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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: euge on July 01, 2010, 06:03:44 PM

Title: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: euge on July 01, 2010, 06:03:44 PM
I've used them before but they were fine-mesh. Always floating... I tried weighing them down but still they floated. Wondered if there was any sort of decent extraction? The brew didn't seem very hoppy to me. :-\

Considering coarse mesh or might even make some out of surgical sponges. Also have some "Leggs" knee-high stockings but they float too.

Is there a method and approach that is more successful that others?
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: richardt on July 01, 2010, 06:29:29 PM
No hop bags in the boil kettle.

I use pellet hops and just strain the whole thing through my SS china cap bullion strainer on the output side.

I get great utilization and no issues with clogs as the 10 inch china cap has a large surface area. 
I also have very little wort loss as I can give the china cap a few shakes to release the wort and the hops basically coalesce into a big ball of thick green putty.

You can use the hop bag the same way--just drape it over the large plastic funnel and run your spigot with or without a hose attached right into the pre-sanitized bag and funnel (I use StarSan).  You can even "tie up" the hose with the hop mesh bag.

I often do this when transferring from primary to secondary or from secondary to bottling bucket to strain the dry hops, the only difference is that I keep the bag submerged in the beer to minimize O2 pickup.  I keep it from floating by putting it over the transfer hose or racking cane like a loose sock and tie it tight and sanitize the whole thing before use.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: denny on July 01, 2010, 06:49:19 PM
In the kettle, I use reusable nylon (?) bags.  The mesh isn't particularly large, but after a couple minutes in the kettle they get saturated and submerse just fine.  For dry hopping, I use muslin bags that I dispose of after use.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: tygo on July 01, 2010, 06:59:02 PM
In the kettle, I use reusable nylon (?) bags.  The mesh isn't particularly large, but after a couple minutes in the kettle they get saturated and submerse just fine.  For dry hopping, I use muslin bags that I dispose of after use.

Same here for me in the boil.  Dry hopping in the secondary I just throw them in there.  Sometimes I'll throw one or two of the additions additions into the boil without the bag.  My objective is just to keep the amount of wet hops in the bottom of the kettle relatively low so it doesn't interfere too much with draining to the fermenter. 
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: pyrite on July 01, 2010, 07:01:47 PM
I like the Tea-bag method...  :P I use this jumbo stainless steel tea-bag.  I only fill it up half-way for a better extraction rate and doing so It can hold 4oz of hops.  I use it for dry hop-ing, coriander, orange peel additions. $5 at the local Japanese tea store.
(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/tea-bag2.jpg)
(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/Tea-bag1.jpg)
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: weithman5 on July 01, 2010, 09:13:04 PM
i know this is a little off but has anyone made a press for making their homegrown hops into plugs or pellets.  i have seen it once on some now forgotten web site, but i would like to be able to so i can store longer and not have to deal with whole hops and as much clogging.  my thought was my hydraulic jack and a 2 inch diameter capped pipe to press them into.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: kgs on July 02, 2010, 09:27:00 PM
For the kettle, I bought a humongous fine strainer at a restaurant store for $12 that works really well if I'm using some whole hops (which end up acting like a filter). I strain into a bucket and then into the fermenter.

For fermentation, after trying pantyhose and whatnot, I have started filtering post-fermentation, when racking to the bottling bucket, using a sanitized copper Chore Boy wrapped around the end of my autosiphon with a (sanitized) rubber-band. It's one-time use on the Chore Boy, but if you do enough grocery shopping, these show up on sale now and then. It's amazing to see how much gets filtered out.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: Jo Diesel on July 04, 2010, 10:57:58 AM
I use a 5 gal paint strainer. Floats around fine and lets the hops move.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: vista on July 04, 2010, 01:34:26 PM
do people sanitize the muslin bags before throwing them in with dry hops?
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: bluesman on July 04, 2010, 03:39:49 PM
do people sanitize the muslin bags before throwing them in with dry hops?

Yes, I boil them in the microwave for a minute before dry hopping.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: majorvices on July 04, 2010, 03:48:27 PM
hop bags are for losers.
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: bluesman on July 04, 2010, 03:53:09 PM
hop bags are for losers.

 :P
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: bonjour on July 05, 2010, 01:14:35 PM
I go both ways,  depends on my mood. ;)

I'm trying to use bags more so I can just dump my wort when cool and not worry about all the hops in the boil, but after years of jest tossing them I forget

or is that just an age thing?
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: denny on July 05, 2010, 03:38:22 PM
I go both ways,  depends on my mood. ;)

I'm trying to use bags more so I can just dump my wort when cool and not worry about all the hops in the boil, but after years of jest tossing them I forget

or is that just an age thing?

They say the mind is the second thing to go....;)
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: dean on July 05, 2010, 04:43:29 PM
Jmo, you need a hop bag or hop ball when using pellets, otherwise I just toss whole hops straight into the boil.  But I have a dip tube with a screen on the end so the loose hops act like a filter somewhat when I drain the kettle.  I tried putting pellets straight in the kettle boil and it plugged my screen... won't do that again anytime soon!   >:(  :D
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: bonjour on July 05, 2010, 05:05:34 PM
  I tried putting pellets straight in the kettle boil and it plugged my screen... won't do that again anytime soon!   >:(  :D
and that has never been a problem foor me so YMMV
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: dhacker on July 05, 2010, 08:29:52 PM
I've used them before but they were fine-mesh. Always floating... I tried weighing them down but still they floated. Wondered if there was any sort of decent extraction? The brew didn't seem very hoppy to me. :-\

Considering coarse mesh or might even make some out of surgical sponges. Also have some "Leggs" knee-high stockings but they float too.

Is there a method and approach that is more successful that others?

How much weight are you putting in the bag? I've used some 316 SS ingots from my pyro chemical ball mill to weigh down the cheap knee-hi hose bags I sometimes use. Obviously, it depends on how many ounces of hops are in the bag as to how much weight you need. Part of the problem from my unscientific observation is that bubbles get trapped inside the bags during the boil, especially when it's fine mesh, and that exacerbates the buoyancy issue. Keep adding weight and you'll get 'er to sink!  ;)
Title: Re: Let's talk hop-bags!
Post by: euge on July 05, 2010, 11:03:40 PM
I was putting some copper fittings in there. Probably twice to three times the weight of the hops.