funnel fail

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by inchrisin, Dec 29, 2012.

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  1. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I brew in an ale pale. I have a funnel I'd like to start using to help start aeration. I'm about to switch over to whole hops too. I'd like to filter them out to reduce the amount of wort I lose by the end of my boil.

    I'm the proud owner of this funnel:
    except mine has a tab on the outside so I can hang it from the lip of my ale pale. My method is that I have tried to pour the wort directly from my kettle through the funnel. There was too much push and the weight of the wort pulled the funnel off the lip of the fermenter and into the bottom of the pale. I cussed a lot and pulled the funnel out.

    I'm wondering if there is a way to stabilize the funnel on top of an ale pale so I can pour the wort from the kettle through the funnel, through a screen, and into the fermenter. I'd rather not siphon and I don't have a ball valve on my kettle--yet. Any ideas, or am I going over to team siphon?
  2. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2006 Michigan

  3. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2006 Michigan

    Or You could buy a 5 gal. bucket lid from home depot and drill a 1 1/2" hole in it to accommodate the funnel.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I was thinking about that too. I lost a few lids during a move and I have some extra that would love to become a DIY project. I'm not sure if the Homer lids will fit. I think the diameter is smaller, but never checked. I'll try to remember tonight and post back.
  5. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Disciple (363) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    That is good advice but the hole will need a bung in it during fermentation or your airlock will be dead as most of the activity will escape the hole in the lid. Go with the strainer that hopsandmalt linked, because your strainer will be too fine for hoppy beers as I have both the funnel strainer for carboys and nb's double mesh strainer for buckets... Double mesh and buckets is where it's at if your dumping wort from the kettle.
  6. ZimZamZoom

    ZimZamZoom Savant (992) Dec 5, 2005 West Virginia

    I think the modified lid would be used just to strain the wort into the bucket then a normal lid would be used during fermentation?

    To the OP...I can't imagine the screen in that funnel *not* getting clogged with hops after about 3 seconds. Maybe better luck with whole hops, but still does not seem ideal to me. I use one of these:
    inchrisin likes this.
  7. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    Take ghe plunge and install a valve. I installed one in November and couldn't be happier. It was really quite easy.

    I used a funnel previously, and as noted by Zim above, I was constantly cleaning the funnel screen of debris. Quite frustrating, as I'm sure you know!
    PortLargo likes this.
  8. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (472) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    Valves rock. Find a friend with a step-bit and have at it. Sure you'll be a little intimidated when you start to drill the pilot hole in a perfectly good kettle, but that is one of the joys of homebrewing.

    The funnel referenced above is great. You can lay it across the primary bucket (no hands required) and it does a good job of filtering (some people add cheesecloth). I use a couple of rubber bands on the handle to stabilize the transfer hose (simple and it works). In a five gallon brew you will stop the transfer and empty it once or twice which is another reason for the valve. I also filter when I go from secondary to bottling bucket, especially if dry hops are involved.

    If you just can't install a valve, the auto-siphon is a good approach. Remember, the less you pick up a heavy brew kettle the less likely there will be an accident.
  9. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Disciple (347) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

  10. ventura78

    ventura78 Aspirant (270) Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

    I would use one of these and a valve. I use this setup with a copper pipe going through it instead of pvc. Works great.

    psnydez86 likes this.
  11. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Disciple (363) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Do you think you get any lower hop utilization with the restriction from the bag or no?? Seems like a fantastic gadget!!
  12. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,353) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I don't use hop bags/spiders, but I would think that anything that restricts movement of the hops and/or the flow of wort through the hops would affect utilization somewhat. I do know that some people do increase their hop amounts when using bags/spiders, but I think the important thing would be to see how they perform in your setup and dial in from there.
  13. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I have seen those funnels in action. Great funnel , but don't bother with the screen; it clogs almost immediately.​
  14. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Is that going to help? Are you going to press the wort out?
  15. ventura78

    ventura78 Aspirant (270) Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

    I've always used hop bags in one form or another. I don't think it lowers utilization, but vikeman raised a good question that I want to look into a bit more.
  16. ventura78

    ventura78 Aspirant (270) Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

  17. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I was thinking that pouring all the wort through the strainer would be better than just trying to eyeball it with a careful pour. The hops could at least drip dry a little.
  18. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    OK, I'm not 100% certain on your process here. But if you pour (and I think that someone already mentioned this) everything into this funnel it;s going to glog up. It will seep thru the hops and you'll have a pseudo hop-rocket,but it will take hours. A big funnel is always better if that's what you mean.

    inchrisin, I know that you aren't a first time brewer so this isn't pointed at you - but hops are evil. Every first time brewer wants to make a 12% Pliney. In my day I've thrown out many brew sessions because some screen kluge that i came up with just didn't work.

    I don't think that you should change two things at once. Whole hops will give you filtering of break materiel, but with the modern day nitro sealed vacuum packaging of pellet hops I don't think that you'll gain anything with whole hops.
  19. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I may not be clear above. I brew in a 15 gal kettle. I don't use a hop bag, I just dump hops in and pour from the hip when I'm done. I don't think it would be a good idea to add whole hops into the fermenter and I think I need a good way to get all the wort into the fermenter that I can. From what I understand, whole hops tend to hold some wort. I'm not too worried about that. It sounds like I'll be buying a double-strainer for this operation. :slight_smile:

    People will argue until they're blue in the face that whole hops have the edge on aroma. I'd like to find out first-hand.
  20. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    What's a double strainer? The hand held basket looking thing?

    Whole hops expand and the fact that you have a big kettle will worsen what I think will happen. I see the strainer filling up with hops very quickly. For a point of reference the Blickmann hop rocket holds 2-3 oz, and they are compressed.

    Now I've never poured out a kettle with whole hops. My guess is they either float or sink. If they float then maybe you could get two strainers and when one is full , hit the second one and dump the first.


    Are you against putting the whole hops in a bag?
  21. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Wow. Good show of ingenuity.

    I'd say find a vaguely interested party, maybe cute and 10 year younger, and ask them to come over and hold a funnel for the cool sum of good company, homebrewed beer and possible afternoon delight.
  22. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Who are you and why haven't you suggested this sooner? :slight_smile:
  23. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree. I use a SS mesh hop spider/filter in my boil kettle. It's roughly 14in long by 6inch around, of 300micron SS mesh. It does get a bit clogged up and ugly from break material, and I worried about hop utilization, but to be honest, the last brews out of them have been just fine, tasted just like previous versions that I did free floating everything in there.

    I use a valve, whirlpool after/while I cool, and let it sit, and I while I still have some hop particulate in there from pellets, my beers are going in clearer, and taste just fine.

    Test one out using a recipe you know and trust and have done before, and go from there before you make adjustments.
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