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Author Topic: ANOTHER hops filtering thread  (Read 4657 times)

Offline Chris Craig

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ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« on: October 15, 2012, 02:11:30 PM »
This has probably been over-discussed, but Dan and I were talking about this at the last meeting a bit.  I'm trying to figure out a way to let pellet hops swim free during the boil and avoid clogging my CFC afterward.

Currently, I'm using a hop spider, and while that works well, I'm concerned about hop utilization.  After a while, the bag gets clogged with hops, and hot break.  I don't think there's much circulation around the hops after that.

I'm using a keggle, a pump, and a CFC.  My pick-up tube runs down into the center of the keggle, so a whirlpool won't be much good to me.  All the hops and break material will end up right at the pick-up tube.

I've tried a stainless braid, and not had much luck.  Because the keggle is concave, I lost over a gallon of wort, and as soon as any part of the braid was exposed to air, I lost syphon.  

I have two possible solutions to this, and I'm wondering what you all thought:

1. I could let the hops swim free, and then recirculate the wort into the hop spider without going through the CFC near the end of the boil to capture the hops.  Then, I'd have to recirculate through the CFC to sanitize it, so this option would add a few minutes to the brew day.  Not a huge problem.

2. I could continue the boil while I drain the kettle to hopefully keep the hops in suspension.  This may prevent a clog, but will result in all the hops making it into the fermentor.  This also isn't a really big problem for me.  

Anybody have any other ideas about this?

Offline Richard

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 03:25:22 PM »
3. if you've got a pump to drive your wort out of the kettle, get a hop-percolator and fill it with wire-wool, gravel, etc etc.

Bonus being you could use leaf hops if you wanted an extra aroma kick.

Personally, the braided hose works fine for me. Still not had it stick.
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 03:36:18 PM »
Yes, but we have totally different equipment Richard.  My kettle has a pickup tube that drops down into the center of a concave kettle.  I can't whirlpool and syphon from the edge like you can.

If I modify the pickup tube so that it's along the side, I'll lose a gallon of wort to dead space.  I can't do that because I'm already at about ~14 gallons when I boil.  A keggle only holds 15.5 gallons.

Offline fakr

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 04:27:58 PM »
I see your dilemma Chris.  Any chance of making a false bottom of sorts that won't move around during the boil?

You could also use something like the blichmann hop blocker.  JohnQ uses it and says it works well.

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/hop ... ocker.html

You could also do as Richard suggested and invest in a hop rocket of sorts, like the blichmann one:

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/Hop ... ocket.html

you could probably just fill it with rice hulls, and have your pump suck through it and into your CFC...
Ideally you could put your Flame out hop addition into it in leaf form, and it would do the filtering for you.

That blichmann hop rocket has a double filter in it by the way.
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Offline Kyle

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 04:38:15 PM »
I encountered the same issues as well, my solution was to put a 6 foot stainless hose in a coil at the concave bottom of the keggle. I place the hose under an upside down lid from my egg poacher (picture a normal pot lid with six 3inch circles cut into it) I expect a stainless strainer would work as well. This keeps the hose right at the bottom while providing enough surface area to flow well into the drain. I previously used flexible copper tubing to tie the hose into a tight coil(prevent it from floating), but had clogging problems. I recirculate during the last 20 mins of the boil to sterilize the pump, hoses, and plate chiller. When filling the fermenters, I often do not need the pump.
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 04:50:33 PM »
Quote from: "fakr"
I see your dilemma Chris.  Any chance of making a false bottom of sorts that won't move around during the boil?

You could also use something like the blichmann hop blocker.  JohnQ uses it and says it works well.

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/hop ... ocker.html

You could also do as Richard suggested and invest in a hop rocket of sorts, like the blichmann one:

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/Hop ... ocket.html

you could probably just fill it with rice hulls, and have your pump suck through it and into your CFC...
Ideally you could put your Flame out hop addition into it in leaf form, and it would do the filtering for you.

That blichmann hop rocket has a double filter in it by the way.


I've looked into the hopblocker, but the reviews I read said it was next to useless in the concave bottom of a keggle.  It's a slick device though.

Offline Chris Craig

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 04:52:21 PM »
Quote from: "Kyle"
I encountered the same issues as well, my solution was to put a 6 foot stainless hose in a coil at the concave bottom of the keggle. I place the hose under an upside down lid from my egg poacher (picture a normal pot lid with six 3inch circles cut into it) I expect a stainless strainer would work as well. This keeps the hose right at the bottom while providing enough surface area to flow well into the drain. I previously used flexible copper tubing to tie the hose into a tight coil(prevent it from floating), but had clogging problems. I recirculate during the last 20 mins of the boil to sterilize the pump, hoses, and plate chiller. When filling the fermenters, I often do not need the pump.


I'll have to give this one some thought.  Where is your pick-up tube?  How much dead space do you get?

Offline fakr

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 05:09:29 PM »
Chris, you should see if JohnQ would loan you his hop rocket to see if its even an option for you.  I could loan you a couple of pounds of rice hulls.
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Offline sdixon

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 05:31:21 PM »
Another simple solution (if you are concerned that the hot break material is keeping the wort from your hops) is to recirculate your wort into the hop spider.
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Offline Kyle

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 05:40:55 PM »
CC: my pickup tube rests 3" in from the edge, right against the bottom. Given all the hops goo that covers it every batch, loss of actual wort is not too bad, about 1/2 gallon.
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Offline Chris Craig

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 06:13:17 PM »
Quote from: "fakr"
Chris, you should see if JohnQ would loan you his hop rocket to see if its even an option for you.  I could loan you a couple of pounds of rice hulls.


Thanks.  I'll talk to JQ about it.  I have a whole bag of rice hulls, so that's not a problem.

Offline Chris Craig

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 06:15:50 PM »
Quote from: "sdixon"
Another simple solution (if you are concerned that the hot break material is keeping the wort from your hops) is to recirculate your wort into the hop spider.


Yeah.  That was option #1.  That'd probably be the easiest thing to do considering I wouldn't need any extra equipment.

Offline DandyMason

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 09:36:00 AM »
Yeah I didn't have much luck with the SS braided hose.. I can't keep it submerged. I like the idea of a hop rocket or hop blocker... I'm back to hop bags for the time being I think

Offline jeffsmith

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 09:48:23 AM »
I broke down and spent the money on a Hop Stopper (all SS version). I've only used it for two brews, but it's worked very, very well. No issues at all with my 30-plate chiller.

Offline fakr

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Re: ANOTHER hops filtering thread
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 11:55:09 AM »
If anyone is using SS braided hoses for filtering, I highly recommend sliding a piece of thick SS wire inside the hose and bend it to the correct shape...this will prevent it from moving around or floating....worked for me.
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