Either is probably fine, but you can always throttle down the flow of a half inch with the valve, whereas you can’t throttle up the 3/8. So I say go with 1/2 inch. (How much higher your kettle is than your fermentor will have a big impact in your flow as well.) The diameter of the outside of the barb fits the inner diameter of the hose. So a 1/2 barb fits 1/2 ID hose and a 3/8 barb fits 3/8 ID hose.
[quote]- Should I use hose clamps or are the barbs usually enough?
I have never used hose clamps, and have to pull pretty hard to get the hose off.
Whirlpool and let the pellet hops settle for a few minutes after the wort is still. Not only do you not get clogging doing this, but you don’t have to strain. The idea is to NOT strain the hops, but instead to concentrate them with centrifical force and settle to the bottom. The valve is raised off the bottom of the kettle. With whole hops, I use a mesh bag.
My funnel has a strainer that fits inside of it, so I use it even with the valve/barb to hose in order to catch the pellet hops that come through at first and at the end. (I am greedy about getting the last bit of wort, so I tip the kettle. Otherwise, there is not much of a need to strain.) You don’t have to drop the hose into the fermentor. You can hold it over a funnel/strainer.
If you don’t have one, a nice stirrer to get a good whirlpool going. Also, the cost of a brew pot with a valve is not much higher for a larger pot. I’d make sure to get a large enough one for all your needs.
I think you will like this much better than pouring and straining.