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SteveG
10/29/06 11:04 AM  
N8, absolutely it makes a difference
Last night was the other of my annual beer psycho parties, the one I most look forward to. Halloween rocks! Al had an interesting contribution, with a little modification he was able to turn a fiteration unit of some sort into a small "Randlizer". It took far longer to hammer out the details than expected, in all it was about an hour of problem solving. But with what we have behind us Als original estimate of a 10 minute set up is about right.

Problem #1. The blonde ale that was being pushed through the hops was a real nice one, I think it was nearly ideal for this application. One problem though, in an effort to understand the rules of using fresh picked hops I had tried maybe 6 weeks prior just tossing in a pound or so. No bag and no sterilizing. The latter was fine, and until last night so was the former. The hook up was working great then the beer reduced to a trickle. We tried to figure out why, I finally unhooked the tap from the keg and tried a picnic tap. Shit, the problem was a clog in the keg. 20PSI and all we got was a trickle. So I de-pressurized it, opened it and used a syphon tube to move the beer to another keg. The tube got clogged, so I finally just put a strainer over the opening, picked up the first keg and poured the remaining beer in! Wasn't really impressing myself at that point. But it worked, promlem #1 solved with no big hit to the beer. Thank God it was only about 3 gallons full.

But it still trickled. When Al was originally loading up the hops I kept saying "more, more"! I gave him a chop stick to pack them so more could go in, it fit 4ish ounces. Unfortunately the hops were just passed the top of the internal filter and another clog happened. The party was starting to roll by now and I was getting desperate for the thing to go up. So I opened the tap, took the other end of the tube and sucked! Plah! spat the offending hops into the sink, everything was reconnected and it worked just great. We expected needing more pressure but it poured wonderfully at 5 PSI. Shockingly my obscene mishandling of the beer did not seem to have had a negative impact except that the heading was diminished. Still within spec though. Al had brought two units, hooked them both in serial and we were totally good to go.

Now for the fun part. N8, I recommended getting info from Al on the equipment he used, I bet you could score something similar. Passing the beer though the hops - even only 4 ounces worth - was really nice. Not a huge effect but there is no question whatsoever that it picked up a great, floral, late hop flavor. So dude, get a filter, your favorite "C" hop and learn from my dumb mistakes. Then give it a go. I want to do this every party from now on!

N8
10/29/06 12:20 PM  
Re: N8, absolutely it makes a difference
Ok, Steve.

I won't knock it until I give it a go myself. Perhaps the guy that had the one I tried had bad hops or something.

I've got several lbs of flower hops I could try it with since I pretty much switched to pellets.

Al, could I get some kind of plan for your contraption, please. If possible.

SteveG
10/29/06 02:18 PM  
Re: N8, absolutely it makes a difference
As I said in a recent post to Todd A, the great thing about being a homebrewer is the impracical becomes irresistable. I didn't realize you had a friend who made a failed attempt, I can see your skeptisium. Last night we had the randelized and non-randelized right next to each other. I just wish there was a way we could have used the whole pound!
Al B
10/30/06 10:51 AM  
Re: N8, absolutely it makes a difference
A larger filter unit (that is used for house water sediment like in Home Depot for example) would hold alot more, of course.

Basically it was two smaller filter units put together. First one was a plastic insert (large holes) instead of a cartridge filter, the second had a cartridge of about 25 micron. The key is to use a large diameter nozzle exiting from the filter units reducing pressure, but more importantly, reducing clogging with hop leaves that escaped the first unit. Don't forget to put the units in a cooler w/ ice next time.

 
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