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Old 01-25-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Dry Hopping with Magnets?

So I've been doing a little research before I brew my first IPA. I read up on dry hopping and it seems there are many techniques out there. My first thought was that I wanted to dry hop in the keg, but learned that its possible that the hops can stay in too long and effect the flavor. I read that some people tie their hops to a string and seal the keg and later fish them out when their flavor is right. That sounds ok, but I want to avoid decompressing the keg, opening it up, fishing the hops out and then resealing and re-gassing. So I was thinking....

What if you bag your whole hops up with a stirbar or something else that will be attracted to a magnet but also halfway sanitary. Then, drop them in a keg, and attract the bag from the outside of the keg with a magnet. Place the magnet approx. halfway down the keg and wait. Then, after you are pleased with the taste, move the magnet up the keg to the empty airspace (assuming you tasted the beer plenty of times to create an empty airspace). Thus, removing the hops from the beer without opening the keg. Then, if you start to lose flavor, aroma, etc, move the magnet back down into the beer.

I have yet to try this, but did confirm I could control something with a magnet from outside the keg. The question now would be what do I use inside the keg, can it hold on to a bag of hops and actually bring it out of the beer into the headspace.

Any thoughts? Has anyone else tried this?

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good idea. I'm guessing stirbar on the inside, neodymium (rare earth, hard drive magnet) on the outside? Only problem is the stirbar will lose, uh, "magnetivity" if it spends too long in the field of the other magnet...

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
Only problem is the stirbar will lose, uh, "magnetivity" if it spends too long in the field of the other magnet...
The stir bar will not lose strength due to exposure to the other magnet. Quite the contrary IIRC.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #4
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Ya that is the most simple way to magnetize something metal... put it with another magnet. What about adding a large solid plastic fishing bobber to the hop bag so that if the magnet falls it will be supported by the bobber and not to the bottom of the keg? Other than that I think you are a genius!!

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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I use a large herb ball to dry hop in the keg, I sanitize a plastic zip tie and zip the sanitized herb ball to the top of the dip tube.

Once it is hopped to the desired level, I enjoy a few pints, this lowers the level and the herb ball is no longer submerged in the beer, it doesnt get over hopped and it can just sit in the keg til I clean it out.

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
The stir bar will not lose strength due to exposure to the other magnet. Quite the contrary IIRC.
I should have clarified...normal magnets stored opposite pole to opposite pole are fine...I was talking about hard drive magnets, which have screwy magnetic fields because they are curved, and can cause problems...
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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You are correct... I would stay away from hard drive magnets for the sole reason that they are probably made in china and you have no idea what they put in their metals over there or if they are sanitized.

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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i suspect you will have a bit of an issue getting enough magnetic force to hold a soaking wet bag of hops to the side of the keg, above the beer.

What is your reasoning for not wanting to just open the lid and pull the hop bag out the old fashioned way?

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:10 PM   #9
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how about this?

one strong magnet (since it'll have to have enough force to hold up the weight of the hops, the weight of the beer absorbed in hose hops, and the weight of whatever other magnetic thing is inside the hop bag).

On the inside, get a piece of iron and put it in a plastic zip-loc bag, sealed it, sanitize the outside, and put it inside the hop sack.

or use a second magnet on the inside, but still do the zip-loc thing to keep it sanitary and not in direct contact with the beer.

edit: if you have a foodsaver or other vacuum sealer, you can "permanently" encase the inside thing in a couple layers of plastic for this use and then just sanitize the outside and put it in the hop bag when you want to do this.

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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I like this, it's a clever idea. I agree with walker on using a rare earth magnet inside and out.

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