumps (like a chugger or similar) and I've got a stock-pot full of near-boiling liquid.

Plus, I was lead to believe that one wants to be very careful not to do too much handling of the wort between boiling & yeast-pitch, so as to absolutely minimize the introduction of ambient bacteria.

...You can see where I'm getting stuck, right? (I'm over-thinking things again, huh? Yeah, that happens; work with me, here! <G>) So anyway...

My Question Is:

What is your "process" for filtering hot-wort & running it through a chiller (counterflow, plate or other chiller where the wort flows through it)?

I think you're overthinking it a bit, but there are many others who think their workplace is a clean room in a lab.

I use an immersion chiller so I really can't help you. When I rack it from the brew pot I attach a nylon net on my primary bucket. It catches everything (hops, break, Irish Moss) as well as aerates my wort at the same time.

I know it doesn't help you any, but at least you're getting a reply. :D
Up til my last beer I would gravity feed from the kettle to the fermenter through a counterflow chiller. I never filter before the chiller and all goes through.

I just recently bought a cheep pump of Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G305PK0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20) that I added to the cold side of my chiller and it got plugged with hops on my last beer. My fix for this is instead of dumping the hops directly into the boil I’ll use a hop bag. As for the other trub, it flows through just fine and settles to the bottom of the fermenter.
I stir the hot wort in an attempt at getting a vortex and then let the wort settle for 10 minutes before starting the run off. As long as I set the flow slow enough (1/2 GPM) the hops stay in the kettle.
I use a Grainfather and the kettle has a small filter, which will stop grain bits, husks and some larger hop debris, but a lot of " sludge " can still go through. The best filtering method is to make the trub go to the bottom and stay there while transferring.

beermanpete does exactly what I do and with great success: I usually cool down the wort to around 156-158F and then add hops. I create a whirlpool/vortex with ny stainless steel paddle and leave it for 10-15 minutes. I come back to it, create a vorthex again and leave it for 15-20 minutes. This way, my wort gets enough contact time with the hops and all de trub will be at the bottom. When I transfer to the fermenter, it is almost clear with no hop or grain bits going in. I never get more than say half an inch of trub in the fermenter.
I gravity feed through a plate chiller and have never felt the need to filter between kettle and chiller. Filters tend to clog and then you've got a (scalding hot) mess on your hands.
But I do hava a RIMS system so wort is exceptionally clear going into the boil kettle (no grains or husks whatsoever) and I do a whirlpool pumping it back into the (reconfigured) mash tun so I can do the gravity feed thing again going into the fermenter.
Ah! Sorry, I should've been more clear in my original. I'm less worried about little particles of grain; the things that always clogs my works is the loose-leaf hops (i.e., Cascade).

Today I did my 1st batch where the hops was put in a bag for easy removal at the end. I have no idea how that'll impact the taste, but it certainly simplified the filtering question.

But, not counting that (hops in a bag), surely you guys don't run leaf-hops through your siphons, plate & counterflow chillers...?!
Right, I don't. That said, I usually use pellet hops which settle out pretty well. On my last brew I used whole leaf hops and meant to use a bag for the hops but forgot to use it. Fortunately, I had a hop back (Hop Rocket) in-line and it caught the hops from the kettle.
I chill with a plate chiller. I get it all set up before flameout, with my pump on the hot side to push through the chiller. I use either a hop basket or a bag for my hops. At flameout before I turn on the chilling water, I start the pump and have it running back into the keggle with the hose pointed into the hop basket or the bag; this way most of the gunk gets filtered out. I let it run about 5-10 minutes before I turn on the water, then another 5 or so to get the temp down to 160. By the time it hits the fermenter it's down to the low 60s and fairly clear. This is also a great way to get the most out of a hopstand, and negates the need for a whirlpool.

Word of caution on plate chillers, if you're planning on going that route; most of them out there cannot be taken apart for cleaning, so make sure you have some water heated up when you're done chilling to flush it out. And flush it both ways to ensure all of the residue gets gone. I've only clogged mine once (leaf hops overflowed the basket) and it was a bit scary.
Back then when I still used whole leaf hops I always used hop bags. Little tip: always squeeze them before pulling them out or you'll lose a lot of wort.
Little tip: always squeeze them before pulling them out or you'll lose a lot of wort.

I would think also a lot of the hop flavor that didn't have a chance to float out of the bag.

I'm a big fan of bag-squeezing, on the theory that "that's where all The Good Stuff is". I suppose one could "sparge" it, as well...

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