|Hops, hops, hops|
I did this at the end of the boil for my tripel. Then I purged the kettle pick-up tube of any dregs by opening the valve for about a second. Some debris came out followed immediately by clear wort. I then closed the valve and hooked up my quick disconnect line and transferred the wort though my chiller to discover that the wort was nice and clear as it entered the fermentor. At the end of the transfer there was a nice clump of hop debris left behind in the center of my kettle. Oooh.
Of course I knew this would be the case but naturally I had to prove it to myself and I still worried the entire time I transferred that I would clog up my chiller. Really.
But today was different, and so the fear returned. The tripel recipe was only slightly more than 2oz. of hops for an 11 gallon batch and consequently a relatively small amount of debris was left behind as a cone. Today's pale ale recipe was over ½ a pound, significantly more.
What to do if this clogs my chiller in mid stream so to speak? I had no answers but boldly went ahead with only my weak faith to comfort me. Fortunately, I didn't have to come up with a back-up plan because the cone formed nicely albeit largely and the wort flowed clear. As I got down to the last couple of quarts the pickup tube wanted to draw off the hops so just before this happened I quit the transfer and called it good.
Ending transfer as the hops started to be drawn
The big benefits of changing my approach to hop additions is that I will hopefully introduce more aroma and flavor and just as importantly I won't have to use the bags anymore, which are a pain to mess with and I especially won't miss the cleaning. This pale ale will be ready in a month and I'm looking forward to tasting the difference. I may end up with a higher ibu count brewing this way and so may have to back off on the first wort hop and bittering hop additions. I'll let you know how it tastes when I get there. Cheers!