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Old 08-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #1
Apr 2007
State College Pa
Posts: 165

I posted a thread on this topic awhile back but didn't get much feedback so if you think you have read this question before...you have

I feel my beers are never that hoppy. Granted, I haven't been making really hoppy beer styles, like IPA's, but still, they seem a bit under hopped. I normally use pellets hops and I put them in muslin bags so I don't have to deal with the straining later. Does anyone think muslin bags hinder the release of the hops flavor and bitterness?

I should also add that because I was being cheap and didn't want to waste excess muslin bag I normally cut and tie one bag into two, for different hop additions. This creates a smaller bag that when removed after the boil, the hops have swollen to a tight fit inside the bag. I think this may be retaining some hoppyness....but I wonder if when using a whole bag this is still a problem, and I should just add the hops freely?

Since I am making an IPA as my next brew I figured I should get to the bottom of this. ..Maybe I just need to add more hops...

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Old 08-08-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
Dec 2007
Fort Madison, IA (SE)
Posts: 317
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Well... the bag is the size it is for a reason. The hops swell as you noticed and they need as much surface area in contact with the wort as possible to work well. If you want to use the bag then don't cut it in half. I've stopped using hop bags all together. I run my wort thru a strainer when transfering to my fermenter and that cleans up the wort nicely. I sometimes have to stop and remove some of the debris from the strainer while transfering but so what. When I dry hop I'm now putting the hops right in. For both leaf and pellets I use a little of the muslin material sanitized in boiling water and rubber band it over the end of my siphon and that keeps most of the hops out of my beer. To clean my carboys I simply take them out in the yard and blast the debris out with my garden hose. If a little bit sticks or something is stuborn I fill the carboy with a bleach and water solution and store it that way until needed, drain some out, give a good shake, empty and rinse and they are ready to go. Since I stopped using the bags I've noticed an improvement in hop flavor and utilization. Hope this helps!

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Old 08-08-2008, 06:04 PM   #3
p4ck37p1mp's Avatar
Feb 2008
Acworth, GA
Posts: 393
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

+1, bags definitely affect hops utilization. I put mine in the wort and usually leave it in the fermenters also with no ill effects.
'Insert Name Here' Brew Club (North Atlanta Metro Area)

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