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Old 07-30-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Dry-hopping with a hop bag - infection risk?

About 10 days ago I moved my IPA from primary into secondary and dropped in 1 ounce of pellet hops in a hop bag, recommended by my LHBS. Instead of dropping the entire bag into my carboy, I held the last couple inches of the drawstring out of the carboy neck and wrapped it around the stopper and airlock a little, thinking this would make the hop bag a little easier to pull out once I was ready to bottle.

I didn't think much about the beer for a week, and earlier this week decided to check it out and maybe give the hops a good rousing. It seems the cotton drawstring has wicked up some of the beer and now I have a couple of small mold colonies growing there. This evening I wiped down the drawstring and carboy neck with alcohol in hopes of staving off an infection. I'm planning to bottle it as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow evening, but still feel a little concerned.
Is there any danger of the mold making its way into my beer? Any special precautions I should take when racking into the bottling bucket?

Anyone have a better suggestion for dry-hopping using a hop bag in the future?

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:09 AM   #2
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Anyone have a better suggestion for dry-hopping using a hop bag in the future?
Well, if you feel that you have to use a hop bag, sanitize it and then fill it with the hops and add a sanitized marble or three and drop it in. It is best when submerged- so that the beer can permeate the hops.

I guess the best thing to do with the beer you have is to rack from the middle, keeping under any mold and unsanitized areas of the hop bag and hope for the best.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:11 AM   #3
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When I dry hop I use the muslin bags. I soak them in sanitizer before filling them up with hops and I have never had any problems doing it this way. I also sanitize some stainless weights that go in the bag with the hops to weigh it down. These muslin bags are cheap and I normally dont reuse them so I dont care if they come out in one piece or not. Sometimes it is just easier to break them open to get everything out. I use both glass carboys and better bottles and I have to say that dry hopping is much easier in the better bottles because the mouth is much wider than my glass carboys.

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Old 07-30-2008, 05:10 AM   #4
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wow, I just fill the paint stainer with an ounce, tie it in a knot and just toss it in the keg. I have made some of the best summer ales using cascade or amarillo with this method. So good after the first week, they disappear. It stays in the keg longer than the prescribed 7 days but never makes it to day 15. I do use whole hops when dry hoping, less material to strain through my teeth.

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Old 07-30-2008, 05:27 AM   #5
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I just dry hopped 10 gallons of Ed's Haus Pale Ale with hop bags. I put an once in each bag and placed in the carboy. I then draped the bag around the outside of the opening and placed the airlock in between it, to hold the bag in place. After a week I removed the airlock, pulled the bag and replaced the airlock before bottling and kegging. It was the first time I did it and it worked fine. Just make sure to sanitize the bag before you do it and it should be fine. Also, I used a nylon bag, not one of the cotton muslin bags.

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Old 07-30-2008, 06:23 AM   #6
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I just did my first dry hop for an ESB. Not sure if you would call it an ESB after dryhopping it but that's beside the point. The point is that it turned out really nice tasting. All I did was boil a muslin bag with a couple marbles. I then put the marbles in with an ounce of whole leaf hops.

You are probably not in any danger of having infected beer. Like the previous poster said, you can syphon from below the surface of the liquid and then stop it before you suck in any of the crud floating on the top.

Cheers!

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Old 07-30-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
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I dry hop my kegs this way as well. If you don't want to risk it and use pellet hops..I have found that if I crash cool all the pellet hops settle to the bottom of the carboy and than rack as normal with minimul transfer..

Jay

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