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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: etbrew on December 28, 2009, 02:42:39 AM

Title: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: etbrew on December 28, 2009, 02:42:39 AM
I dry hopped for the first time about a month ago with excellent results in the flavor and aroma area but I ended up clogging my bottle filler with hops. 
I've heard of putting the hops in a grain bag or putting some stockings on the end of the siphon tube when transferring to the bottling bucket but I'm worried about contamination.  How do I ensure cleanliness of the grain bag or the stocking?  I thought of getting a giant stainless steel tea ball but then realized it wouldn't fit in the carboy :).

-Eric
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: ndcube on December 28, 2009, 12:04:42 PM
I just dunk them in my bucket of star san.

FWIW. I use a plastic screen on the end of my racking cane.  I've also heard to use a piece of a SS or copper scrubie tied to the end.  When my plastic screen finally breaks I'm going to try that.
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: dhacker on December 28, 2009, 12:42:28 PM
The chances for contamination are pretty slim after the beer has fermented. Not that it's totally impossible, but much less than before it's fermented. I use the white, knee-high nylon hose and throw 'em in a small sauce pan and heat them up for a few minutes while I'm getting the hops ready.   
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: 1vertical on December 28, 2009, 03:27:54 PM
I see a good use for some cheep Vodka here.
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: denny on December 28, 2009, 04:46:57 PM
I see a good use for some cheep Vodka here.

Why bother wasting vodka, especially since I don't know how effective it would be.  I put my hop bags in a cup or 2 of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and they're good to go.
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: 1vertical on December 28, 2009, 07:36:20 PM
Denny, the hot microwave would work as well since we only need to sanitize and not steralize.
just for the record Ethanol (Vodka / Everclear) is a great sanitization media.
A quote from Wikipedia
"Antiseptic use
Ethanol is used in medical wipes and in most common antibacterial hand sanitizer gels at a concentration of about 62% (percentage by volume, not weight) as an antiseptic. Ethanol kills organisms by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids and is effective against most bacteria and fungi, and many viruses (including SARS [1]), but is ineffective against bacterial spores.[76]"

I just keep a spritzer bottle of ETOH around the house out of habit.
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: tygo on December 28, 2009, 08:12:18 PM
In college a friend of mine stepped on a nail.  Didn't really have any other antiseptics handy so I poured jack daniels on it.  Seemed to work just fine  ;D
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: etbrew on December 29, 2009, 01:10:28 AM
Thanks for the ideas.  I never thought of microwaving the bags...
-Eric
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: mroakley on December 29, 2009, 07:35:33 PM
I use a stainless steel steeping ball or two in the serving keg. 
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: sir_eldren on December 29, 2009, 10:57:11 PM
In the past, when I've been in doubt, I've just boiled the grain bag for 5 or 6 minutes.  No more worries for me!
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: bluesman on December 30, 2009, 12:27:14 AM
In the past, when I've been in doubt, I've just boiled the grain bag for 5 or 6 minutes.  No more worries for me!

+1

I typically boil the bag for a couple minutes and fill it upon cooling. Hasn't let me down yet.  8)
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: blatz on December 30, 2009, 12:38:48 AM
In the past, when I've been in doubt, I've just boiled the grain bag for 5 or 6 minutes.  No more worries for me!

+1

I typically boil the bag for a couple minutes and fill it upon cooling. Hasn't let me down yet.  8)

yep - been doing this at least 3 years and never an issue - I put my hops in women's stockings though  :o - those hop bags are too 'spensive!
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: etbrew on December 30, 2009, 01:04:16 AM
Quote
I put my hops in women's stockings though
Do you have a favorite color and does size matter?  :)
Title: Re: Dry hopping and contamination
Post by: denny on December 30, 2009, 04:19:19 PM
yep - been doing this at least 3 years and never an issue - I put my hops in women's stockings though  :o - those hop bags are too 'spensive!

I use the disposable muslin bags.  About 35 cents each.