Author Topic: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free  (Read 1268 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2021, 07:01:18 pm »

Another thing that helps is having a nice large-diameter kettle.  I usually brew 7 gal batches in my 15 gal, large-diameter stock pot.  …

This makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, I am constrained to a diameter that my induction cooktop can handle. I am probably already pushing it with a 14” dia kettle on a 12” ceramic square (actual magnetic induction wrap is probably 10-11” dia.). The metal frame around the ceramic plate is 14” square so it supports the weight of the wort.

Just say "no" to pellets.


Why?



Because its the hill he has chosen to die on!  ;)



Just a data point: a LOT of British ‘BrewTubers’ use a bag for their hops. They routinely clip or tie the bag(s) on the side of the BK during the boil.

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« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 07:06:09 pm by BrewBama »

Offline Wilbur

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2021, 07:48:50 pm »
Just say "no" to pellets.


Why?



Because its the hill he has chosen to die on!  ;)
He only brews German beer from what I've seen, so it doesn't matter that most varieties are pellet only (from what I've seen). It also doesn't matter that hop cones are a lot bigger, because he's only using a few ounces. Feel free to tell me I've made a butt out of your and me.

I've had issues with pellet hops clogging my pump (anvil pump), and it sucks having to tear that apart mid brew.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2021, 04:02:58 am »
I'm certainly not saying ever homebrewing process must emulate commercial brewing practices but the vast majority of commercial brewers use hop pellets and would never dream using any type of hop filter and their beers turn out pretty good. I keep it pretty simple and just WP with a spoon. On the commercial system I brew on I WP until the wort spins and shut the pump off and let the wort rest. In both instances the hops fall out to the bottom and I can run clear wort.

Every brewer should use what works for them but "just say no to hop pellets or letting pellets swim free" are both unnecessary mantras to preach since using hop pellets directly in the kettle without any form of filtering works perfect form the majority of brewers.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2021, 07:35:32 am »
I always use pellets and I typically let them swim free and I find that I get the best hop character that way.  I also find that pellets store better than cones/plugs/whole hops.  I did try a spider and also muslin bags and I found that my hop character was muted.  I also don't make ultra-hoppy beers where a ton of pellet debris would be in the kettle.  I chill and then leave the kettle in the sink with ice and water to bring the temp down further and allow everything to settle.  I generally get clear wort into the fermenter but even if I get some trub, it settles and the resulting beer is usually clear. 
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2021, 07:44:50 am »
I always use pellets and I typically let them swim free and I find that I get the best hop character that way. 


 I did try a spider and also muslin bags and I found that my hop character was muted. 

yes. again, when i do a APA/IPA or late hops, i would not add most or all to the spider.

Offline denny

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2021, 08:13:09 am »
Just say "no" to pellets.


Why?




If one repitches, one does not want a half inch or more of trub in the bottom of one's fermentation vessel, that is, unless one is using a true top-cropping culture.  A little break is okay, but a half inch of trub is too much to deal with in an expedient way when bottom cropping.  It is better to find a way to hold back the hops and most of break than to attempt to separate yeast from the trub post-fermentation.

What that said, a good thing about Wyeast 1469 is that it brings a lot of break and hops to the top with brown head, so skimming the brown head before taking a creamy yeast head allows one to remove a lot of that extraneous material from the ferment.  Another way to do it is to use the double-drop system used by Breakspear.  The wort is allowed to ferment for around 16 hours before being dropped into another fermentation vessel, leaving the break and particulate matter behind while adding oxygen to the ferment.

why is hop trub bad? i have never had an issue repitching. it doesnt bother me.

I'm with ya on both of those. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2021, 08:15:20 am »
I use free-swimming pellets and I use a plate chiller.  I never have a problem with clogging...and that's probably because of the measures I've implemented.  The most important feature is having my wort outlet at the perimeter of the kettle.  I'm impressed with how many brewing kettles have their outlet at the center of their kettle...where all the trub settles after whirlpooling. 

Another thing that helps is having a nice large-diameter kettle.  I usually brew 7 gal batches in my 15 gal, large-diameter stock pot.  I estimate that the wort depth is about half the kettle diameter.  The typical converted beer keg has that ratio turned on its head and that affects how much trub your system can handle.

Another thing that I've implemented is a peripheral outlet pipe that is sheathed with stainless steel braiding that helps serve as an intake filter.  All of those measures certainly help me to enjoy using hop pellets without having to constrain them in a bag or screen.

My previous kettle had a side outlet.  My current one uses a center outlet. I don't think I'm getting any more grub with the center than I did with the side, possibly less.  Maybe because the center outlet is well implemented?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 08:50:46 am by denny »
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Offline denny

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2021, 08:16:30 am »
A false bottom with a layer of whole hops might also be filtering out break material.

When I had a hop stopper and plate chiller, the hot break and pellet mush would stay in the kettle but the cold break ended up in the fermenter.  Now that I've scaled down, I chill everything in the kettle and don't bother with a screen, but I rarely wait long enough for all the break to settle.  End result is about the same in terms of wort clarity.  There's break (white, not green) in suspension in the hydrometer sample that I take at the start of transfer, which settles down to about an inch or less within 10 minutes, revealing clear wort. It never makes a difference.

Yep
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Offline goose

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2021, 08:21:34 am »


Just a data point: a LOT of British ‘BrewTubers’ use a bag for their hops. They routinely clip or tie the bag(s) on the side of the BK during the boil.


That is basically what I do.  I put the pellets in a bag, tie the bag around  my SS spoon, and and suspend them in the keggle kettle.  When the boil is done, I raise the hop bag out of  the wort and let it drain before starting to chill the wort.  I get the bitterness and flavor I am looking for.
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Offline goose

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Re: Just say “no” to letting pellets swim free
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2021, 08:25:18 am »

My previous kettle had a side outlet.  My current one uses a center outlet. I don't think I'm getting any more grub with the center than I did with the side, possibly less.  Maybe because the center putlet is well implemented?

Same here with my center outlet in the kettle.  My wort runs clear from the beginning and I only start to pick up any wayward hop debris at the end of chilling process.  I can control keeping that out of the fermenter pretty easily.
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