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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: pliskadm on June 22, 2010, 07:58:19 PM

Title: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: pliskadm on June 22, 2010, 07:58:19 PM
I brewed yesterday using muslin hop bags with hop pellets.  I noticed that the bag was pretty stiff after I tied a knot and thought that this may end up hurting my hop aroma, flavor etc since the surface area of the hops is drastically reduced when bundling them up in a bag like that.  This technique is used in cooking alot as well, where one will use cheese cloth and create what is called a sachet bag filled with herbs and spices and throw it into the stock pot to boil or simmer with the rest of the ingredients.  However I always felt this was doing the same thing, of reducing the efficiency of flavor extraction.  What is the general opinion about hop bag usage?
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: Malticulous on June 23, 2010, 01:09:25 AM
I seldom use them and only in low hoped beers. Normally I dump the whole boil into the fermenter and there is a difference in hop flavor and aroma from the bagged brews. Most of what I like has hop flavor and aroma so I don't use the hop bags much. If I want to keep the hop flavor and aroma low a bag can help.

Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: denny on June 23, 2010, 03:27:51 PM
I think if you use so many hops or such a small bag that the hops are stuffed in so tightly you can't get good wort flow, it could reduce utilization.  I use large bags and a different bag for each addition so that the hops pretty much float freely in the bag.  I haven't noticed a decrease in utilization doing that.
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: tubercle on June 23, 2010, 04:11:45 PM
Just go to Blow's or Home Creepo or your local hardware store and get a pack of 5 gallon paint strainer bags for 2 or 3 bucks. I've got some I have been using for about 5 years and there is plenty of room for any hop amount. Easy clean up too, just rinse and hang up.

   Cheap and easy, just like Denny taught us. ;D
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: bluesman on June 23, 2010, 04:26:55 PM
I think if you use so many hops or such a small bag that the hops are stuffed in so tightly you can't get good wort flow, it could reduce utilization.  I use large bags and a different bag for each addition so that the hops pretty much float freely in the bag.  I haven't noticed a decrease in utilization doing that.

This is my belief as well. I also use separate bags for each addition.
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: dak0415 on June 23, 2010, 04:46:37 PM
Do you guys weight the hop bags to the bottom of the kettle or just free range 'em.

Dave
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: bluesman on June 23, 2010, 05:01:32 PM
Do you guys weight the hop bags to the bottom of the kettle or just free range 'em.

Dave

Great question.

Initially I push them under with a spoon to saturate them and then randomly push them under the wort to keep them movin' and groovin' .   Eventually they will sink into the wort when they become "wort logged".
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: denny on June 23, 2010, 05:02:11 PM
I lay a long spoon/rod/whatever across the top of the kettle and hang the bags from it.  That makes it easy to retrieve them, but they pretty much float free.
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: dak0415 on June 23, 2010, 05:24:42 PM
Do you use pellets, whole, or combination?
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: denny on June 23, 2010, 05:34:57 PM
Whatever I need to use.  Sometimes all hole, sometimes all pellets (although I seldom bag those), sometimes some of each.
Title: Re: Muslin Hop bags hinder utilization?
Post by: bluesman on June 23, 2010, 06:07:10 PM
Whatever I need to use.  Sometimes all hole, sometimes all pellets (although I seldom bag those), sometimes some of each.

+1

I prefer whole if they're fresh, but pellets are just fine.   It's all about the freshness.  ;)