Originally Posted by Gridlocked
Not at all a bad yield, congratulations! Now it's time to brew with them!!! Helpful hint - if you can't add extra water to make up for the volume loss you will have due to the leaves holding liquid, sanitize a strainer bag and line a pail. Dump (or scoop) everything into the strainer bag, wring it out (oven mitts under trash bags work) and then dump the pail into your fermenter.
Thanks Ted. I probably use more leaf hops than pelletized from my HBS, so I usually bump up the production volume to offset the absorbtion loss. There's nothing I hate more than not being able to completely fill a 5 gallon keg to the top, so I typically adjust my recipes to 6 gallon batches, especially if a high volume of hops is used or if I'm dry hopping. In my new system, I think I am going to use a bazooka tube in the BK, along with a hop sack to filter out the hop leafs. I'll definitely take your advice and wring out the sack when I'm done.
I've been spending a lot of time over the past few days learning more about water chemistry. Up until recently I have always used filtered water from Meijer, add some gypsum and brew. I never checked mash PH or adjusted anything with the water due to ignorance, but it always turned out good. My last 4 or 5 batches, I used the water from my brewery and had some off flavors that I have never experienced before. I am on a well and didn't want to use softened water, so I had my plumber tap into the pre-softener water line to feed the faucet over my HLT. I had him install a dual canister filter with a sediment filter in the first canister and a carbon filter in the second. I thought, what the hell, filtered hard water should be good for brewing....right? Now I am learning that my water is likely too high in total alkalinity, which is not good, especially for ligher colored beers.....not enough acidity in the mash to drop the PH down into a the ideal range. I have always had a hard time getting the total alkalinity down in my hot tub, so now I am finally making the connection.
If I'm going to use the water in my brewery, I have to understand water chemistry more, so I have been reading a lot on the brew science thread and have watched BobbyM's water chemistry series, as well as Palmer's NB lecture. I think I have to bite the bullet and send some water out to Ward Labs for testing. I have been picking the brains of some very brilliant HBT members as well (AJ & -TH-), so once I get the report back they are going to let me know if the water is even able to be adjusted. Sucks!!!! I really don't want to have to install a reverse osmosis system in my brewery and I sure as hell don't want to have to lug 15 to 20 gallons of water down to my basement evertime I want to brew. What a PITA!