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Old 12-31-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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I have a quick question about hops bags.
I make it cider and not beer but I want to add some wood chips to my 5 gallon carboy and I think I hops bag would do it... But most of the hops bags I've seen are pretty big and I think they are designed to go into a kettle. I just saw hops bag that was then called a muslin hops bag? Now I can go down to my local homebrew supply and buy one (I think?) but my question is, is there an alternative? I'm wondering if anybody has used anything like a piece of pantyhose or something that would be easier to get down the neck of a glass carboy?

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:59 PM   #2
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Go to a grocery store and get cheese cloth. That way you can cut it to the size you want.

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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I use 1 gallon paint strainer bags you can get at most home centers, hardware or paint stores. They are cheap and reusable

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Most winemakers/cidermakers don't use anything to hold the chips- they just go right in. You want "full contact" with the cider. Then, when it's oaked enough, rack off of the oak chips. It's easy!

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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I would imagine it would be equally difficult to get the bag out, too. I have always assumed it was easiest to sanitize them and pitch right in. Just my 2 cents!

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilph7 View Post
I would imagine it would be equally difficult to get the bag out, too. I have always assumed it was easiest to sanitize them and pitch right in. Just my 2 cents!
Generally, you don't sanitize the wood chips as then you'd be taking out some of the "oakiness" out of them. You can heat them in the oven, though, if you're really paranoid about infection or soak in a little bourbon first.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Yooper;4732607]Generally, you don't sanitize the wood chips as then you'd be taking out some of the "oakiness" out of them. You can heat them in the oven, though, if you're really paranoid about infection or soak in a little bourbon first


I have never boiled them, but always soaked in spiced rum or whiskey. I primarily brew beer, and have used oak only a handful of times in doing so. Thanks for the tip!

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman
I use 1 gallon paint strainer bags you can get at most home centers, hardware or paint stores. They are cheap and reusable
1 gallon? How about fitting in the neck of the carboy?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy
Go to a grocery store and get cheese cloth. That way you can cut it to the size you want.
How do I sanitize that?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Most winemakers/cidermakers don't use anything to hold the chips- they just go right in. You want "full contact" with the cider. Then, when it's oaked enough, rack off of the oak chips. It's easy!
Perfect!
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