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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > disposable grain/hop bag
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Old 02-16-2006, 05:05 AM   #1
deranged_hermit
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Default disposable grain/hop bag

i need some help here with a reuseable or disposable grain/hop boiling bag. i bought a nice 8.5" x 9.5" bag from austin homebrew, and used it once. my roommate also used it once and mistakably and unknowingly threw it away (idiot). unfortunately we did not realize this mishap until after we ordered our $60+ order form austin. so now, instead of paying $12 bucks to quickly mail a new bag, we need an alternative solution to this problem.

things that i have heard before:
-reusing the muslin bag provided for the bag
-nylon pantyhose

are there any other tricks that people use to boil their hops? i'm not interested in straining my wort into the primary because i use hop pellets (i thought i heard that the pellets are a nightmare to strain because the paste clogs the strainer). i wont be brewing my next batch until midnext week, so i have time to hunt something down... but i wont be ordering from a HBS (and lafayette has no LBHS).

danke in advance!

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Old 02-16-2006, 05:37 AM   #2
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I boil the pellets in the wort then cool the pot, the I siphon the cooled wort to the primary. With the spacer thing on the bottom of the siphon I avoid the cold break, and the hops tend to either sink to the bottom or flaot on top. Amyways, I get very little hops, if any in my primary. Besides, they settle out in the primary any way.

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Old 02-16-2006, 05:42 AM   #3
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i actually do a lot of batches where I boil hop pellets with no bag, no strainer.

If you stir your cooled wort rapidly and create a whirlpool effect, this will draw all of the solid matter in the kettle to the center. Then, after letting the wort settle out, you can rack the beer out of the kettle and into your fermenter with the tip of your siphon near the wall of the kettle (away from the pile of crap in the middle).

You will probably get a little bit of hops in your primary fermenter, but not too much if done properly.

Or you could use muslin or pantyhose.

Or you could do like I do on my other batches and that is... NOTHING. I boil the hop pellets, don't strain, don't whirlpool. I simply pour the wort (after cooling and letting the solids settle out) through a funnel into the fermenter, and I avoid the final bit of sludge. I get some hops in the fermenter this way, but I've never had problems that I contributed to them.

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Old 02-16-2006, 05:56 AM   #4
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Yeah, the whirl pool thing. I really could care less about hops in my primary, more concerned about cold break. When I did extract I didn;t really have much cold break to worry about so I wouldn't bother straining. But with AG I get WAY more cold break. First time was like Yikes!..

So now I do the whirlpool siphon thing.

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Old 02-16-2006, 09:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deranged_hermit
i need some help here with a reuseable or disposable grain/hop boiling bag.
As many others have said, you can skip the hop bag and toss the hops straight into the boil. If you are also steeping grains then try steeping in a separate pot then pouring into your boil pot through a large kitchen strainer. I picked up a SS strainer that covers most of my boil pot for cheap. As your grains sit in the strainer, you can then rinse them easily with 170°F water.

Good luck,
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:28 PM   #6
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a couple of replys...

i'm mostly surprised at how many just throw their hops (in pellet form) right into the wort. with the batches i have made, i know that the thick sludgy paste that it makes is quite messy and nasty. i guess i would've thought to always use a bag so you dont have to deal with the mess.

also, i am using extract kits, so i dont know what kind of effect that has on straining. and finally, what is a "cold break". is it something that extract kits need to worry about?

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Old 02-16-2006, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deranged_hermit
i'm mostly surprised at how many just throw their hops (in pellet form) right into the wort. with the batches i have made, i know that the thick sludgy paste that it makes is quite messy and nasty. i guess i would've thought to always use a bag so you dont have to deal with the mess.
Using the bag lowers your hop utilization, so you need to use more hops with a bag than you would if you left them float freely. Plus, it's pretty easy to remove the sludge before going into the fermenter using any of the common methods (whirlpool, strainer, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deranged_hermit
also, i am using extract kits, so i dont know what kind of effect that has on straining.
Extract or all grain, it's all the same when it comes to dealing with the hops in the boil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deranged_hermit
and finally, what is a "cold break". is it something that extract kits need to worry about?
Cold break is a second clumping and settling of proteins in the wort. As with straining hops, it doesn't matter if you are all grain or extract... there will be a cold break.

You can read Palmer's page about cooling and cold break here:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter7-4.html

-walker
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Using the bag lowers your hop utilization, so you need to use more hops with a bag than you would if you left them float freely.
site your source please. this is the first I've ever heard of a hops bag affecting hops utilization.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
site your source please. this is the first I've ever heard of a hops bag affecting hops utilization.
The owner of my LHBS told me the same thing. She wasn't sold on it, but mentioned that the thought was out there. She told me that there wasn't a big need to use the bags.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:38 AM   #10
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I just use a 5gal paint strainer bag. Put it inside my primary bucket with the elastic around the top. When the wort is cooled I pour it into the bucket through the paint strainer. Catches the hop sludge and the cold break. Sanitize my hands and pull it out. Rinse. Reuse. Easy.

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