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Old 12-11-2005, 05:42 AM   #1
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Default Whole Hop Sparging?

I'm going to use whole hops for the first time soon (I feel so nervous). Should I sparge them or squeeze them after removing them from the wort? Seems like their going to sponge up a lot of wort and I'd hate to lose it all.

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Old 12-11-2005, 09:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
I'm going to use whole hops for the first time soon (I feel so nervous). Should I sparge them or squeeze them after removing them from the wort? Seems like their going to sponge up a lot of wort and I'd hate to lose it all.
I don't. I adjust the recipe for hop absorption--I don't want to fuss with the added risk of contamination after my wort is cooled. I doubt you'd lose much more than a few pints--and it just isn't worth it in my eyes.
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #3
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If you are using a false bottom in your brew kettle as a strainer, the hops act to further filter the hot break. Sparging or squeezing the hops bed would release this back to the wort which you are collecting. I imagine this would also hold true even if you were siphoning from the kettle.

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Old 12-11-2005, 02:48 PM   #4
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I use a nylon net on my primary bucket and sparge with the cold water from the freezer. I also squeeze the water from the net.

I know it's wrong, but it works for me.

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Old 12-11-2005, 04:06 PM   #5
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I just let the bag drain naturally as I lift it. I've always been concerned that squeezing the hops excessively could extract tannins or other unwanted flavors from the hops, but I don't really have a factual basis for that. If it works for hb_99 it must be fine.

If I ever get a valve in my kettle I'll probably just toss 'em in loose and let 'em absorb whatever they want.

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:31 PM   #6
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My former brewing partner always squeezed the hop bags, until we stopped using bags. Even in our IPAs, it didn't make much difference in volume or flavor. When hops are dehydrated, they lose 80% of their weight. At 100% re-hydration, that would mean 4 oz. of wort per oz. of hops, max. Now, I just let the kettle drain and try to remember to clean the chiller before the hops etch it!

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORRELSE
I don't. I adjust the recipe for hop absorption--I don't want to fuss with the added risk of contamination after my wort is cooled. I doubt you'd lose much more than a few pints--and it just isn't worth it in my eyes.
What is the formula to adjust for hop absorption, please? TIA
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:27 PM   #8
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I was thinking of jjust catching them in a (sanitary) strainer, then pouring some (sanitary) sparge water over them prior to cooling the wort.

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Old 12-11-2005, 10:58 PM   #9
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You can do it but it will just dilute your wort. It's up to you but I don't. Just strain them out or leave them in the kettle.

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Old 12-12-2005, 05:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
What is the formula to adjust for hop absorption, please? TIA
You trying to be funny?
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