Author Topic: Zip ties in the brew kettle  (Read 1340 times)

Offline quest4watneys

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Zip ties in the brew kettle
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:47:42 PM »
I contemplating buying some nylon paint strainers to use instead of the muslin grain bags. If I happen to buy the kind without a drawstring, would it be a problem to use zip ties to close the tops when used during the boil? I not concerned that they'll melt but maybe some off-flavors?
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 10:37:31 PM »
Not 100% sure how it will hold up in the boil, but I have two strings of stainless nuts in my mash tun to weight down my plastic manifold inside the cooler.   They have been there for 3 years now with no issues.

Also, I used to do work in the injection molding field.  The plastic for most zip ties, does not begin to get soft until 350 F or so.  With that in mind, it should be more than safe in the kettle.  I would be more worried about the thinner material of the nylon bags than the nylon tie wrap.

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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 06:49:27 AM »
I'd just tie the bag with a square knot.
 
The zip ties might contribute off-flavors, but then so might the bag. Neither is food grade.
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Offline imperialstout

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 07:20:54 AM »
I used zip ties all the time with no problem but changed to a small spider because fishing out the bags was a pain in the ass. Was adding bittering hops and then fishing out the boiling hot bag to add flavour hops at 30, 15 and 5 min not workable. The spider makes sense to me. I do still use the nylon zip ties when I need to dry hop a beer.

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 10:13:04 AM »
Thanks for the info. I'd heard of the hop spider and after looking it up, it looks like something I'll try. I've read that utilization may be an issue because confining the hops to one area would restrict movement, any thoughts on that?
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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 10:47:34 AM »
I used zip ties all the time with no problem but changed to a small spider because fishing out the bags was a pain in the ass. Was adding bittering hops and then fishing out the boiling hot bag to add flavour hops at 30, 15 and 5 min not workable. The spider makes sense to me. I do still use the nylon zip ties when I need to dry hop a beer.

I use a separate bag for each addition.  I hang them from a spoon laid across my kettle so they're freely suspended and I don't have to fish for them afterwards.
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Offline imperialstout

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 12:45:09 PM »
Thanks for the info. I'd heard of the hop spider and after looking it up, it looks like something I'll try. I've read that utilization may be an issue because confining the hops to one area would restrict movement, any thoughts on that?

No problem. I use what might be called a modified spider. Got the idea here. Instead of having the PVC ring sit in the center of the pot with long arms extending to the sides, I hang the PVC from the side of the pot with a wall mount coat hanger used up-side-down like this one from Lowes.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_89226-89973-P27115-SC_0__? productId=3061071&Ntt=wall+mnted+coat+hooks&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dwall%2Bmnted%2Bcoat%2Bhooks&facetInfo=

The coat hanger must have two hooks so it stays securely on the pot edge without rocking back and forth. Just attach to a PVC ring, think they are connectors to put lengths of PVC pipe together, and hang. I use a 2" PVC ring as the pellet hops go in fine. Have a 3" set up for when I use fresh hops.

Have heard using a bag may give you a drop in hop utilization of 10% but I don't think it really makes a difference. I use a 1 gal paint strainer bag and secure it to the PVC with a SS adjustable circular clamp. With a 1 gal bag I figure the hops have plenty of room to infuse into the wort. The nice thing is you can add hops at any time without. If you are at all concerned you could increase your hops by 10%.

Offline bazowie

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 01:07:02 PM »
I contemplating buying some nylon paint strainers to use instead of the muslin grain bags. If I happen to buy the kind without a drawstring, would it be a problem to use zip ties to close the tops when used during the boil? I not concerned that they'll melt but maybe some off-flavors?

Use zip ties all the time, no problems 8)
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 08:06:50 AM »
I use string to tie the paint strainer bags closed.  The same string you would use to tie a roast of truss a chicken.

For hop bags, I clip them to the kettle with a medium binder clip.  Easy to open them to add more hops.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 11:25:26 AM »
I use string to tie the paint strainer bags closed.  The same string you would use to tie a roast of truss a chicken.

For hop bags, I clip them to the kettle with a medium binder clip.  Easy to open them to add more hops.

+1.  I clip the paint bags to the side of my kettle.  Lot's of hops means two bags.  I've used zip ties, twist ties and just tied a knot in the top in the past.  All no worries.  I also don't find it that much of a hassle to grab a pair of tongs and fish out separate muslin additions.  May look in to that spider though.

Dave
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 11:52:32 AM »
May look in to that spider though.

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Offline blatz

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Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 12:12:18 PM »
Thanks for the info. I'd heard of the hop spider and after looking it up, it looks like something I'll try. I've read that utilization may be an issue because confining the hops to one area would restrict movement, any thoughts on that?

yeah - boil was not very vigorous inside my spider - very little ripple on the surface and no hot break (only outside the spider.  this leads me to assume that the utilization may be lessened.  I can't say for sure.  kinda gave up on it actually...
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