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After boiling pellets how can I deal with them? Is there a simple way to get them out of the wort, or can I leave them during fermentation? In that case will I be sure they will drop on the bottom and not cause problems?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Usually the pellets will dissolve during boil and settle down to the bottom of your kettle when you cool your wort. Then, when transferring to the fermentor you can just leave them behind (easier to do with a siphon).

Or

Use a hop bag - put the pellets on the bag, when you are done with the boil simply pull the bag out.

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Will all the crumb stay in the bag? –  Paolo Jan 21 '13 at 8:56
    
In my experience most of it will. –  Cleber Goncalves Jan 21 '13 at 15:07
    
Yep the hop muck stays in the bag. What doesn't is small and will settle out with the trub. –  Mark McDonald Jan 23 '13 at 0:32

I use a bucket for my fermentor so I bought a steel mesh strainer. I then sanitize the strainer with starsan and place the strainer across the top of the bucket and run the wort through it. This strains out the hop gunk and helps with aeration by turning the wort into droplets as it falls into the fermentor.

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I do the same but have found that most steel strainers will end up getting pretty clogged halfway through pouring the wort if using pellets. They develop a thin layer of hop sludge over the surface area of the strainer and pouring slows to a crawl quickly. However for about $20 from a kitchen supply store you can find a china cap strainer which allows for more volume in the strainer so much faster drainage and less clogging. Well worth the investment IMO. –  chrisst Jan 24 '13 at 4:23

If you are siphoning your beer out of a flat bottom kettle/pot a whirlpool can be very effective.

After you are done chilling put your brew pot in the location that you plan to siphon from. Using a clean and sanitized spoon stir that wort up into a good vortex. Once the whirlpool has started, remove the spoon and replace the lid.

Then go about cleaning up from your session. Sanitize your fermentor and siphon equipment, prepare your yeast. If you give the pot 30 minutes at least to settle down much of the break material and pellet hops will get pulled to the center bottom of the pot.

Then you can remove the lid and siphon from the side of the pot without pulling too much of the gunk. Some won't hurt, but doing it this way will help you get much less of it if you want.

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We filter the trub out through a sanitized fine mesh bag during siphoning. This way we don't worry about about the siphon pulling the trub - it ends up in what we call a trub sack, from which more wort is squeezed out while pulling it out of the fermenter. Make sure not to drop the bag into the fermenter, as trub sack may get heavy during the siphon. Not sure if there are any downsides to this method, we find it easy and seems to do the job.

This is what it looks like:

enter image description here

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Are you using a bucket or a carboy? I could see this being difficult with a carboy due to the skinny neck. –  roto Jan 22 '13 at 16:58
    
@roto See edit above. At first we tried using a tight rubber band around the neck, but didn't trust it when the sack got heavier. So what we do now is just hold it with hands when necessary. –  IRO-bot Jan 23 '13 at 5:50
    
Thanks for the update! I may need to try this. I've been getting a lot of trub in my carboys lately. I haven't noticed any effect on the finished beer, but would still prefer it not to be there. –  roto Jan 23 '13 at 14:34

You can make a easy pellet strainer bag with cheap parts from a hardware store. This link offers easy instructions. Instead of one large dowel rod, one can use thread steel rods with washers and nuts in a plus shape to position in on a kettle and not slip.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-Brewing-Grain-and-Hops-Strainer/

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Whatever you decide to do I would suggest handling it on the kettle side of things. If you strain at the fermenter (mesh bag, SS strainer, etc) you'll probably create a lot of unwanted aeration of the wort as it foams up.

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2  
This is only correct if you cool in the fermenter. Most cases I know of are cooling in the kettle. If you are strain into the fermenter when the wort is at or around pitching temperature, the aeration is acutally wanted. –  Flyhard Jan 25 '13 at 13:58

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