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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Anyone use a Hopback?
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
ScubaSteve
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Default Anyone use a Hopback?

Hey all-

I know the purpose of using a hopback is to add aroma to the beer, and you generally see one after the kettle and before the cfc/plate while the wort is still hot. My question is whether I could use this in conjunction with an IC....cooling the wort in the kettle and then sending it through the hopback. I'm a hophead and love IPA's. I wonder whether this method would cause infections due to putting cooled wort in contact with unsanitized hops.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:16 PM   #2
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I use a DIY randall, but have never used a hopback.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:31 PM   #3
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I don't hink so. There was an article on building a DIY hopback in the May-June, 2005 issue of BYO. I didn't see the article on their website, so I'll see if I can dig it up at home and see if it addresses that issue.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve
I wonder whether this method would cause infections due to putting cooled wort in contact with unsanitized hops.
The truth is that hops do not provide a supportive environment for most types of bacteria. On top of that, if the hops are added to the primary fermenter after the start of fermentation, any bacteria on them will have a difficult time competing with the vigorously active yeast in the wort. If the hops are added to the secondary fermenter then the alcohol content and the low pH of the beer will suppress bacterial growth. Keeping this in mind, it’s safe to say that bacterial contaminations caused by dry hopping are extremely rare and not worth worrying over.
http://byo.com/departments/1105.html

Here's an article on dry vs hopback:
http://www.byo.com/mrwizard/890.html
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
The truth is that hops do not provide a supportive environment for most types of bacteria. On top of that, if the hops are added to the primary fermenter after the start of fermentation, any bacteria on them will have a difficult time competing with the vigorously active yeast in the wort. If the hops are added to the secondary fermenter then the alcohol content and the low pH of the beer will suppress bacterial growth. Keeping this in mind, it’s safe to say that bacterial contaminations caused by dry hopping are extremely rare and not worth worrying over.
http://byo.com/departments/1105.html

Here's an article on dry vs hopback:
http://www.byo.com/mrwizard/890.html
Thanks for the articles! I knew about the protective effect of pH and alcohol on already fermented beer, but common sense states that all plants have indigeonous bacteria on them, including many soil microbes. In solution, I'm sure the alpha acids are quite antiseptic, but while they are still in the lupulin glands they do not have this effect. I wanted to clip some time off my turnaround on IPA's because the dryhopping takes up about 2 weeks.

Incidentally, the "scrubbing" action seems to be heresay. I mean, we use bittering hops in the boil, and the yeast don't even begin to scrub that out...
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve
Incidentally, the "scrubbing" action seems to be heresay. I mean, we use bittering hops in the boil, and the yeast don't even begin to scrub that out...

Boil and dry are two different beasts

http://brewingtechniques.com/library...1/tinseth.html

As far as scrubbing...you could split a batch and test. It is an oft cited condition and Palmer mentions it in how to brew.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=36341
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:55 PM   #7
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I just participated with my club in a fresh hop big brew yesterday. We pumped 100 gallons of hot wort back into our mash tun on top of three 5 gallon buckets of homegrown hops. The aroma was incredible! We recirculated the wort through the hops for about 10 minutes before pumping the wort through the chiller. The wort tasted great too. My share is currently bubbling away in the fermentation fridge. We'll see in a couple weeks how it came out.

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