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Old 07-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default Clearing unwanted debris?

I just bottled a batch of American Pale Ale (Sierra Nevada Clone), in which I dry-hopped a 1/2 oz. of hops in the secondary. Even though I strained the wort before putting it in the primary, and also used the secondary, I still had a bunch of floaties (hops I imagine mostly). What is the recommended method for keeping this stuff out of the bottle? When I got to the bottom of the batch things were pretty messy. I assume it will settle to the bottom but I'd love to keep the stuff out in the first place. Should I use a hop bag? During boil or just for dry hopping? Could I put some sort of strainer to put around the racking tube? How do y'all deal with this problem?

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Old 07-17-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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The best way to deal with it depends on several things including your equipment. ie carboy vs bucket as a fermentor. I usually use hop bags in the boil kettle. You don't have to be perfect in the boil kettle as you will end up with hot and cold break material in there either way.

As to in the fermentor, I use a carboy and I just toss the hops in loose for dry hopping. I used a bag once in the fermentor, and I think you only need to have the experience one time of trying to remove a bag of swollen hops through the neck of a carboy to abandon that practice.

To keep hops out of the keg, I use a piece of very fine mesh fabric that I rubber band around the end of my racking cane that goes into the beer. You could use a small hop bag or paint strainer as well. It works pretty well.

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Old 07-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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I don't strain going into the fermenter. It all settles out as trub anyway. I wait until the beer is clear, then dryhop for about 7 days. When I go to bottle or keg, I just rack carefully and don't pick up much at all in the way of hops debris. Hops particles can clog my diptube in my keg, so I avoid racking them over. It's not hard, since there is a little plastic piece on the end of the racking cane that helps keep stuff out.

When I rack, I start the siphon in the middle, below much of the floating hops and above the trub. As it lowers, I lower the racking cane until I'm just above the trub. That seems to work really well, and I've never had an issue with floaties.

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Old 07-17-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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I think I'll give the mesh w/ rubber band a try this time. I've got some paint strainers that I was going to use as a hop bag, but I think I'll forgo it. I haven't haven't had a problem in previous batches, but this last is the first I've dry hopped. From what I've read it's probably best to avoid using the hop bag in the boil. I might try it next time I dry hop, since I'm using a bucket. Thanks for the advice.

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