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I have two sets of instructions for putting the wort into the primary fermentation bucket. One says to just dump the entire contents of the wort into the bucket. The second says to stir like crazy to create a 'hop cone', then syphon the wort, minus the hop cone, into the bucket ...

Oh, what to do????

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It's best to remove the hops, but it's not a deal breaker if you don't. It will just make it harder to siphon the beer later. There are 2 other options to consider...you can put the hops in a nylon or muslin bag so that the entire bag can be removed later. Or after the wort has been cooled post boil, you can pour it through a sanitized strainer into your fermenter to remove the hops.

  • Or you can strain the boiling hot wort (carefully). – Robert Sep 3 '14 at 3:35
  • Doing that puts you at risk for hot side aeration. Admittedly, it's a small risk, but why take it? Additionally, by pouring cooled wort through a strainer, you get "good" aeration prior to pitching your yeast. – Denny Conn Sep 3 '14 at 15:06
  • DennyConn what is your method? – brewchez Sep 3 '14 at 16:11
  • I let pellets go through my pump and into the fermenter. Due to the my kettle pickup works, I use bags for whole hops. Before I had all that fancy schmancy stuff, I would pour the cooled wort through a large sanitized strainer into the fermenter. – Denny Conn Sep 4 '14 at 15:16
  • A recent experiment on transferring the trub into the fermenter (or not) showed somewhat mixed results. Granted the size was statistically insignificant (for both number of times and number of tasters), but the "clear" results were that the trubby beer was more clear (surprising), and taste preference was sort of mixed. My practice is to whirlpool and try to leave as much trub behind as possible, but not at the expense of leaving any beer in kettle. – Chino Brews Sep 5 '14 at 17:58
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My protocol is to chill the wort in the kettle (I use an immersion chiller), then "stir it like crazy" -- it's called whirlpooling -- then wait at least an hour (I usually brew after dark, so I leave the covered kettle overnight) and siphon the wort into the fermenter.

This helps to remove both hops and hot&cold break material, which may give off-flavours to beer.

Straining hops from pellets is a nightmare, and I wouldn't advise that to anyone. I usually use hop bags, anyway, so I whirlpool&siphon only to get rid of break material.

I used to just discard the remaining ~1 l (in my setup) of liquid in the kettle, but last time I strained it, gave it a quick boil and added to the fermenter. Some people actually save that portion for later krauzening.

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    Actually, cold break has been found to be somewhat beneficial to the yeast. – Denny Conn Sep 5 '14 at 19:22
  • I heard about that, but I usually add some yeast nutrient anyway. I also do it to avoid racking to secondary: if the trub after fermentation still lies below the spigot in the bottom of a fermenter, I can bulk-prime in the fermenter and bottle from the spigot. After all, I didn't taste a difference when I started whirlpooling. – Codehopper Sep 7 '14 at 5:51
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Putting hops in the fermenter after fermentation is called dry-hopping. Some brewers do this to get more hop aroma. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hops#Brewing) However, that would be with new hops, not the ones you already boiled.

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