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Thread: Dumping Hops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    West Haven, Connecticut
    Posts
    12

    Dumping Hops

    Hey PB,

    Looking for some input on dumping hops after a dryhop in fermenter. We have a 2 inch drain port on the bottom of the cone. I have tried a few techniques to dump the hops after a dry hop and am not even close to getting all of it out. Dry hopping at 60f for 5-7 days then cold crash 3-4. Will then try and dump the hops. If I go too slow it clogs and if I go too fast it just pulls a hole. Every time we clean a fermenter there are hops up to the top of the racking arm. I have yet to try and drain through the racking arm but I am thinking about trying it starting there and getting rid of most of the hops then dump the rest through the cone. Looking for some feedback. Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    85
    Just so I understand your question - you are talking about dumping the hops after the beer has been racked out of the tank, right? Or are you dumping hops from below the beer and using the fermenter as a unitank?

    If it's after the fermenter is empty, here's what we have found works well for heavily dry-hopped beers: We will hook up a tee off of the bottom dump port with valves on all ends of the tee (a basic block-and-bleed). The branch of the tee facing straight at you we will hook up a hose from the HLT and the branch at 90° to you we will hook up a dump hose running to a drain. With this assembly you can run hot water from your HLT (with the pump on) into the fermenter to break up the hop cone, then valve off the HLT feed and open the drain dump. Do this cycle a few times and it will break up even the most compact hop/yeast cone. Also, for safety's sake make sure your tank is vented as your are running in the hot water! Rely on the water and backflushing to break up the cone and make it flow rather than any pressure in the tank.

    Hope this helps. We use brites for all of our clarification and carbonation so I can't offer any advice if you are in an unitank situation.

    Cheers,
    Tom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Conroe, Texas, USA
    Posts
    14
    I'll second BemidjiBrewing's recommendation of using a valved tee to break up the hops with water, and allow the tank to drain. I would recommend using ambient temperature water instead of hot water, since city water pressure is typically stronger than coming from your HLT, and it will be safer if it rushes out and your outlet hose isn't firmly in a drain. This process is both breaking up the compacted hops/yeast at the bottom of your tank, and diluting it to a consistency that will flow. It usually takes a couple of tries (depending on the amount of hops in the tank), but it's a lot quicker, safer, and cleaner than other methods I've employed. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    West Haven, Connecticut
    Posts
    12
    Shoot yes I should of mentioned that. Yes this is a uni-tank. I definitely do the water method you speak of when cleaning.
    Problem here is that the hops start to get pulled in through the racking arm on the last bbl of beer packaged.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    373
    What I have found helps a lot in getting hops out of the cone before packaging/racking is to start dumping hops as soon as you start to cold crash. after 5 or 6 days most of the hops are already in the cone, and if you start to dump while the beer is warmer the pile of hops will come out a little easier.
    I usually bleed out nice and slowly as soon as I start crashing, and again the next day. Then fine and dump again. There's usually very little trub left in the tank when its empty.
    That being said, you'll always end up with some hops stuck to the sides of the cone.
    Manuel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    53
    First, in an ideal world you would be using a "eccentric reducer", with the flat side at the bottom, going to your discharge valve. These are much better at dealing with slurries and block up less.

    Secondly (and this is information that may actually be usable) I have had good results using the CO2 pressure in the tanks to force the hops out. This works great if you have somewhere to stick your drainage hose and sit by the valve until the CO2 starts to come out. If you can catch that point, there is not too much of a mess to tidy up afterwards.
    Last edited by Brewberosa; 07-16-2017 at 09:26 AM.

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