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Old 06-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #1
faustmeister
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Default floating hopsacks

My hopsacks with loose hops float in the boil. This of course means that a good share of the hops are above the wort. Is this a problem? Ideas?

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:00 PM   #2
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i dont use hopsacks, i just dump the hops in. if you have a false bottom or bazooka screen in you boil kettle it wont matter at all. if you dont then try this. take your hopsack and while you are syphoning into the primary, syphon through the hopsack into a funnel into the primary. it will catch all sediment and aerate the wert really well. before i got a keggle thats what i used to do.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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It might not be a huge problem if the wort bubbles and moves them around. Your utilization might suffer slightly.

Strictly by using a hopsack you're going to get different (generally lower) utilization than if you didn't. It might not be a serious effect though, and you can still make great beer with it.

Poor utilization however is a non-issue for most hombrewers compared to consistent utilization. If you have to add another ounce it shouldn't kill you.

Taste is the only thing that matters for us. If it tastes good then it doesn't how you get there. We don't have to worry about small percentage increases in costs like commercial brewers. But if you don't get enough bitterness, or the hop flavour doesn't come through the way you want, then you might want to make some changes, or simply add more hops.

In your case, I would focus on making sure the hops are all wet and that the bag is moving around, or that you are stirring.

Cheers

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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stainless steel metal nuts or bolts...throw them in and the bag will sink.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
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Take a spoon and just chunk them under a few times, they should then sink and roll in the boil.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Remember also that right above the surface of the wort is the steam that is coming off during the boil. The steam is even hotter than the wort so that will help get the hop goodies in there also as it condenses in the hops and washes back down into the wort.

As Jagg said also sink them and stir them as well when you stir the wort. I imagine you may lose just a tad of utilization, but I bet it's not much. I use hop socks a lot when I brew. It is easier on the clean up.

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scinerd3000 View Post
stainless steel metal nuts or bolts...throw them in and the bag will sink.
I've never done this, but if the bag sinks is there any danger of it burning?

Personally I use whole hops and I throw em right in. I then stick a racking cane into the kettle when it's cooled, and syphon off. If you're using pellets that won't work though.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noeldundas View Post
I've never done this, but if the bag sinks is there any danger of it burning?

Personally I use whole hops and I throw em right in. I then stick a racking cane into the kettle when it's cooled, and syphon off. If you're using pellets that won't work though.
i havent had issue yet. It still floats a bit- i only use enough to sink it and keep it below the water line. I use 5 gallon paint strainer bags with whole hops and it hasn't melted yet
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:50 AM   #9
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Excellent. Food for thought for me!

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:13 AM   #10
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Sometimes I just toss them in, other times I use Straining Bag - Coarse Mesh 18" x 32" from Northern Brewer. I don't much believe in the "lower hop utilization theory" as I don't see any scientific evidence of such. Especially with the size bag I am using the hops are constantly moving in a rolling boil of wort. When I am done with a pound of hops I can raise the bag up and let the wort drain from the hops.

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