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Old 07-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #11
Frank99
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I use hop bags (fine mesh, not muslin) and a paint strainer. As long as you allow plenty of space for the expansion that will take place when the hops soak up the wort, then I don't think there's anything to be concerned with utilization. If you're doing a heavily staged IPA, then I'd recommend buying plenty of the fine mesh bags. They're cheap.

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Old 07-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #12
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If you're doing a heavily staged IPA, then I'd recommend buying plenty of the fine mesh bags. They're cheap.
This is one of the reasons that the 5 gallon paint strainer bag is great. I tie it to the handle of my kettle with some sting or rope and toss it in. The top of the bag is well above the top of the boiling liquid. When I need to add the next hop addition, I just throw them into that one bag that is already there.

No need for multiple bags. And I'm pretty sure that one 5 gallon paint strainer is cheaper than one small nylon bag that homebrew shops sell for this purpose.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:17 PM   #13
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the single best upgrade i've ever done for my system was a drain valve out of my pot, in conjunction with the "hop taco". i got the idea from these guys http://kotmf.com/articles/hoptaco.php who in turn ripped the idea from "the hop stopper". it is awesome.

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Old 07-23-2010, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
This is one of the reasons that the 5 gallon paint strainer bag is great. I tie it to the handle of my kettle with some sting or rope and toss it in. The top of the bag is well above the top of the boiling liquid. When I need to add the next hop addition, I just throw them into that one bag that is already there.

No need for multiple bags. And I'm pretty sure that one 5 gallon paint strainer is cheaper than one small nylon bag that homebrew shops sell for this purpose.
Yeah, I have an extra paint strainer, so I'll give this a shot this weekend. I burned my hand doing a similar thing with a muslin bag and that's what led me to the multiple mesh bags.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:12 PM   #15
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I just toss my pellet hops now and whirlpool at the end with decent results. I tried the paint strainer bag a couple of times. First time I used one I thought it was the greatest thing on Earth. Second time, not so much. At the end of my boil, the strainer bag was very heavy due to the water absorbed by the hops and the water sitting on top of the hop sludge in the bag. The hops broke down fine enough to literally clog the bag, keeping the water from circulating through it.

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Old 07-24-2010, 07:21 AM   #16
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Walker -

I have been using the small fine mesh hop bags and have been concerned about utilization. I have a paint strainer bag but have not used it. Last brew I just tossed the pellets in with no bag or filter.
I am also worried about hop utilization. It seems like there is too large of a barrier between the wort and as previously stated, can clog and absorb a good bit of your wort. I plan on doing a whirlpool on my 10g setup via a whirlpool IC.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:33 AM   #17
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Just visited Ommegang in NY and they use one in their 53 bbl kettle.

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #18
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I am also worried about hop utilization. It seems like there is too large of a barrier between the wort and as previously stated, can clog and absorb a good bit of your wort. I plan on doing a whirlpool on my 10g setup via a whirlpool IC.

The nylon bags I had from the LHBS were thick and not very porous. I would worry about utilization with them for sure, but I am not worried about these things with the paint strainer bags.

Here is a pic of one of the bags. There are TWO layers of the bag between my hand and the camera here.


They really are ideal for holding the hops. As for absorption.... I pull the bag up out of the wort and let the wort drain while I am chilling. There is very little wort lost.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:38 PM   #19
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I have been thinking about experimenting w/ a hop bag lately wondering if it could be better than my usual technique. Currently I use a funnel w/ a strainer insert when transferring to primary and end up w/ minimal to no hop debris after fermentiation. Anybody here have experience w/ both?

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Old 07-26-2010, 12:18 AM   #20
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I have been thinking about experimenting w/ a hop bag lately wondering if it could be better than my usual technique. Currently I use a funnel w/ a strainer insert when transferring to primary and end up w/ minimal to no hop debris after fermentiation. Anybody here have experience w/ both?
I used to use a funnel with a strainer insert in it years ago. Both work equally well, but I find the bag to be easier to deal with. my funnel would clog if I had a lot of hops and I would have to stop, clean it out, and then start again.
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