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Chuck N ™

Filtering From The Brew-pot To The Fermenter

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What do you guys/gals use to filter your wort as you're transferring to the fermenter?

I did a "commando" hops boil for the first time and I thought I could use a too small grain-bag (cut open to span the top of my fermenter bucket) as a filter to catch the hops material as I poured into the fermenter. It plugged up immediately. So then I quickly sanitized a wire mesh strainer and tried that. It worked a little bit better but I still had to stop a couple of times and clean the gunk out of that too. (Using a spray bottle full of sanitizer.)

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I use a 1 gallon paint strainer bag for straining the hops and break material as I pour into the LBK. It wont all fall in right away, but what I do is dip my hands in sanitizer and squeeze the wort trapped in the bag out.

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My funnel has a removable strainer screen on it. It gets plugged up a number of times and I have to remove and clean it out, then dip in sanitizer too. Takes a little time, but it works.

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Excellent. Then it sounds like I did nothing wrong. The strainer bag I just tossed. Lost a little bit of beer with it but not too much. The wire strainer I would just tip up-side-down, smack it on the side of the sink to get most of the gunk out and then, with my spray bottle full of One Step solution and set on straight stream, I sprayed the rest out. Had to repeat a couple more times.

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Another question (this is only my second "all grain" (BIAB)): Is it normal to get a whole bunch of crud in the fermenter with the beer even after filtering? After I transferred to the fermenter and aerated the wort I took my hydro sample and ended up with about an inch and a half of crud that settled to the bottom of the sample tube.

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I would recommend figuring enough water & malt for the boil, so that when you are transferring to your fermenter, you can leave behind all the crud in your boil pot. That way, you have zero crud when you are taking the OG sample. I use a super coarse filter/funnel to catch the Irish moss, and hop sacks keep the whole leaf hops out of the way, no crud in the fermenter.

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I use a large strainer and sometimes have to strain twice. Sometimes I have used a strainer bag as well.

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"Rebel_B" post=388137 said:

I would recommend figuring enough water & malt for the boil, so that when you are transferring to your fermenter, you can leave behind all the crud in your boil pot. That way, you have zero crud when you are taking the OG sample. I use a super coarse filter/funnel to catch the Irish moss, and hop sacks keep the whole leaf hops out of the way, no crud in the fermenter.

Yeah. I think I'm very un-immpressed with doing hops "commando". I'm going to go back to hop sacks.

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I tried commando once, like you I was not impressed. different strokes for different folks I guess. fwiw I use the reusable nylon mesh hop sacks, much happier than with the muslin hop sacks.

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"Jim Johnson" post=388199 said:

I tried commando once, like you I was not impressed. different strokes for different folks I guess. fwiw I use the reusable nylon mesh hop sacks, much happier than with the muslin hop sacks.

I was saving that grain bag I cut up to make a "spider thingy" like Dag has. Guess now I'll have to buy the hardware and a new bag to do it.

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I use a large colander lined with a layer of sanitized cheese cloth.

I started out going commando, but now I always use hops sacks. To each his own.

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I have one question - why? I dump everything into the fermenter, gunk and all. It will settle out into the trub anyway. Doesn't hurt nothing :)

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"russki" post=388218 said:

I have one question - why? I dump everything into the fermenter, gunk and all. It will settle out into the trub anyway. Doesn't hurt nothing :)

+1, I don't dump everything in but after a whirlpool and a 15-20min rest i don't get much trub. I do use a very fine mesh handheld strainer to catch any hop particles that get by, but anything that does won't hurt anything. After fermentation I almost always cold crash if I'm dry hopping and all my beers come out clear and tasty. By the way, I go commando all the way!!

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Even with strainers, I still have tons of hop and grain funk. I can really tell the difference when hop sacking vs. commando on my IPA's so it's worth it to me.
I do lose some beer but hey, I'll make more.

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"russki" post=388218 said:

I have one question - why? I dump everything into the fermenter, gunk and all. It will settle out into the trub anyway. Doesn't hurt nothing :)

I'm the same way. I don't filter at all, brew AG, and hop commando. Everything will settle out at the end of the day. Even more so if you cold crash

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I use a 12" bazooka kettle screen and a strainer across the fermenter. For normal beers I just go commando with the hops. When brewing beers that require huge hop amounts, generally over 8 oz, I use XL grain bags. Yes, you often will need more than one. You do not to overfill the bags. Give the hops plenty of room to expand.

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I had a lot of trouble with clogged bottling wands before I bought my strainer. I can absolutely tell the difference between using hop sacks and going commando. Commando really upped the hop flavor.

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"haerbob3" post=388649 said:

I use a 12" bazooka kettle screen and a strainer across the fermenter. For normal beers I just go commando with the hops. When brewing beers that require huge hop amounts, generally over 8 oz, I use XL grain bags. Yes, you often will need more than one. You do not to overfill the bags. Give the hops plenty of room to expand.

I think I had the 6" bazooka screen. For me that got clogged by pellet hops almost immediately. I did some research and found they really only recommend leaf hops for that. Maybe the 12" works better.

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only had that problem once that beer had 1# of hops in the boil! After that I started using the grain bags. There is another type of screen a round one. I saw that on the electric brewery. Hop Stopper filter screen

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"Gymrat" post=388647 said:

IMG_7819.jpg

IMAG0221.jpg

Hey Roger...I've seen these pics before. That's a nice strainer, where did you get that one from. I'm having a hard time finding one that big.

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"BlackDuck" post=388689 said:

"Gymrat" post=388647 said:

IMG_7819.jpg

IMAG0221.jpg

Hey Roger...I've seen these pics before. That's a nice strainer, where did you get that one from. I'm having a hard time finding one that big.

I have one like that but it's about half the size of that one.....very fine mesh. Got my at my LHBS, I also would like to get one that's bigger, let us know were you got that one.

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Add me to the camp of going commando without a filter/strainer.

I cool quickly for a good cold break, and then let my wort settle for 15 minutes or so before siphoning off. I leave about an inch or so in the kettle and don't end up with much trub/break material in the fermenter.

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I'm in the fine mesh bag group both 2 and 4 ounce sizes, muslin hops sacks are way too porous for my needs and going commando just leaves way too much trub and trouble in the kettle. It's brewer's preference but truth be told in all my years of brewing I've never gone commando except once, it was to be my first and last time too.


I really don't mind spending an extra buck or two on extra hops, to get the same aroma and flavor as if I had just tossed them in without a bag, but truth is at this point I can't even tell if there is any difference. All I know is that when washing my yeast after bottling or kegging a batch there is a lot less trub in the fermentor so the yeast comes out much cleaner, which more than makes up for the extra dollar spent on using a bit more hops.

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