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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * November 12, 2003 * Pellet hops vs leaf hops and getting wort out of fittingless brew kettle < Previous Next >

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Bill Moore (68.210.139.229)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm using a converted Sanke keg for a BK and haven't invested in either a welded or a weldless fitting.
When I siphon out of the kettle, the hops come on through. When I try to strain them out on the way into the primary, they quickly clog the strainer.
I'm thinking that I should be using leaf hops instead, to avoid the clogging. Will leaf hops be less of a clogging problem.
If I do go with putting a fitting in the BK, does anyone have an opinion about the best way to filter the wort during discharge? I've read of various types stainless mesh screens used in the BK attached to the drain line, any opinions.
 

Frank Marsh (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whole hops may help, may work better if you whirpool and and wait for things to settle in the middle. I know some use tricks like a copper (choreboy) around the end of the pickup tube.

I use a SS false bottom in my kettle and have a 1/2" coupling welded on. I use both whole and pellets and have no problems with either, I think the whole hops filter out the break material better. BTW with this setup there is no need to filter on the way to the fermenter. Depending on your budget you may want to have someone do some welding for you or purchase a weldless kit, which I'm sure works fine providing your a little bit handy.

With a coupling welded on you could also rig something up with some stainless steel mesh from a stainless steel reinforced hose.
 

Marlon Lang (68.159.3.140)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dude,
RDWHAHB. You are siphoning too soon. Let the BK settle for at least 45 minutes. If you use pellet hop, the stuff should settle out. If you use leaf hops, they will float. Use your bottling siphon, sans the end valve, and siphon from the bottom. It it will clear. Some hop and hot/cold break won't hurt the yeast in the primary.
Yo' humble draughtsman,
Lang
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think most people know my solution for pellets. Use hop bags and fit a copper scrubbie around the kettle outlet. Whirlpool the hot wort for about two minutes at the end of the boil followed by letting it settle for 15-20 minutes. The result is quite clear wort and a pile of trub left in the center of the kettle bottom. If you use women's knee-high sheer hose for the hop bags (no more than 1.5 oz. per bag) they're cheap enough to toss afterward, although if you are terminally thrifty you can rinse and reuse them two or three times.
 

Vince Turley (192.31.106.34)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill M-
I use a converted Sanke with a Zymico (NAYY) Bazooka "T" connected to a Zymico weldless bulkhead fitting and 1/2" ball valve. I try to use leaf/flower hops whenever possible, as these create a nice filter around the two screens. When using 100% pellet hops, my experience has been that you must "bag 'em" otherwise they will clog the filter (very frustrating to have a stuck runoff from the BK!!!). Even using 50/50 leaf/flower and pellet hops I do not have a problem draining the BK - using whole hops are key to draining the entire wort without any hassels.

Bill P.-
I'd like to "move up" to knee-highs (I always forget to pick those cloth bags up at my LHBS). Can you refresh us on how you prepare these for use in the boil? Do you pre-boil them to wash them of any dye or other chemicals? Jeezzz, am I going to get some weird looks from my SO when she sees a stack of THESE in my brewing supplies!
 

Ethan Yankura (208.153.21.21)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had an inspired moment a few brew sessions ago. Why it took me so long to figure this simple one out, I'll never figure. I pulled my SS braided hose out of my mash tun to clean it and realized that it would probably just fit over my racking cane. Lo and behold it fit like a glove and my siphon went great. I just left a bunch of extra hose lenght trailing off the end of the cane and dropped it into the kettle.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 01:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vince, I buy the light shade of sheer knee-high hose (but not white). If you are paranoid you can boil them for about 10 minutes (I recommend this for sanitizing if used for dry hopping) and there will be a small amount of dye left in the water, but frankly I don't think it's a concern. And as far as strange looks, I can't say that I care. They're just knee-high hose. I know painters who use them to strain paint, which is how I got the idea to use them as hop bags.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Why not white?

PTA
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 02:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Because you NEVER wear white after labor day, PTA...sheeze.

-JM
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 02:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ahh, but it is before labor day 2004.

PTA
 

danno (207.225.86.219)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 04:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hose with dyes and unknown chemicals? Copper scrubbies? Just get a weldless fitting and a false bottom. No whirlpooling, no waiting, no fuss, easy to clean up. I do recommend at least an ounce of whole hops if you're using a lot of pellet hops but I've done all pellets brews as well (you get slightly more pellets hops into the fermenter as a result).

Bill, I just lost all respect for you if you really suggest using something as chemical laden as stockings. You even admit that they will release some dye! Sheez.
 

Michael (69.19.204.42)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What's wrong with a few hops in your primary? If you're going to rack to secondary in a few days....well. Guess I haven't been anal enough when a few of the critters have slipped through.

Gee, but the beer sure is good.

Save the nylons for halloween, or for those inclined, the work week. :>)
 

Jared Cook (147.136.228.54)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The problem with a few hops in the primary is that a few will undoubtedly get transfered into the secondary, which then get transfered (alibeit in smaller proportions) to the keg. This has been my experience. The less junk in my primary, the less junk I end up with in the finished beer.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been using sheer knee-high hose as hop bags for years and never noticed any problems with the beer that can be attributed to them. That includes four beers that have made it to the second round of the NHC.
 

Michael (209.165.7.156)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>The problem with a few hops in the primary is that a few will undoubtedly get transfered into the secondary,>>

Hey, I dry hop (pellets) in the secondary and usually have them drop out in a couple of weeks. Just have to be careful when racking to keg, and viola, clear beer.

Primary? Never had a problem with kettle hops making it to the keg.
 

danno (207.225.86.219)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Biil, maybe the knee highs are why the beers didn't do better? I still can't believe as a brewer of craft beers that you advocate using stockings. I'll send you some used underwear. Sure, they'll turn the water colors but I bet you won't be able to pick up any off-flavors!
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 12:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Danno, I can't see why boiling the hose for 10 minutes wouldn't remove anything of any consequence. After all, they're safe for human contact. I obviously don't recommend wearing them first, however.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 02:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

See.. i knew it...
Bill HAS worn em before!!
:)

For what its worth.. i use a false bottom and whole hops...
Filtered everything ive ever been worried about with out getting stuck...;>

Walt
----
 

Dan Mourglea (67.240.192.81)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Men, chill, I just boil in a kettle with no filter or spout (for 5 gallon batches that's been more than good enough) I whirlpool the wort for a minute or more after chilling (IC-I stir during the chilling process; 65F in 15min) and then use a sanitized pitcher to transfer the beer into my fermenter with a stainless strainer sitting across the bucket. Most of the hops stay in the bottom of the kettle and get thrown out; the ones I pick up get caught by the $1.97 walmart strainer. Couldn't be simpler, atleast not for the price and (lack of) effort. I have used the knee highs to good effect when stuck with pellet hops (I am stuck on using as many whole hops as I can). Danno, do you really believe that after boiling knee highs that they could be a problem? I'm sure you probably don't drink anything but pure distilled water and ethyl alcohol due to the Ruskie fluoride conspiracy too (recognize the slightly less than accurate movie reference anyone?). . .Why the worry, why the effort?

HELL, the other day I got a Sierra Nevada pale ale with a hop leaf, from a keg--didn't make me stop drinking it. Tastebuds rule--until the bubble counters take over the world!

Right now, needless to say, I am twisted on an IPA, pilsner and blackberry wheat that are on tap right here in my appt; brewed with my low tech "barbarian brew" techniques.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Why not white?

PTA
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The white hose has more dye than the other shades.
 

danno (207.225.86.219)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, your comment was "If you are paranoid you can boil them for about 10 minutes (I recommend this for sanitizing if used for dry hopping) and there will be a small amount of dye left in the water, but frankly I don't think it's a concern."

That tells me your recommend using them without pre-boiling them. I would like you to boil one up and then drink the water and tell us that there's no flavor. Then I will be a believer. Otherwise, why not just recommend using a nylon hop bag from the LHBS. They're only $5 or so and they can be easily hand washed or thrown into the washing mashing (I always rinse before use).

I don't like the muslin bags as well as the nylon bags but than again, neither is a big issue for me as I use a FB. My $40 worth of hardware (for the FB, dip tube and fitting) mak for a quick return on investment. Besides, the hops help filter out the hot break (and the cold if you use an immersion chiller).
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

aren't nylon hop bags white?

PTA
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

snicker...

Walt
Lama Brewery
----
 

Hallertauer (195.93.79.157)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

**Otherwise, why not just recommend using a nylon hop bag from the LHBS. They're only $5 or so and they can be easily hand washed or thrown into the washing mashing (I always rinse before use).**

That's my procedure exactly. I use a big a$$ nylon bag from my LHBS and just rinse it good after every use. Another advantage is that I think I get better utilization because I have more of the wort contacting the bag than if it were in a dinky mulsin bag (they would let to many of the pellet material through anyway) or a relativly small knee high.
 

Josh S (198.208.159.14)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 06:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've found it more to style by choosing the nylon color closest to the final beer color. I read that the beer is not considered 'to style' when the wrong color nylon is used ;>

Does anyone have an extra pair of red knee highs, I'm brewing an Irish Red this weekend.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 06:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Danno, one of my beers boiled with sheer knee-high hose for hop bags was an American light lager that won a bronze medal in the second round of the NHC. There's not much room for off flavors to hide in a beer that light. I would think if there were any flavor from the dye it would have been noticeable.
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe the judge had a fettish ;-)
 

chumley (63.227.170.94)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I tried the knee high thing this summer. While I have noticed the color fading during the boil, dye in my beer hasn't really concerned me. What has concerned me is the lack of hop flavor from the bagged hops. This is coming from someone who has never bagged hops before.

This Sunday I brewed a 1.060 Czech pils with about 75 IBU of Sladek for bittering, Saaz for finishing. Based on advice from this forum, I limited my addition size to 1.5 oz. of pellets per knee high. I had sausages of hops floating all around the kettle. I thought the beer underhopped when I tasted the cooled hydrometer sample.

Yesterday I brewed DC's Rye IPA using pellets. This time, no knee highs. The cooled wort had a tremendous hop bitterness and flavor.

Sure, knee highs make cleanup a snap, but having brewed 3 batches this summer and not being happy with the results, I have decided to switch back to good ol' fashioned gravity.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

chanting in the background....

whole hops... whole hops...whole hops...

Walt
----
 

Bill Moore (68.18.82.237)
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had similar thoughts about using hop bags and the lack of exposure to the boil that they cause.
I'm trying leaf hops for my next batch and see how that does before I go with bagging of pellet.
LHBS has full selection of pellet but limited leaf so that's a consideration.
Even if I go with a FB it looks like I'd still need to go mostly leaf without risking clogs.

Decisions, decisions. I'll just have to make lots of batches and try different techniques.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The hop bags don't seem to diminish the bittering that much; in fact, I find that overall the increase from using pellets just about equals the loss from the hop bags. The last beer I had analyzed for bittering was within 1 IBU of the calculated value using whole hops.
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.199)
Posted on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 10:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I switched from pellet to whole hops and like the results a lot better. If I were to use pellets, I would use them for bittering only unless that's all I had access to. I think whole hops are much better for flavor and aroma. As far as the knee highs go, I use them when dry hopping in the keg with no bad results. After my boil and cool. I just pick up the kettle bear hug style and dump it into the bucket through a nice poly pasta strainer. When I start doing 10 gallon batches however, this might become a problem.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Funny you said that Randy..
I often drain from the boil keg through a big plastic funnel i got years ago with a screen in it, into the fermentor..
What it catches, i would say, is the little bit of cold break that makes it through the whole hops n false bottom....
n a few hop seeds :)

Walt
 

Sauce (204.210.211.126)
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hows this for paranoid about crud and hops getting into the boiler:

I try to use mostly whole hops loose and free in the boil. When I toss the irish moss and chiller in with 20 minuts to go, I hang a stainless strainer and big stainless spoon in the kettle (pre cleaned and satitized).

After I'm done chilling I grab the strainer and spoon and remove most the hops, gently squeezing out the wort. I then cover the keg/boiler top with cellophane/ceranwrap and let it sit for about 3-6 hours to settle out. By this time most of the break will compact down nicely. I siphon off the clear wort, sucking up just enough "crud" to give the yeasties something extra to chew on.

Seems to work for me without and bad side effects, other than extending my brew day into the evening. It makes for an extremely clean yeast cake after ferment is done. You obviously have to be carefull with sanitation.

I messed around with 5 gal nylon paint strainer bags from home depot but I didnt think I was getting the extraction I should have and didnt want to mess around with figuring out how much more to add to get the hop profile I wanted.

JackK

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