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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: guido on June 20, 2013, 07:34:31 PM

Title: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: guido on June 20, 2013, 07:34:31 PM
Normally, I put a false bottom in my 10 gallon Polarware kettle to keep to the whole hops from clogging the ball valve when I make my APA's and IPA's.  This time, however, I need to make a bigger batch.  I have a 20 gallon Polarware kettle, but no false bottom.  I have a 45 degree copper pipe elbow (pointed downward, of course) that's threaded into the inside of the kettle.  Is there a simple, low-tech way to keep the whole hops from clogging the ball valve?  Yeah...I could bag everything, but I like the hops to be more "exposed" to the wort.
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: Pinski on June 20, 2013, 07:41:01 PM
I prefer free range whole hops as well yet if I were you, I'd just go with hop socks. I've used them many times with fantastic results. You could also make an el cheapo "hop spider" by putting a dowel over the boil kettle and suspending a large mesh bag from the dowel by the drawstrings, keeping the opening above the surface of the wort.  Either way, I doubt your beer will suffer. Especially if you bump the quantities just a tad.
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: guido on June 20, 2013, 07:57:12 PM
I prefer free range whole hops as well yet if I were you, I'd just go with hop socks. I've used them many times with fantastic results. You could also make an el cheapo "hop spider" by putting a dowel over the boil kettle and suspending a large mesh bag from the dowel by the drawstrings, keeping the opening above the surface of the wort.  Either way, I doubt your beer will suffer. Especially if you bump the quantities just a tad.

The hop spider sounds like an excellent idea!
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: tygo on June 20, 2013, 10:59:59 PM
When I use my kettle with the pickup tube and whole hops I put a little section of bazooka screen on the end of the tube and crimp it down.  Worked perfectly for whole hops.  I cut off the last 3 inches of a spare bazooka I had lying around from a previous project to make it.
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: tonyp on June 21, 2013, 07:12:06 AM
Another low tech idea that might work is just taking one of those stainless steel kitchen scrubies and jamming it over the intake.

Something like this:

(http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Screen-shot-2010-04-08-at-1.04.54-PM.png)

I haven't tried it myself since I have a horizontal connector with a bazooka screen, but it just might be crazy enough to work.
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: guido on June 21, 2013, 09:09:12 AM
These have all been good solutions.
Title: Re: How to keep the ball valve on a boiling kettle from clogging
Post by: guido on June 23, 2013, 12:04:23 AM
I prefer free range whole hops as well yet if I were you, I'd just go with hop socks. I've used them many times with fantastic results. You could also make an el cheapo "hop spider" by putting a dowel over the boil kettle and suspending a large mesh bag from the dowel by the drawstrings, keeping the opening above the surface of the wort.  Either way, I doubt your beer will suffer. Especially if you bump the quantities just a tad.

The hop spider looks great.  It'll have its maiden voyage tomorrow.