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At the moment the most frustrating part of my brewday is getting the cold wort into the fermenter. Here is my process. I have a 20 litre saucepan that i use as a kettle that does not have a tap. At flame out I add my immerseion chiller that is plumbed into my kitchen sink tap. When I have reached temperature I remove the chiller and whirlpool and leave it to rest to 30 minutes. I am use a siphon to rack directly into the plastic bucket fermenter.

The problem is that the siphon always gets clogged with the hops after i have only transfered about 20% of the wort. I have also tried carefully pouring the wort through a seive, but this sort of depfeats the point of the whirlpool and also the seive got blocked with hops as well. All in all i end up wasting a lot of the wort because i am afraid of getting a lot trub in the fermenter.

What are the best processes to use with my current equpment to get the wort into the fermenter?

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Hop bags are the answer. I use hop bags. You can use multiple hop bags for your multiple hop additions. I tie them to the handle of the brew kettle so they don't come open during the boil. You may want to up the hop quantities a touch (10%?) because you get slightly lower utilization in hop bags. When it's time for racking, chill the wort and then pull the hop bags out. (If you do this in the wrong order the hop bags are extremely hot and hard to handle!) Let the bags drip for a while since a lot of your wort will be stuck in those bags. Then just pour your wort into the fermenting bucket with a good healthy splash to help aerate and you're good to go! No need to whirlpool or run through a filter.

Happy brewing!

--Matt

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Hops bags are a great idea. –  Poshpaws Aug 29 '11 at 8:26
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I used to do the same thing but recently have found these bags http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/large-straining-bag-18-3-4-x-19.html I get the one that is big enough to fit in the bucket and stretch it over the top. I then simply pour the whole boil kettle into the bucket and lift the bag out. The mesh on these is finer than the hop sacks I have been using so I no longer even use them, simply put the hops right into the boil and the bag strains everything but really fine particles.
The other benefit is that the hops are not bound up in a little bag so I feel I get more out of them.

So here are some pics from last brew day. I made a pumkin ale using 2.5 lbs of canned pumkin and 1 ounce of pellet hops. This is what was in the filter bag. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2328984952261&set=a.2328984232243.141539.1478820242&type=1&theater

This is what it looked like after draining http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2328985192267&set=a.2328984232243.141539.1478820242&type=1&theater

This is all that was left in the bucket (very little of anything made it through) and the stuff that got filtered out, all of it very fine. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2328985352271&set=a.2328984232243.141539.1478820242&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2328985552276&set=a.2328984232243.141539.1478820242&type=1&theater

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How much hot / cold break trub does the fag filter? Do you geta lot of trub in the fermenter? –  mR_fr0g Aug 24 '11 at 12:51
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It filters more that the hop bags or any muslin bag I have used in the past. The trub that makes it into the fermentor is so fine that not even the really fine funnel filters get any more of it. –  Bullet86 Aug 25 '11 at 4:40
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I also do this, except I use a 5 gallon "paint strainer" bag from Lowes. I believe that the process of: pouring in the bucket, pulling out the bag, and then pouring from the bucket into the carboy also helps to oxygenate the wort. Its probably not as good as an oxygen pump, but its better than just sloshing in the carboy. And its "good enough" for me. Also, even though I do lagers now, I don't really care about cold break. I don't think it impacts the beer much, so I don't care if some of it slips through the bag and into the carboy. –  Graham Aug 29 '11 at 15:11
    
I was using those exact same paint straining bags. I switched to the others because they have a mesh that is at least 50% finer. I also agree with the back and forth transfer oxygenating well. –  Bullet86 Aug 29 '11 at 17:31
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I sometimes use a set up similar to your. After I whirlpool, I'll put my racking can in, but I hold it so its not all the way down sitting in the trub/hot mix. I hold it about half way. As I siphon I continuously lower the racking cane, being careful as I get closer to the bottom to not get into the junk.

The other thing I do is I plan for a half to one gallon of waste. That way I never have to get into the junk at the bottom. Wort is fairly cheap and headaches aren't, IMO.

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This is good advise althogh i have tried the siphoning from the edge after whirlpool technique and my siphon still got blacked. Not sure what i am doing wrong. –  mR_fr0g Aug 25 '11 at 10:32
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You have to whirlpool and let it settle for a while. I usually get my whirlpool going then let it settle for 20-30 minutes. I do other stuff like clean up and start putting things away, get the fermentor ready etc etc. –  brewchez Aug 29 '11 at 1:14
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I would suggest that you make a hop spider, I had this problem when making beers with lots of hops until I stumbled into a discussion on homebrewtalk.

http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=hop+spider

After building on I never had this problem again, it was cheap (less than $15)..

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