Author Topic: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma  (Read 2467 times)

Offline blatz

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Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« on: November 05, 2012, 01:29:26 PM »
Did my first brew with my new 20gal Blichmann Boilermakers this weekend, and used a Hop Stopper (http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper) . Unfortunately, it clogged pretty severely and I lost about 2.5 gal of wort.

I did not see the warnings about not being able to recirculate wort or whirlpool both of which I did, so it is likely user error, but I do like to be able to recirculate for whirlpooling capabilities and to be able to incorporate 2 stage chilling (1 pass with groundwater, another pass with .

I am doing some research to come up with a better method but I am really confused as to what to try next  :-[

I've come up with some options, and would like some of your input:

1). Continue using the HopStopper, but use as directed - this will not allow me to whirlpool ever, nor even recirculate through the CFC in order to sanitize.  I could then run through my CFC with groundwater and through a second CFC where the water side is being pumped with icewater.  I assume I could still do a hop steep or stand, just no whirlpooling.

2). Continue using the HopStopper, but resort to using hop bags or a hop spider so that I can pull the hops and I assume I can at least recirculate and whirlpool , but hot/cold break may still collect on the HopStopper and clog it.

3). Use no screen at all (naked pickup tube - see pic 7 http://www.blichmannengineering.com/boilermaker/boilermaker.html)  and use hop bags or a hop spider and pull the hops at the end of the boil.  This would allow me to whirlpool and recirculate. 

4). Use no screen at all but allow free floating hops (pellet and whole), do no recirculation, but whirlpool after knockout with a paddle for 20 min and then start pumping with the assumption that the cone has formed.  I fear whole hops may run a risk of clogging me up though.

5). Use a Blichmann Hop Blocker, but use hop bags when using Whole Hops?

Any other thoughts/suggestions/advice is welcome. 
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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 01:46:28 PM »
not a lot of help here but I know that I have to bag whole hops. if I don't, instant blocked output valve. Pellet hops are fine free floating. I whirlpool with a sanitized spoon after chilling (I use an IC) and removing the chiller. I can reduce the amount of trub and hop gunk in the fermenter but not eliminate it this way.
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Offline AleForce

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 02:04:46 PM »
I wouldn't recommend the BM Hop Blocker. I bought it and it didn't help (I have a 20 gal. Boilermaker kettle too).  I found some http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Locking-Strainer-Infuser-Diameter/dp/B003FCMCMO/ref=pd_sim_k_2 mesh balls that work better. Also going to try out http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Strainer-Kit_p_123.html whenever it arrives...  Another thing you could try is the hop/trub strainer @ Brewers Hardware  http://www.brewershardware.com/FILTER1-Testing.html.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:14:10 PM by AleForce »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 02:08:12 PM »
I'm in the same boat here. I have a naked pickup (a bare 1/2" street 90 elbow) and draw off directly to a pump. I have clogged the outlet valve/pump with both whole hops and pellet hops. I was going to try making a Hop Stopper (or at least fitting the pickup tube with a stainless Chore Boy).

Another option might be to add a hop back to the outlet of your pump and recirc through it while cooling. This will gradually filter out some of the hop/trub material while cooling so there is less to deal with during transfer.

Was this your first time using the Hop Stopper too? What did you do before the new equipment?

« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:18:13 PM by kylekohlmorgen »
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Offline blatz

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 02:16:16 PM »
Was this your first time using the Hop Stopper too? What did you do before the new equipment?

yes - first time - i definitely did not follow instructions.  Previously, I was using a Sabco kettle with Sabco hinged false bottom and a Jamil recirculating IC setup.


I wouldn't recommend the BM Hop Blocker. I bought it and it didn't help (I have a 20 gal. Boilermaker kettle too).  I found some http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Locking-Strainer-Infuser-Diameter/dp/B003FCMCMO/ref=pd_sim_k_2 mesh balls that work better. Also going to try out http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Strainer-Kit_p_123.html whenever it arrives...

thanks Aleforce - good to know on the Hop Blocker.  that stainless brewing hop strainer looks very interesting - just need to see the height vs. where the element is in the kettle - may have to rig it higher.
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Offline AleForce

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 02:19:04 PM »
It is as high as your kettle.... from their site : "The mesh basket design is currently being made of  a #40 (400 micron) or #50 (300 micron) stainless steel mesh and is 18" high at the leg and 19" overall height.  "
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 02:23:40 PM by AleForce »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 02:19:30 PM »
Edited response above
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Offline narvin

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 03:24:52 PM »
The main culprit is the cold break.  I recirculate hot with a homemade hop stopper to sanitize my plate chiller and don't have any problems.  I'd avoid creating a whirlpool with the reentry just so you don't get a cone of trub right on top of the screen.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 03:30:50 PM »
I would sell the hop blocker and just stick to using pellets and doing the recirc/chilling method. Stress free brewing that way!
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Offline dcbc

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Re: Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 01:08:06 PM »
I run my dip tube to the side and recirculate through my CFC.  No problems with clogging.  I get a nice trub pile and draw off slowly with the pump to the fermenter.  Not sure how well this would work on the Blichmann kettle with the dip tube setup.

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