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In-kettle strainer

Will a braided hose suffice to hold back leaf hops when running off wort into the carboy? Would I be better off with a bazooka screen?

IME, if you are using whole hops only and let them settle before starting the runoff, the hops will form a good filter bed up against the braid. I would use at least a foot of braid to make sure that there is plenty of flow, because some will get masked by single leafs drawn flat against the braid.

Great, thanks.

I’ve had no luck whatsoever using braid in the kettle. It isn’t the hops that clog it, it’s the break material.

What do you use instead? Bazooka? Auto-siphon? Something else?

I use a piece of 3/8" copper tubing that comes off the valve and curves back around to the side of the kettle at the bottom. I use bags for whole hops and pellets just go into the fermenter.

Interesting. So you boil your hops in a bag? Do you have to up hops additions to accommodate as with dry hopping, or does a good, rolling boil keep things moving enough?

Thr ROT is that hop bags reduce your utilization by 10%, so I increase bittering hops (under 30 min.) by 10% to account for that. I hang the bags from a spoon across the top of the kettle to make sure the wort can flow freely around them.

Right on. No increases necessary for flavor/aroma hops?

Nope.

Sweet. Is there any reason not to drop the flavor/aroma hops in the same bag as the bittering hops?

The bag’s hot, wet and sticky and I just don’t want to deal with opening it and adding hops. I weigh all my hops out before brewing and put each addition in it’s own bag.

Just another viewpoint here. I use a braid that goes around the whole circumference of my kettle. Denny is right, if using whole hops they are not the problem, the break material is. And Shadetree’s comment was right on: the whole hops form a great filter bed which actually helps to contain the break material within the center. When using hop pellets, that is a bit more difficult, as they tend towards clogging just like the break material does.

A few reasons why perhaps I’ve had better luck than Denny with this:

  1. I try to limit my pellet additions to less than 2 oz in a 5 gallon boil, or have at least as much whole hops as pellets present
  2. I always do a whirlpool at the end of the boil. That tends to concentrate the break material in the center, and lets the hops better act as that filter bed
  3. I use a plate chiller, so my cold break doesn’t form until after the wort has pasted through the braid.

[quote=“Denny”]I weigh all my hops out before brewing and put each addition in it’s own bag.[/quote]+1 Less hops in each bag also means more room for them to move around plus it makes it easy to tie a slipknot in the top when there’s plenty of extra material.

I use a hop bag too, and would only add that I have to suspend it from a spoon or similar thing in order to avoid burning the bag (I tried simply clamping it to the rim, but any over hanging part of the bag would be subject to the heat rising up the side of the boil kettle and at the rim - causing it to sometimes burn or melt, as the case may be). I don’t find it too troublesome to add to the one bag mix as I go, but certainly at the end you may have a lot in one bag or as Denny does it, a fair number of bags to deal with when it comes to approaching flame out and inserting wort chiller.

Pretty much do what is easiest for you.

:cheers:

Awesome, thanks for all the insights.

Any new thoughts on the idea of using the (“Denny”) braid in the boil kettle?

Looks like leaf hops free, and pellets in the bag, was the best way to go. But that one may still risk cloggage from the break material.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and searched to find this thread. In winter, I typically brew lagers and let them sit out all night, hitting a temp of 40 or lower. The break is waaaay settled by then. A slow careful drain may work well with the braid in this process.

And, thank you Denny, for your ideas and information. Building a mash tun braid changed my brewing world for the better! :cheers:

:cheers:

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