Customer Spotlight: Improving False Bottoms With A Perforated Ring

 

We recently fabricated a really sweet perforated ring for a customer to use in the bottom of his brewing kettle to help keep his false bottom up off the bottom of the kettle. What’s unique is that he had a dip tube that needed to go through the side of the perforated ring to pick up wort under the false bottom but also keep hop gunk from getting into the inside area of the perforated ring.

Here’s his cool story!
Initially he brewed in a keggle with a false bottom and no dip tube:
My existing false bottom was designed for a mash tun for a stepped bottom kettle so raising it on its own would allow hops to get underneath at the edges of the kettle.

My keggle had no dip tube and the false bottom sat at the top of the curve on the keg.  I had no problems recirculating. I would also note the keggle false bottom had perf ss with 3/32 holes .  In fact with the keggle I used to run a small amount of wort through the chiller by gravity and could immediately recirculate at the boil.

Then he switched over to a kettle with a false bottom and a pick up tube. And he ran into some problems…

Here’s a shot of the false bottom before using the ring. The false bottom is just placed on the bottom of the kettle

Switching to a flat bottom kettle with pick up tube going through the center of the false bottom I could not recirculate until the release of steam ended.  While this did not really add time it was a pain in the neck.  The strength of the whirlpool was varied due to clogging by debris, and the chiller cleaning became difficult with repeated flushes of clean PBW as opposed to boiling water and one recirculation of 15 min with PBW.  Also it did not allow the hop bed to drain and when chilling I would lose up to a gallon of wort, depending on the amount of hops used.  The pump also would begin to suck air through the hop bed due to the proximity to the hop bed and  more hop debris was pulled through compared to the keggle.  Low hop rate beers did not have the yield issues but still recirculation problems.

So, perforated ring to the rescue!

This shows the perforated ring in place in the bottom of the kettle with the pickup tube sticking through

Once that’s in place, the false bottom is laid on top

And the brewing begins. Here’s a shot of the whirlpool hop addition
Here’s a shot of the hops settling after the whirlpool additionBy raising the false bottom with the perforated ring, I was able to immediately circulate boiling wort just like the keggle.  On the first test run there was no noticeable debris going through the chiller either.  The whirlpool was much stronger even after the second hop addition.  Another factor I will investigate next brew is if it makes any difference to place the pick up tube on and angle or straight downward with respect to recirculating boiling wort.  I do not think this is the issue but worth testing.  Worst case I just wait a few minutes  Next beer up is a bock beer, so not many hops and some will pellets that I will add to one of your baskets.

Here’s a picture after the chilling and removal of the false bottom. You can see how effective the ring was at blocking the hops from the diptube.

So, how did it do?
So I would say I have recovered 0.5 to 1 gallons of wort depending on the hop rate and eliminated pumping problems.  Please note many beers I brew do not get whirlpooled, but these still had pumping issues.  I shut off the boil and start chilling.  I have added the whirlpool to two types of beers.  Those that are hoppy and need post boiling hop additions and those with mostly pilsner malt where I drop the temp below 165F to further avoid any DMS.  I think the filtering is better due to improved whirlpool and the perf ring.  It also eliminates losing the pump when at the end when there is still wort left.  Once the pump gets air in it and the end it cannot be recovered so all that wort is lost.”

“Raising the false bottom worked as I had hoped and even better than expected.  First there was absolutely no issue connecting my recirculation pump immediately after turning off the boil.  This can be attributed to have the raised false bottom allowing the steam to escape as opposed to trapped under the false bottom.  Or it might be that I tilted the pick up tube slight, so next batch I will have it straight down.  There was no evidence of hop matter while recirculating until the very very end which is normal.  In the past I could see hop matter being recirculated through  the tubing.  I lost about 0.5 gallons left in the boil kettle.

During the last Whirlpool Addition of 6 oz hops, all total there were 18 oz of hops for a 17.5 gallon batch.  At end of boil I was at 19 gallons which accounting for chilling meant 18.25 gallons.

SO considering loss of 0.5 that brings me to 17.75 and I yielded three carboys with about 5.75 gallons each or 17.25 gallons.  This included about 0.25 gallons of yeast so I guestimate the hops took up and absorbed 0.75 gallon or about 5.3 oz lost per oz.  ( that is close to the literature I recall)”

Jim’s brewing just got a whole lot more efficient and easier!

Check out this great shot of his whole brewing system!

So, not bad! He deemed the perforated ring a success! So, if you’re looking to raise your false bottom up a bit off the bottom of your kettle but you still want to use a dip tube underneath it, we can make it happen! Feel free to contact us!

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