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Old 11-19-2012, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default Stainless Steel Hop Ball Issue

I brewed my first batch using a stainless hop ball (3 actually). For those of you that aren't familiar, they are stainless steel mesh spheres that you use for boiling or steeping your hops. Just a word of caution when using these. I was using 4 ounces of hops but only had 3 hop balls. So I doubled up in one of them. When I went to empty it out after the brew, I realized that the pellets in the center were barely wet. Although 2 ounces of pellets easily fit in there dry, the outer ones swelled up in the wort and formed a protective little hop cacoon around the center pellets. Needless to say, I didn't get the utilization I wanted and ended up with a pretty lightly hopped IPA. Not the end of the world, but aggravating. If you are going to uses these be forewarned, 1 oz of pellets per ball!


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Old 11-19-2012, 02:06 AM   #2
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What size balls do you have?


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Old 11-19-2012, 02:14 AM   #3
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Average I guess... Is it weird that I have 3 though?

In case this was a serious question, I think they are 3" diameter.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
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Is it neccesary to use these if you are using pellets? I can see the point for whole leaf, if you dont have a false botttom and dont want your chiller getting clogged, but pellets usually liquify to the point where they wouldnt clog anything
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticBear View Post
Is it neccesary to use these if you are using pellets? I can see the point for whole leaf, if you dont have a false botttom and dont want your chiller getting clogged, but pellets usually liquify to the point where they wouldnt clog anything
No, I don't use them for pellet hops. Some people like less trub/debris in the fermenter, but I don't really care and they don't clog up my pump.

I do use a tea ball or hops bag for dryhopping in the keg, though, because pellet hops will clog up the diptube!
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoolyBooger View Post
Average I guess... Is it weird that I have 3 though?

In case this was a serious question, I think they are 3" diameter.
What do you mean about a serious question
Sounds like the same size I have so it is good to know how much I can pack into them before having issues.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticBear
Is it neccesary to use these if you are using pellets? I can see the point for whole leaf, if you dont have a false botttom and dont want your chiller getting clogged, but pellets usually liquify to the point where they wouldnt clog anything
I just wanted to use them to reduce the amount of trub in the bottom of the fermenter since I wash my yeast.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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fair enough, i wasn't condemning the use it of, more so just questioning for my own understanding.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticBear
fair enough, i wasn't condemning the use it of, more so just questioning for my own understanding.
No offense taken. I have used nylon bags in the past and they worked fine. I will probably use them in the future for hoppy brews instead of overcrowding the hop balls.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoolyBooger

No offense taken. I have used nylon bags in the past and they worked fine. I will probably use them in the future for hoppy brews instead of overcrowding the hop balls.
I've taken to using nylon bags recently and I've been picking them up during the boil (attached with a nylon string) and squeezing them with tongs. I always had my chill plate clogged by pellet hops until I started using the bags.


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