Author Topic: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets  (Read 7180 times)

Offline sparkleberry

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hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« on: January 20, 2012, 12:13:06 PM »
in a lot of my recent readings(across the entire interwebs), it seems that some people agree hop bags and spiders can contribute to lost hop utilization. others report no decreased utilization.

how are you fellas using your hop pellets and what are your feelings with these methods?

I haven't been able to find any sort of way to calculate any lost hop utilization so I'm wondering how this lost utilization is taken into account. is it individual by palate perception? is the beer not tasting bitter enough? is the beer not smelling hoppy enough? or both?

I've used bags and have also just tossed pellets into the boil freely. I've been happy with both results. though I liked the bags because of the no hassle removal of hop matter from the wort.

I'm going to build a hop spider this weekend to give that a try and have just been thinking a lot about hops in general.

cheers and thanks!
cheers.

rpl
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Offline hokerer

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 01:38:21 PM »
I've always been a "tosser" (isn't that some sort of Brit insult  ???).  I've never found any need for bags or spiders or whatever.
Joe

Offline tygo

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 06:25:52 PM »
I've always used bags for pellets and throw whole hops in, just because that's what has worked best on my system.  I do adjust the pellet hops upwards by 10% to account for loss of utilization but I don't have anything scientific to base that on.  As long as your consistent with your practices and calculations you can just adjust to taste no matter which way you go.

I'm in the process of revisiting my practices though since I just switched from a kettle screen to a pickup tube in my kettle.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »
I've always used bags for pellets and throw whole hops in, just because that's what has worked best on my system.  I do adjust the pellet hops upwards by 10% to account for loss of utilization but I don't have anything scientific to base that on.  As long as your consistent with your practices and calculations you can just adjust to taste no matter which way you go.

I'm in the process of revisiting my practices though since I just switched from a kettle screen to a pickup tube in my kettle.

my system is the exact opposite. I can toss pellet in but whole hops clog my spigot something awful
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 02:12:15 PM »
I'm a tosser.   But it seems to me that if the bag was loose and big enough, the flow through the bag and hops should make the utilization roughly equal to letting the hops run free.  That's why I like the concept of a hop spider and a big bag.  The roiling wort should flow through relatively well.  I don't have a spider yet, but I'm eager to hear from those that use one and its effect on utilization.
 
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Offline gandelf

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 05:52:45 AM »
How effective is a bag at preventing pellet hop particulate from getting into the wort; none,
some percentage?
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Offline tygo

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 06:40:39 AM »
How effective is a bag at preventing pellet hop particulate from getting into the wort; none,
some percentage?

A nylon bag is fairly effective.  I'm just pulling this out of the air but let's call it 90%.  Provided the bag doesn't come open in the kettle of course.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2012, 10:26:18 AM »
How effective is a bag at preventing pellet hop particulate from getting into the wort; none,
some percentage?

I use a large strainer bag with an elastic top that fits over the rim and extends all the way to the bottom of my fermenter pail. I got it at my LHBS for a few bucks, and it's lasted for dozens of uses. I just rinse it and toss it into the clothes washer and drier. It seems to pick up a high percentage of trub and hops particulate (I don't bag the hops separately), leaving only some very fine cloudy matter that drops out in the fermenter along with the spent yeast. It might even help some with cooling, as I get a cup or two of hot solids out before I start to cool the remaining liquid.

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: hop bag vs. hop spider vs. free hop pellets
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2012, 11:01:13 AM »
How effective is a bag at preventing pellet hop particulate from getting into the wort; none,
some percentage?

A nylon bag is fairly effective.  I'm just pulling this out of the air but let's call it 90%.  Provided the bag doesn't come open in the kettle of course.

I'll have to agree with the 90% figure for the bags, maybe even higher. I have tossed as well as used a spider made with the Lowes/Home Depot style of strainer bags. I just got a pump, and was very concerned about the pump clogging, so on maiden voyage of the pump, I put my pellet hops (which I use pretty much exclusively due to storage space limitations for whole hops) into the fine nylon hop bags. These are the Crosby Baker ones with the nice heavy drawstrings. (Don't put more than a couple ounces of hops per bag, and they will have plenty of room to move around in the boil) I did an IPA with 10.5oz. of hops in it and when I drained my boil kettle into he fermenter through a filtered strainer lined with a strainer bag I was stunned. No material in the strainer bag, and a fine coating of hops dust on the funnel screen. I'm very happy at how well this worked.

I should add that there is no screen or filter of any kind in my boil kettle.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 11:03:31 AM by Alewyfe »
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