Author Topic: How many people use hop bags?  (Read 4980 times)

Offline gogreen437

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How many people use hop bags?
« on: July 15, 2011, 11:26:04 AM »
I've always just thrown my hops right into the boil, but I'm getting tired of cleaning my little funnel/filter out 4 or 5 times when transferring from my brew kettle to my carboy.  How many use hop bags out there and do you notice any loss in utilization? 

Offline tankdeer

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 11:28:33 AM »
I used to back in the day, but found it was more trouble than it was worth. I throw them in loose, and I don't bother to filter them out of the carboy either. Even on light beers (drinking a fantastic helles right now), I don't notice a difference.
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Offline denny

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 11:29:23 AM »
I use them for whole hops but not for pellets.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 11:31:41 AM »
It sounds like you're pouring the wort into the fermenter. That would be one reason you're fighting with the trub.  A proper whirlpool and cooling will allow you to siphon off the wort from the kettle into the fermenter while leaving more trub behind. 
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Offline gogreen437

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 11:34:17 AM »
It sounds like you're pouring the wort into the fermenter. That would be one reason you're fighting with the trub.  A proper whirlpool and cooling will allow you to siphon off the wort from the kettle into the fermenter while leaving more trub behind. 


Yes, I do pour.  My bootleg manner of adding oxygen is pouring between my bucket and brew kettle a few times before pouring through a mesh screen.  If I want to whirlpool I stir and let settle, then siphon? Or is it more complex a process than this?

Offline blatz

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 11:35:31 AM »
+1 to martin - you'd be amazed when you see the 'cone' form.

even better - hook up a weldless ball valve setup with a pickup tube against the side...

get a mix stir for oxygenating.
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Offline euge

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 11:44:09 AM »
I use them for all hops these days. Primarily because the whole-hop seeds jack with my march pump and I can't seem to filter them without the trub then causing a problem by clogging up the filter.

I use all manner of bags for dry-hopping and boiling. Last night I used a large coarse mesh bag and just added the hops to the bag per the schedule. For the keg I use little bouquet garni bags that hold about a 1/4" of whole hops each.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 12:02:34 PM »
I used to use them all the time.  Anymore I just toss in pellets and I used a paint straining bag suspended in the kettle for whole hops.

I've tried straining but the trub just clogs the screen and takes forever to drain.

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 12:15:03 PM »
i use a false bottom and almost always use all whole hops. 

Online morticaixavier

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 12:18:02 PM »
I use a hop bag cause otherwise my spigot gets all clogged up, I have not been able to get the whirlpool to work for me. Perhaps I am doing it wrong but I do notice a little loss of utilization. I just bump up the hops a bit to account.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 01:52:52 PM »
I use a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer for everything but a FWH addition.  Works great -- minimal mess.
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Offline richardt

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 04:16:40 PM »
For what it is worth, I have bought nylon strainer bags (but have yet to use them).

I use pellet hops in the BK.  Even add pellet hops for aroma when the temp drops below flash point (<180F) and let it steep for 30-45 minutes during chilling with the IC.

No whole hops are used.

I do 10 gallon batches and note that it drops quite clear during that time. 
The first 5 gallons that go into the fermentation bucket is crystal clear (no trub, no hops).

The second 5 gallons that go into the second fermentation bucket is clear for the first 4 gallons and then it comes time to decide whether I want to stop there or try to strain out the last gallon of wort.  Being the ever-so-frugal kind-of-guy, I can't seem to help myself from straining the rest of the wort out from the break material and hops.  I use an 8-inch SS china cap buillion strainer (extra fine SS mesh)--almost the same result as a fine nylon mesh bag (though I think the nylon mesh is even more fine than the SS strainer).  I would recommend the bag versus the 4 inch diameter disc that sits in the large funnels you can buy at the LHBS.  Simply for the reason that there is more surface area to prevent clogging.

Offline Malticulous

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 04:17:49 PM »
I've used bags on less than 1% of my brews. 98% of the time I've dumped the whole boil. As late I've been whirlpooling and siphoning. I've lost some of my hop balance I'd had before so my recipes need some adjustment. I think I lost some astringency from the hops so it's worth the extra effort.  I've also noticed lower attenuation. The break is good for the yeast.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 04:19:40 PM »
False bottom in the brew kettle, so no bag.

Nylon bag goes around the racking cane to filter out the hops when dry hops are in a carboy.

Hops go in a nylon bag if keg hops are used.
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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: How many people use hop bags?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 04:30:50 PM »
I nearly always use hop bags for the boil, but never for dry hopping.  I did side-by-side brews with and without hop bags and I couldn't tell the difference, but enough other people could that I concluded that there must be a small decrease in hop utilization.
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