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Old 08-29-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
Aug 2008
Posts: 55
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I brewed my very first batch ever yesterday, which was a sierra nevada pale ale clone, and have some questions for you seasoned brewers.

Please forgive me if this should have been in the beginners forum.

When the recipe called for hops, I put the hops in a nylon bag and steeped them for the length of time the recipe called for. I have watched a bunch of brewing videos and everyone I have seen the brewer just threw the hops straight in. I am wondering if I am going to get unexpected flavors by not just leaving the hops in through the primary fermentation?

One thing that amazed me is how much those hops expand, a one ounce bag of pellets is so small when it goes in but comes out at least 10 times bigger when saturated. A hoppy brew must have alot of sediment at the end.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
Jun 2008
Minneapolis, Mn
Posts: 125

I use nylon bags for the hops in all my brews, never had a problem and for me the beer turned out great. The issue I really had with brewing was my first two batches, I followed the kit instructions on the duration of time in the primary (which was 7 to 10 days), the beer had some off flavors. Now I leave my wort in the primary for no less than 3 weeks and the brews come out fantastic. Don't worry, you'll be fine.

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Old 08-29-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
Rezilynt's Avatar
Apr 2008
Bellingham, Washington
Posts: 780
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You are good to go!
I steep mine in a bag as well. That way they don't clog up my strainer during transfer.. I think it's just a matter of choice as I've seen others on this board leave them in.
If farmers make wine and engineers make beer, what the hell am I doing here?

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Old 08-29-2008, 05:13 PM   #4
Dr_Deathweed's Avatar
Jul 2007
Bryan, Texas
Posts: 2,381
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Hop bags are awesome. My one attempt on brewing without it (for the hell of it) turned into a disaster. Just my $0.02 though....
"Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." - Napoleon Bonaparte
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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bull8042's Avatar
Jul 2008
Fort Mill, SC
Posts: 10,263
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I bag as well. Buy a real hop bag though. The SWMBO gets really pissed at me every time she pulls a pair of hose out of the drawer that has one green-stained leg. I don't know, women are just funny that way....
"I brew with a water cooler and some part from the toilet." - JohnnyO

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Old 08-29-2008, 08:57 PM   #6
cuinrearview's Avatar
Feb 2008
Delton, MI
Posts: 1,152
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I've never been a bagger, and my stuff turns out PDG. I strain into primary, and some of the IPAs fill the strainer up pretty quickly. I've had to stop the transfer to dump the strainer before, but it's quick and really doesn't cause a problem. Whole hops cause much less of a problem and mess. I don't think that there is an advantage to either way, just one less piece of equipment to have around in my small house.
Looking forward to brewing some beer

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Old 08-30-2008, 12:07 AM   #7
Jul 2008
Posts: 471

My first batch I just tossed them in and didn't bother to strain them out. The batch turned out rather well to be honest and I didn't use a secondary.

All subsequent batches I just toss the hopps into the boiling wort and when I goto the primary, I strain it so most of the stuff on the bottom gets filtered out.

I still get some sediment on the bottom of the primary, yeast droppoff and what not...

It's entirely up to you what you want to do, but both methods work.

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Old 08-30-2008, 03:42 AM   #8
Ooompa Loompa
Dec 2007
Posts: 531
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Hop bags FTW
Primary: Apfelwein, Irish Stout
Secondary: Nada
Bottle conditioning: Centennial IPA
Drinking: Super Shpadoinkle Blonde Ale

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Old 08-30-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
Jonnio's Avatar
Dec 2007
Posts: 1,509
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Its a personal preference with the difference being sediment in the primary. Just make sure the hops have plenty of room to expand in your bag and your good to go. If they are too tightly packed in you won't get proper utilization because they need good contact with the wort.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:03 PM   #10
Borisbbadd's Avatar
Aug 2008
Posts: 992
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My first batch I did'nt use them, but since then I have always used hop bags.
Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time...

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