I am about to brew my first all grain batch with my new equipment setup and wanted some educated opinions on some things before I give it a go.
Firstly, I have a 10 gallon rubbermaid cylindrical cooler with a false bottom for my mash tun. For my brew kettle, I have a 10 Gallon Winware Professional Aluminum Stock pot fitted with bargainfittings.com bulkhead and ball valve with an optional 90 degree elbow on the wort side of the kettle.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CH ... UTF8&psc=1 http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.ph ... duct_id=91
I am also using a Dudadiesel 30 plate chiller.http://www.dudadiesel.com/search.php?qu ... erchillers
My questions are, since the only filtering I have is pre-wort boil, should I use a hop bag during the boil so as not to clog the 90 degree elbow of the bulk head on the kettle, or even get particles into the counterflow chiller? I am using pellet hops. 5 gallon batch. Is there a disadvantage to using a bag? Will it effect hop flavor or bitterness?
I have these on hand: http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Nut-Milk- … t+milk+bag
Secondly, my plan is to chill directly from the kettle to the counter flow chiller, dumping the cooled wort into my primary fermenter upon exit of the chiller. My primary right now is a glass carboy.
I realize the risks I am taking are that the wort will not be cooled enough coming from the chiller, although theoretically, it should be, and that I would have to siphon out of the primary, into another vessel, and possibly back to the primary … risking contamination or anything else?
Also, is aeration coming from the chiller into the carboy enough? If the wort is not cooled enough, then aeration could be counterproductive.
My secondary fermenter is my bottling bucket. I suppose that I could transfer the cooled wort to the bottling bucket before transferring to the primary to ensure that the wort is proper temperature and that it is ready to aerate.
In this case, would it be safe to introduce the yeast into the bottling bucket before siphoning to the primary? I feel like this could potentially act to activate the yeast in a positive way, but could also pose a contamination threat.
Sorry for the complicated post. I appreciate any feedback !