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Hop Pellets

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--- Quote from: majorvices on January 02, 2013, 02:50:25 PM ---For hop pellets there is no reason not to put the directly in the kettle. No bag or gadgets needed!!!

--- End quote ---

The issue some of us have experienced with pellets is that when enough of them are used they will clog up just about any filter used in the kettle, including a false bottom. If you are using a filter device in your kettle the paint strainer bags are the way to go for larger quantities, and every system is different. For my false bottom setup I can just throw smaller pellet loads in, but for larger quantities I need to mix in some whole hops so a filter bed is set up. My new kettle will have a side pickup and I'll be whirlpooling to settle the debris in the center before draining rather than using a filter or false bottom. That said I'll continue to use the debris filter outside of the kettle so the gunk into the pump and chillers is reduced.

but ... why would you need a filter in a BK?

+1 to just tossing them in the boil or fermenter.  However, if you are dry hopping and going to reuse the yeast, I would use whole hops.


I can't whirlpool worth a damn, and I don't like sludge in my fermenter, either.

Lately, I've been throwing pellets into 1-gallon paint strainer bags directly into the boil, and for flowers, relying on a mash screen filter screwed into the port w/ a 90 degree stainless steel elbow joint to tilt it appropriately for the batch, so that the intake is just above the sludge/break level at the bottom. I'll use a spider with a 3-gallon strainer bag for brews with lots of additions (by weight or by time), because the other methods become a mess as the additions go up. For winter lagers, I'll also let the kettle sit a good long time outside, covered, to let all the junk drop out.

I repitch yeast from four of five of my ferments on average, and so want the wort as clean as possible before it goes into the fermenter. Also, this fall I did four batches where I take the first clear gallons of runoff into one fermenter for a very clean pitch. Then the later runoff, I've either dumped it all into a second fermenter, or just let more trub and sludge into that fermenter. I have noticed a flavor difference in each of these tests. Not always a huge difference, and it might decrease over time (TBD), but it seems to be there and I really think it's due to how much pellet and break material got into the fermenter (vs. different fermenter geometries, slightly diff pitching rates, etc). I say this because the flavors aren't what I'd call yeast characters like esters, phenols, etc. I'm no judging expert that's for sure, but for whatever reason, there is a difference.

You can also just super-size your batches, using settling time, and plan on leaving more behind. But for small batches, it's super annoying to make a 3 gallon batch and leave 25% of your wort behind.

I guess others have a superior solution or think this is a lot of work for a problem that doesn't exist. But I think this is a great subject.

In The Sand:

--- Quote from: majorvices on January 02, 2013, 02:50:25 PM ---For hop pellets there is no reason not to put the directly in the kettle. No bag or gadgets needed!!!

--- End quote ---

+1  like others have said, the spent pellets will become part of the trub. I've always just dumped mine right in the BK and/or fermenter.  This IPA had about 25 ounces of hops in it that'll settle eventually.


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