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Hop Pellets

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dean_palmer:

--- Quote from: majorvices on January 02, 2013, 07:50:25 AM ---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.

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

davidgzach:
+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.

Dave

seajellie:
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, 07:50:25 AM ---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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