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Old 06-10-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Hops - how do you apply them to your wort?

I've recently been experimenting with different ways to apply my hops to the boil. It started because when I would drain my keggle, I'd get a ton of pellet goop clogging up my spigot filter -- not fun. I've also recently started using hop bags, which is great for keeping the hop matter out of my spigot filter and carboy, but it also costs $4.50 a batch -- which increases the cost of each 5 gallon batch by 15%.

How do you apply your hops and how do you like that method?

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #2
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I toss in whole flowers by shaking a bowl full of hops flowers over the boiling wort.



Yeah, it's flippant. But I only use pellets if I have to. I prefer the filter bed whole flowers give me after whirlpool. I get star-bright bitter wort in the primary with all the break filtered through the bed of hops.

Some people say they can taste a difference between whole and pellet hops. I can't. I prefer them for the mechanical assistance they give in the brewhouse, nothing more.

Edit: Can't you reuse nylon hops bags? I'd think you could just turn 'em inside out and launder 'em, or put 'em in the dishwasher or something.

Cheers,

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:32 PM   #3
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Works well with both whole and pellet hops. The bag is a 5 gallon paint strainer available at Lowe's/HD. Around $3/pair and they can be laundered many times over.

Do you have a diptube in the kettle? If so, you can also do something like this:

[youtube]ypBIcRE2cV8[/youtube]

Hop Filters like these do best with a large proportion of whole hops that help filter out smaller particulate. Like Bob, I much prefer whole hops in the kettle because of the fine filter bed they provide.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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I just use whole hops in the boil, hardly ever pellet. Anyway I do reuse my hop bags, or used to when I used them more. I don't use hop bags anymore as I'm afraid they will melt to the heating element in the new system.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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I primarily use Pellet hops -- very rarely have I used whole hops. I'll try the paint strainer thing -- that looks really easy.

I had never thought about reusing hop bags :P -- That might be my answer too.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevorino View Post
I primarily use Pellet hops -- very rarely have I used whole hops. I'll try the paint strainer thing -- that looks really easy.

I had never thought about reusing hop bags :P -- That might be my answer too.
I don't often use hop bags, but when I do, I reuse. You just rinse them out, and then turn them inside out, and put them in the laundry. If it's not laundry day, you can run them through the top rack of the dishwasher, inside out.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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I add the pellet hops naked... or rather without a hop bag or strainer or anything like that. I had a drain on welded on my kettle about 1.5" off the bottom, on the side. This allows me to whirlpool and drain from the side. It works great. The drain is a 1/2" pipe, so if I do get some solids into the drain, they go through. I whirlpool every time and I'd estimate at least 90 to 95% of all precipitated solid gunk gets left in the kettle. If I'm really carefull, its close to 100% separation. A bunch of cold break solids form when it goes through the CFC anyway so I'm not terribly worried about perfect seperation in the kettle.

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Old 06-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
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I use tea balls with pellets and plugs. They cost about $2 at Wally World.

You can put half an ounce of pellets in a tea ball (about a third of an ounce of plugs) and get good utilization. Just use multiple balls for more.

Though, I am not a hop head. If you are one of those guys who measure your hop additions in pounds, you should use a bag.

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Old 06-10-2009, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I use tea balls with pellets and plugs. They cost about $2 at Wally World.

You can put half an ounce of pellets in a tea ball (about a third of an ounce of plugs) and get good utilization. Just use multiple balls for more.

Though, I am not a hop head. If you are one of those guys who measure your hop additions in pounds, you should use a bag.

How did you determine that you can do half an ounce and get good utilitization? I tried one of these just recently but I put a whole ounce of pellets in it and my beer seems lacking in hoppyness so I was thinking I put to much hops in the ball. But 5gal experiments as to how much hops in it works isn't a good way to go.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #10
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If the hops swell to the point the ball is full, you will not get much of a flow of wort and hence, bad utilization. If the ball is half full when you are done, you probably good a good flow of wort.

As to the "how", well, my beer was not too sweet, so I must have gotten close to the bittering I was aiming for.

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