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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: gimmeales on October 21, 2010, 05:47:43 PM

Title: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: gimmeales on October 21, 2010, 05:47:43 PM
Anyone use one of these (http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Locking-Strainer-Infuser-Diameter/dp/B003FCMCMO/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1287682738&sr=8-6) for hops in the boil?

One reviewer says they work great for homebrewing, but the mesh looked maybe a bit open for containing pellet debris well.  I currently use a 5-gallon paint strainer bag which works well enough and is super-inexpensive, but I like the idea of the durability of stainless and not having to worry about my bag coming open and hops getting everywhere.  These are inexpensive enough, I maybe
have to try it regardless, would have enough other uses around the kitchen anyway.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: bluesman on October 21, 2010, 05:52:20 PM
No...but I like the idea.  Let us know how it works out if you decide to try it.  I have also used the paint strainer bag which worked out pretty well but now I'm using muslin bags.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: euge on October 21, 2010, 05:56:43 PM
I've used the smaller 2" versions to dry-hop in the keg. A while back people were talking about using the 3" tea balls to good effect. I like the looks of this 5.5" "jumbo" version.

BTW, a few fragments do make their way out of the mesh but nothing to deter using this approach.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: gimmeales on October 21, 2010, 08:50:27 PM
Excellent, I shall procure one and report on it's performance.

One thing I'm trying to envision is how easy it is to open when in use.  I'd like to put all hop charges for your average batch in at their appropriate intervals. Wonder how easy the thing would be to open\use after removing it from boiling wort! 
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 21, 2010, 09:46:12 PM
Hot stainless steel.  Not something I want to touch.

Perhaps if you had two or three of the smaller ones?

I've opened the muslin bags (or whatever they're made of) to add hops and they can get hot enough that I wouldn't want to be grabbing a steel tea ball.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on October 23, 2010, 02:28:12 PM
One think to remember is that pallet hops will expand when wet.

Once is used small SS tea bag for dry hopping.
Hops expanded and I ended up with tea bag filled with hops and beer could not get thru it.

In OP you said you want to use it for boil. It could work afterall.
Heat might be a concern but then BK is hot too.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: euge on October 23, 2010, 06:27:37 PM
Don't fill the ball all the way- maybe half-full at the most.

I wasn't thinking of the boil initially but one probably should secure the latch on the ball with a twist-tie. Don't want it to pop open right?

And a piece of string tied to the ball will make it easier to fish it out of the kettle.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: 1vertical on October 25, 2010, 12:00:34 AM
Don't fill the ball all the way- maybe half-full at the most.

I wasn't thinking of the boil initially but one probably should secure the latch on the ball with a twist-tie. Don't want it to pop open right?

And a piece of string tied to the ball will make it easier to fish it out of the kettle.
I use dental floss,,,,the flat ribbon to suspend recaoture the ball.BTW this looks like a great mousetrap. I have been using the smaller 2" stylewith Hop Plugs and good results. They do however leave little hop "Ghosts" floating around
until much time and settling has occured.

Edit: I wonder how well a 5 inch diameter ball will fit into the lid opening of a corny keg??
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on October 25, 2010, 10:27:45 PM
Edit: I wonder how well a 5 inch diameter ball will fit into the lid opening of a corny keg??
I would say no.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: skyler on October 26, 2010, 08:03:14 AM
I use that exact giant tea ball when I want to use large amounts of pellet hops. The hops will expand and soak up wort enough to fill the whole thing, but I don't think that has any ill effect - it works great, IMO. But don't try to se it for dry hopping because there is no way it will fit in a corny keg.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: foobrew on October 29, 2010, 10:08:20 PM
Anyone use one of these (http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Locking-Strainer-Infuser-Diameter/dp/B003FCMCMO/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1287682738&sr=8-6) for hops in the boil?

Have you considered using/building a hop bag hanger? Here's a link to a semi-elaborate one but there are lots of other designs for the same thing on the web:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hop-bag-hanger-73829/ (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hop-bag-hanger-73829/)
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: narcout on October 29, 2010, 11:57:02 PM
I've also heard that on some of those stainless steal tea balls, the clasps are chromed brass and therefore not good for dryhopping as it will slowly dissolve into the beer.  This happened to someone on the NB forum.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: pyrite on October 30, 2010, 11:42:28 PM
I think these stainless steel tea bags work great.  They fit in a corny keg with no problem.  I've used it in the boil and in the corny with aging beer, with no issue of corrosion.  I bought mine for 5 dollars.

The diameter for this tea bag is 3 inches and it holds about 2-3oz hops with enough room leftover for proper circulation.

(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/tea-bag2.jpg)
(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/Tea-bag1.jpg)
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: redbeerman on November 03, 2010, 01:43:21 PM
I think these stainless steel tea bags work great.  They fit in a corny keg with no problem.  I've used it in the boil and in the corny with aging beer, with no issue of corrosion.  I bought mine for 5 dollars.

The diameter for this tea bag is 3 inches and it holds about 2-3oz hops with enough room leftover for proper circulation.

(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/tea-bag2.jpg)
(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb218/brewbock/Tea-bag1.jpg)

I have one as well and they work great for pellet hops.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: gimmeales on November 12, 2010, 06:20:15 PM
Yeah foobrew, I had seen those types of contraptions too.  Works great for hops, but seemed over-engineered and would be awkward when it's time to drop the immersion chiller in.

I liked the perceived durability of the tea-balls being stainless and - and yes, concerns about enough 'flow' through the ball for good alpha acid extraction we in the back of my mind, thus wondering about what size\how many to get.

However, the inconvenience of having to pull it from the wort, open it (coated in very hot wort), drop in more hops, close and re-immerse have prevented me from getting one (or two) *just* yet.  I may visit the local Asian market and see if they've got some I can look at in-person.  The security and ease of operating the clasp could make or break it for me.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: euge on November 13, 2010, 06:43:49 AM
The reusable nylon hop bags are great for adding hops to the boil. I find I can even add hops to a bag but it is hot!. The real pain is cleaning them. :-\ Beer.
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: 1vertical on November 13, 2010, 02:40:26 PM
Anyone use one of these (http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Locking-Strainer-Infuser-Diameter/dp/B003FCMCMO/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1287682738&sr=8-6) for hops in the boil?

Have you considered using/building a hop bag hanger? Here's a link to a semi-elaborate one but there are lots of other designs for the same thing on the web:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hop-bag-hanger-73829/ (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hop-bag-hanger-73829/)
+1  have one...use it every beer
Title: Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
Post by: skyler on November 15, 2010, 06:09:13 PM
I love my tea balls. I use the giant one for a single large hop addition (when I bittered my märzen with 3.2% AA Tettnanger, or when I put 4-6 oz of pellet hops in at 5 min for an IPA). I use a 3-inch one for keg hopping and for moderate hop additions in the boil. I use little ones (2") for keg hopping and for small additions. Since I mostly use whole hops, I only need the balls or hop bags when I am using more than about 1.5 ounces of pellet hops. When that does happen, I have had absolutely no problems with the stainless hop balls. the large one would be impossible to open mid-boil to add hops to since the hops expand to fill the ball no matter how many hops I put in it. I have not had a problem with AA extraction - it has always been roughly the same as when using a nylon "hop bag" or a cheesecloth peasant's purse.