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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: spowlison on August 16, 2011, 02:52:50 PM

Title: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: spowlison on August 16, 2011, 02:52:50 PM
I've got a beer in my Corny keg, and it's ready to go. I dry hopped it in the keg, but despite my best efforts (putting the hops in a hop bag and tying it up), I am still getting epic hop particles clogging my "out" tube. I've taken the keg apart a few times, being careful to sanitize it along the way, unclogged it and tried it again, but each time it re-clogs quickly. Seems like something went awry with the hop bag. Any fixes you can think of to save this batch of beer?
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: tom on August 16, 2011, 03:44:19 PM
Is it just hop particles or do you think the bag might be clogging the diptube?
If it's the bag you can tie it with dental floss and hang it from the lid.
If it is just hop particles you can put another hop bag around the hop bag or the diptube opening and transfer to another keg.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: spowlison on August 16, 2011, 04:41:42 PM
I can't really tell, but I believe it's the hop particles. I am afraid the bag came open or something like that. I did put a ping pong ball in the hop bag in the hopes that it would keep it away from the tube at the bottom. So are you suggesting putting another hop bag around the end of the dip tube to filter it? That seems sketchy but maybe there is a sneaky way to do this?
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: dhacker on August 16, 2011, 05:13:40 PM
Put a scrubby on the end of yer pickup tube . . problem solved.  :)
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: spowlison on August 16, 2011, 05:24:33 PM
Put a scrubby on the end of yer pickup tube . . problem solved.  :)

Umm... can you translate? What is a scrubby and where can I find it?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: dhacker on August 16, 2011, 05:41:30 PM
A plastic (or stainless if you prefer) pot scrubber . . for cleaning dishes, etc.

Available anywhere housewares are sold.

(http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af255/dhacker50/pot-scrubber.jpg)
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: tschmidlin on August 16, 2011, 05:59:57 PM
Stick with the plastic ones, I used a "stainless" one once and it corroded and made the beer taste awful.  I'm guessing the low pH of the beer is a bit much for the low grade stainless they use to make them.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: spowlison on August 16, 2011, 06:04:31 PM
Gotcha... thanks for the help. Final question: how does this baby get attached to the end of the tube? Do you just open the top, hold the scrubby in there and poke the bottom of the tube into the mesh after it's been fed through the top of the keg?
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: euge on August 16, 2011, 06:05:34 PM
Sounds good.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: dhacker on August 16, 2011, 06:07:12 PM
Yep . . that's all there is to it!

@ Tom . . Yeah, good point . . not all stainless scrubbers are created equal. I got some years ago from BBB and they are fine, but the ones from Dollar General . . probably not so much. ;)
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: hoser on August 16, 2011, 06:10:02 PM
Surescreens work better and are made of better stainless steel than a scrubby.  They also fit over the end of your out tube.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/surescreen.html

A tincture of time and patience will also work.  Keeping the keg cold and stationary will allow the debris to eventually fall out.  The first few pints may be a little "dirty," but eventually it clears up.  Adding a little gelatin can speed up the process.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: tschmidlin on August 16, 2011, 06:15:35 PM
Yep . . that's all there is to it!

@ Tom . . Yeah, good point . . not all stainless scrubbers are created equal. I got some years ago from BBB and they are fine, but the ones from Dollar General . . probably not so much. ;)
True, there are probably better quality stainless scrubbies than the ones I got. ;)
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: James Lorden on August 16, 2011, 08:23:51 PM
Sure screen says that pellets will clog it. I generally dry hop with pellets.  Any experience that you could share?  I have had this same problem when filtering an IPA, very annoying. 
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: dhacker on August 16, 2011, 11:51:02 PM
No experience, but the design of the Sure Screen looks (to me) to be indicative of quick clog when used on a pickup tube. There's no meaningful surface area where the beer enters the tube which is gonna pull all debris to that small pickup zone. As the bottom of the screen clogs, the beer will attempt to enter higher and higher up the screen. Seems like you could end up with 5 or 6 inches (the length of the Sure Screen) of beer in the keg as the intake has to works its way progressively up the screen.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: tubercle on August 17, 2011, 01:27:35 AM
The Tubercle fixes the hop bag to the dip tube with a tyrap about half way down.

 You are using whole leaf hops, ain't ya?
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: thcipriani on August 24, 2011, 02:03:48 AM
I've heard good things about the surescreens for whole hops.

Personally, I tend to use pellets in my system and I just use a giant teaball. There are a few bits here and there at first but in a couple weeks it'll clear nicely.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 24, 2011, 02:35:06 PM
I can never get the keg sealed when I try to hang the floss out of the top...

How long is too long for dry-hops? I seem to get off flavors from whole hops after about 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: denny on August 24, 2011, 03:19:36 PM
How long is too long for dry-hops? I seem to get off flavors from whole hops after about 2 weeks.

I think it depends on your tastes and the variety of hop.  I put hops like Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, etc. in a keg and leave them there until the leg blows...2-3 months.  No off flavors noted.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: skyler on August 24, 2011, 04:21:38 PM
I fill large tea balls or "spice balls" with hop pellets. It works beautifully.
Title: Re: Hop Clog Woes
Post by: hoser on August 24, 2011, 04:33:26 PM
No experience, but the design of the Sure Screen looks (to me) to be indicative of quick clog when used on a pickup tube. There's no meaningful surface area where the beer enters the tube which is gonna pull all debris to that small pickup zone. As the bottom of the screen clogs, the beer will attempt to enter higher and higher up the screen. Seems like you could end up with 5 or 6 inches (the length of the Sure Screen) of beer in the keg as the intake has to works its way progressively up the screen.

I have never had an issue with a surescreen clogging with pellet hops or whole leaf hops, ever.  I typically dry hop in my fermenter (a 10 gallon corny).  I generally dry hop my hoppy ales with no less than 4oz. of pellets and have dry hopped with 8oz. on more than one occasion and have never had a transfer clog with hops or yeast when I jump from my 10 gallon corny fermenter into my 5 gallon kegs. If you are really worried about it, you could trim off a 1/2" to 1" of your dip tube, but I don't think this is necessary.  I just place the surescreen on my diptube after I clean the keg with PBW, then soak in Star San and jump to the next empty keg so I can purge the keg of O2 with CO2 and then jump from the fermenter to the sanitized keg after crash cooling the fermenter.