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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Hops in muslin bag?
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
Rugrad02
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Default Hops in muslin bag?

Over the past few batches I have decided to put my pellet hops in a muslin bag. It has done a fantastic job preventing hop particles from entering my primary fermenter as well as allowing me to use the spigot on my brew kettle. (I don't have a false bottom)

Does anyone know if there is a significant amount of bitterness lost by doing this method?


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Old 02-25-2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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I was wndering the same thing. I read in BYO about a "hop spider" that uses a paint strainer bag instead. I have heard that the results are minimal but I am curious myself bc I just spent 14 dollars at Lowes to build my own.


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Old 02-26-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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I've used a hop spider with paint strainer bags and a hop bag other times...

1) Was happy whenever I used the spider in terms of limiting trub and fantastic clean up times.
2) Can't honestly say that I really felt I lost any hop utilization using the bags vs not.
3) Some folks say they can tell the difference, and prefer to let their freak flags fly.
4) There's really nothing wrong with racking trub to your primary, regardless.

I'm not 100% sold either way, to be honest. At this point it's kind of whatever strikes my fancy when it comes time for my additions.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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I use nylon hop bags. I don't believe you lose any bitterness. I think as long as the bag isn't stuffed full they are floating around and getting good utilization. I use the small bags for 1oz and the larger for 2oz or leaf hops.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graduate
I use nylon hop bags. I don't believe you lose any bitterness. I think as long as the bag isn't stuffed full they are floating around and getting good utilization. I use the small bags for 1oz and the larger for 2oz or leaf hops.
That may be my problem. I cut one muslin bag into 3-4 sections and tie them shut after adding the hops. The hops probably don't have a lot of room to move in the bag because when I take them out, the bag has expanded quite a bit. I will try to put an ounce in one bag next time instead of trying to put an ounce into 1/4 of the bag.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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I found that I lost bitterness if the bag is tied tight - meaning that the hops are very compacted. It was one of my earliest brews and I didn't know any better.

I use a hop spider as well. I found that muslin bags also get caught in my brew kettle's dip tube.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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I normally just throw the pellets into the boil and strain them out later, but I'm using a muslin bag this morning because I'm making a kitchen sink IPA. Basically, all the half and quarter hops I have left over from prior brews are going in. They've lost a lot of their bittering ability so any guess as to an IBU count is going to be useless but there are something like 11 ounces going in total. Last time I did that it was near impossible to strain the wort from the trub. I hope the bags allow me to get a good amount of wort.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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I use mesh Tea balls that I got at a kitchen store. Keeps a lot of the hops out of the kettle, but have started second guessing them as the hops definitely clump in the ball and come out in one whole hop ball, so I have a feeling that I am not getting great utilization.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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I throw them all in the boil, then afterward when I'm pouring from the kettle to the carboy, I take a funnel, place a strainer on the top, and put a section of cheese cloth over the top of that. I have to move the cheese cloth pretty often because it will gunk up quickly.
It might be a little overkill, but that's what I do lol.

Then again, I typically use whole leaf. I'm not really sure if that would make a difference when it comes to straining the wort post boil.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdauria View Post
I use mesh Tea balls that I got at a kitchen store. Keeps a lot of the hops out of the kettle, but have started second guessing them as the hops definitely clump in the ball and come out in one whole hop ball, so I have a feeling that I am not getting great utilization.
I noticed the same thing with muslin bags. I left a ton of room for expansion of the pellets but the liquid left in the bags was still a large volume and much hoppier than the wort generally. If I were doing this for other than a kitchen sink brew I'd wonder if I was getting the calculated hops load.


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