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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: rebobbitt on November 24, 2009, 09:55:39 PM

Title: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: rebobbitt on November 24, 2009, 09:55:39 PM
I have had problems draining the wort from my boil kettle.

Everything I try seems to have problems of either not filtering out hops and trub, or if I use a screen, screen gets clogged.

I use a 15 gal SS Megapot.

(http://www.northernbrewer.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/135x135/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/i/m/image_2386.jpg)

I have tried a bazooka screen and a Hop Stopper screen, but each with limited success so I have had to use hop bags to keep keep the screens clear from clogging.

I could go with no screen and whirlpool, and drain from the side, but I haven't had much luck in creating the mythical "cone of debris" in the center. Even if I chilled the wort in the kettle, then whirlpooled, it didn't seem to help much.

How do most people drain / filter from a boil kettle? Do you use hop bags? Screen? Whirlpool?

Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: bluesman on November 24, 2009, 10:19:48 PM
I use muslin bags and whole hops. I remove the bags after chilling the wort and then transfer the wort into the primary bucket. Works every time. Good Luck.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: dhacker on November 24, 2009, 10:20:07 PM
First question . . . How do you typically chill your wort? If you're using an IC then I don't think I'd worry about a screen. A good cold break should leave the majority of the trub below the kettle outlet hole. Just don't tip the kettle trying to squeeze every last drop. a little trub/ hop debris in the fermenter is irrelevant in the grand scheme.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: rebobbitt on November 24, 2009, 10:41:19 PM
I usually use a plate chiller (pumping wort from boil kettle to chiller to carboy), but I have also tried recirculating the chilled wort back into the boil kettle until the temp in the boil kettle was below 120 or so. Then I would whirlpool, but like I've said, this didn't seem to work well.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: Nagel Family Brewing on November 24, 2009, 10:49:47 PM
I have had problems draining the wort from my boil kettle.

Everything I try seems to have problems of either not filtering out hops and trub, or if I use a screen, screen gets clogged.

I use a 15 gal SS Megapot.

(http://www.northernbrewer.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/135x135/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/i/m/image_2386.jpg)

I have tried a bazooka screen and a Hop Stopper screen, but each with limited success so I have had to use hop bags to keep keep the screens clear from clogging.

I could go with no screen and whirlpool, and drain from the side, but I haven't had much luck in creating the mythical "cone of debris" in the center. Even if I chilled the wort in the kettle, then whirlpooled, it didn't seem to help much.

How do most people drain / filter from a boil kettle? Do you use hop bags? Screen? Whirlpool?



I use an autosiphon wrapped in a fine mesh hop bag.  It seems to work.  At the end of the siphon I can siphon in the trub without sucking any noticeable solids into my carboy.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: dhacker on November 24, 2009, 10:52:04 PM
I suppose the "Cone of Debris" could be getting disturbed if you are draining the kettle too fast. You said you pumped it to a plate chiller. Is it a pretty rapid flow?

I use a ring of braid in the bottom of a 1/2bbl keg. I gravity feed a Therminator into the fermenter. Granted, the bottom center of the keg is lower than the ring pickup by a little, but I've never had issues draining the BK except for one time when I used a fair amount of cocoa powder in the BK . . Big mistake/ bad idea!  
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: mtbrewer on November 25, 2009, 03:09:36 AM
I use a large grain steeping bag for my hops, then squeeze as much wort out when cooling.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: denny on November 25, 2009, 04:47:35 PM
I use separate hop bags for each addition.  When the boil is over, I clamp them to the side of the kettle to drain.  Gets all the wort out without having to squeeze.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: tom on November 25, 2009, 07:44:58 PM
Rick,
i use a Bazooka screen along the inside edge of my converted keg kettle. After I turn off the burner, I whirlpool with a stainless paddle. I get it going pretty good with a small vortex in the middle and then let it all settle for at least 15 minutes. This usually keeps the hops and trub in the center away from the Bazooka. Then I pump through the chiller into the fermenters. Only once, with a double IPA (which I am brewing again on Friday - yikes), did the Bazooka get clogged.
Good luck, Tom
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: Nagel Family Brewing on November 25, 2009, 08:14:10 PM
I use separate hop bags for each addition.  When the boil is over, I clamp them to the side of the kettle to drain.  Gets all the wort out without having to squeeze.

Isn't commando style hopping cheaper and easier?  ;)
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: Kaiser on November 25, 2009, 08:57:00 PM
If you have a bazooka screen or something else that sticks into the kettle and disturbs an even rotation of the wort, you may prevent that nice trub cone to form.

I just brew more than I actually need, chill, let it settle and rack clear wort from the top. The wort/hop/trub sludge at the bottom gets fitered through a paper towel in a large funnel w/ screen. The clear wort is then frozen and used for future starters. I use a lot of wort for yeast propagation which is why this works well for me.

Kai

Post #100, Woohoo
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: denny on November 25, 2009, 10:03:54 PM
I use separate hop bags for each addition.  When the boil is over, I clamp them to the side of the kettle to drain.  Gets all the wort out without having to squeeze.

Isn't commando style hopping cheaper and easier?  ;)

Commando style meaning just throw 'em in?  Yeah, it may be a bit cheaper, although hop bags are cheap and reusable.  But it's definitely not easier when it comes time to drain the kettle.  And the bags make cleanup easier.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: rebobbitt on November 25, 2009, 10:19:12 PM
If you have a bazooka screen or something else that sticks into the kettle and disturbs an even rotation of the wort, you may prevent that nice trub cone to form.

I just brew more than I actually need, chill, let it settle and rack clear wort from the top. The wort/hop/trub sludge at the bottom gets fitered through a paper towel in a large funnel w/ screen. The clear wort is then frozen and used for future starters. I use a lot of wort for yeast propagation which is why this works well for me.

Kai

Post #100, Woohoo

How long do you let it settle before you rack it off? (Wow, that would sound weird on another forum.... :) )
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: Kaiser on November 26, 2009, 03:46:14 AM
About 30 min. If you are letting it settle in the chilled wort you'll still have some cold break in the wort. But I would not worry about that.

Kai
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: yugamrap on December 01, 2009, 03:56:54 AM
I use a reusable paint filter hop bag for whole or pellet hops.  At the end of the boil, I raise it slowly and let it drain back into into the boil kettle.

(http://i43.tinypic.com/svq79z.jpg)
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: ndcube on December 01, 2009, 04:56:06 PM
I throw the hops directly in.

I siphon wort from the BK to a carboy using a platic screen on my racking cane.

I squeeze out the whole hops into the carboy and let the trub/break settle out before going into the fermentor.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: skyler on December 02, 2009, 03:45:33 AM
I used something like this recently with my pellet hops (http://www.amazon.com/Jumbo-Stainless-Steel-Infusers-Inches/dp/B00195X59I/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1259725319&sr=8-14), but I just throw the whole hops straight in - and I use a bazooka screen. I don't know how much hop utilization I got from this, though, and wont know for months, as the altbier I did this with will not be consumed for some time.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: tygo on December 02, 2009, 03:51:24 AM
I've got a kettle screen and I'm thinking of just using one grain bag to progressively dump all of the hop additions in and at the end of the boil and just hold it up or secure it to the side with clothes pins while the kettle drains.  Might have to do a little squeezing to get the wort out but it should keep the screen from getting clogged.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: pjj2ba on December 03, 2009, 03:34:28 PM
I usually use a plate chiller (pumping wort from boil kettle to chiller to carboy), but I have also tried recirculating the chilled wort back into the boil kettle until the temp in the boil kettle was below 120 or so. Then I would whirlpool, but like I've said, this didn't seem to work well.

This is what I used to do until recently.  I've got a homemade version of the hop stopper that works pretty well, but after 15 min. of recirculating, it starts to get a little plugged.  When I first start recirculating the flow is great.  So I figured, I just need to drain the hot wort quickly out of the boil kettle into a second container.  This would leave the hop debris and hot break behind in the kettle and then I could recirculate without worrying about debris.  I use a modified corny for this purpose.  I took the beer-out post off, removed the poppet, drilled it out a bit and pressed a plastic elbow onto it (needed to use a vise).  I also had a lid with no pressure relief valve on it so I put another fitting there. 

Now I gravity drain from the kettle to the corny via the beer-out post.  I takes about 6 min.  I'm going to replace the dip tube with some tubing of a larger diameter to speed the flow.  Then I take the corny, hook the beer-out to my plate chiller, and the output of my pump to the fitting in the lid.  I seal it up and apply a little bit of CO2 to the gas-in and the wort flows up and out, and down to my plate chiller.  Once it gets to the pump and I turn that on and I can now recirculate to my heart's content.  I put a liquid crystal thermometer strip on the corny so I can monitor the temp.  I keep an tiny bit of CO2 pressure on to compensate for the contraction of the wort as it cools - the system is totally enclosed which also helps to keep out any possible contamination.

This of course can also double as a giant hopback (hops in a large bag), and the next time I do an IPA I'm going to use it to do a hop stand.

Plus, now if I forget to sanitize my fermenter before hand, or my yeast starter hasn't settled enough, etc., I can just let the now cooled wort sit in the corny until everthing else is ready
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: rebobbitt on December 03, 2009, 03:54:23 PM
I usually use a plate chiller (pumping wort from boil kettle to chiller to carboy), but I have also tried recirculating the chilled wort back into the boil kettle until the temp in the boil kettle was below 120 or so. Then I would whirlpool, but like I've said, this didn't seem to work well.

This is what I used to do until recently.  I've got a homemade version of the hop stopper that works pretty well, but after 15 min. of recirculating, it starts to get a little plugged.  When I first start recirculating the flow is great.  So I figured, I just need to drain the hot wort quickly out of the boil kettle into a second container.  This would leave the hop debris and hot break behind in the kettle and then I could recirculate without worrying about debris.  I use a modified corny for this purpose.  I took the beer-out post off, removed the poppet, drilled it out a bit and pressed a plastic elbow onto it (needed to use a vise).  I also had a lid with no pressure relief valve on it so I put another fitting there. 

Now I gravity drain from the kettle to the corny via the beer-out post.  I takes about 6 min.  I'm going to replace the dip tube with some tubing of a larger diameter to speed the flow.  Then I take the corny, hook the beer-out to my plate chiller, and the output of my pump to the fitting in the lid.  I seal it up and apply a little bit of CO2 to the gas-in and the wort flows up and out, and down to my plate chiller.  Once it gets to the pump and I turn that on and I can now recirculate to my heart's content.  I put a liquid crystal thermometer strip on the corny so I can monitor the temp.  I keep an tiny bit of CO2 pressure on to compensate for the contraction of the wort as it cools - the system is totally enclosed which also helps to keep out any possible contamination.

This of course can also double as a giant hopback (hops in a large bag), and the next time I do an IPA I'm going to use it to do a hop stand.

Plus, now if I forget to sanitize my fermenter before hand, or my yeast starter hasn't settled enough, etc., I can just let the now cooled wort sit in the corny until everthing else is ready

Are you saying that trying to drain the boil kettle through the screen and then through the plate chiller took too long?
I have seen the same thing with my system, the last few gallons is when the screen would clog up.

So your new way, do you gravity drain through the screen to the corny, or just use the pick-up tube on the side of the kettle?
Do you try to whirlpool in the boil kettle before you drain into the corny?
Is there any cold-break left in the corny after transferring it to a fermenter?

I might try this using my hot liquor tank instead of a corny (both my boil kettle and hot liquor are 15 gal SS kettles). Do you think if I used a pump, that it would drain faster from the boil kettle?
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: pjj2ba on December 04, 2009, 02:17:57 AM
Are you saying that trying to drain the boil kettle through the screen and then through the plate chiller took too long?
I have seen the same thing with my system, the last few gallons is when the screen would clog up.

Yup, clogging after 15-20 min. of recirculating

Quote
So your new way, do you gravity drain through the screen to the corny, or just use the pick-up tube on the side of the kettle?

I use the same homemade hop stopper as before.  It's mesh size is small enough that what might get through won't plug up my plate chiller.

Quote
Do you try to whirlpool in the boil kettle before you drain into the corny?

Nope

Quote
Is there any cold-break left in the corny after transferring it to a fermenter?

Nope, at least not yet.  Right now it all goes into the fermentor.  I have thought about shortening the dip tube some more and then creating a whirlpool, possibly with a stir plate


Quote
I might try this using my hot liquor tank instead of a corny (both my boil kettle and hot liquor are 15 gal SS kettles). Do you think if I used a pump, that it would drain faster from the boil kettle?

I'm sure a pump would speed it up.  I boil outside, but my mashing/chilling station is in the basement, otherwise I'd pump it.  So I might just have to get another pump,
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: ambiorix on December 04, 2009, 07:52:05 PM
I use a stainless steel pot scrubber attached to my auto-siphon with a hose clamp. It works really well, and at $1 for a 2 pack at the Family Dollar store down the street, its a cheap fix.
Title: Re: Draining the boil kettle....
Post by: euge on August 13, 2010, 06:13:41 AM
I had a problem with the hop seeds jamming my pump. Coarse mesh hop bags and whole hops made my brew-day a snap. I'll never go back.