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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Opinions on hop bags vs no hop bags?
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Opinions on hop bags vs no hop bags?

Hey guys-

I have never used a hop bag because years ago I read that they can "stifle" the activities of your hops.. Better utilization if free floating... But man are they a pain to strain sometimes.. So do you guys use them? Does their use lead to less utilization?


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Old 01-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
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I started out using them....for the first 4-5 batches....but like you said (sort of) they didn't seem to break up, so I figured all the precious goodies were not coming through...so since then I just dump themin...and I've had no problem with straining them off..Using a chiller, and racking with an auto siphon, I can easily leave them behind.

But even before I got the chiller...for buckets I used a 5 gallon paintstrainer bag to strain into the bucket...and a big wire strainer inside my large funnel if I was fermenting in a carboy...

So if you are careful after the boil, hop gunk shouldn't be an issue after the fact, even if you do just do the "dump" method into your primary, it will settle.


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Old 01-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #3
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How about the best of both worlds?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/hop-strainer-34303/
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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I use them for whole leaf hops. Pellets i just toss right in.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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I used them on the first batch with Hop flowers (whole). But with the second I got pelets.. The 60min Boil hops I put in a bag, it circulated the boil nicely. Then to finnish it had me put them in just after shut off and I dumped them in. They went to the bottom then exploded and there was this rise of hop..."Stuff" in the kettle. Durring the Chill they settled to the bottom... with stirring and I didn't get much with the siphon. No need realy to bag the pellets.. as for the full flower.. I'm thinking safer to bag than to stop up my siphon.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Depends if you have a CFC or plate chiller, have to strain them somehow to keep them out of the chiller. I have a plate, this I made the hop strainer / bag / gadget.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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I use whole hops and I use a strainer when I syphon into the fermenter. I have not tried a hop bag. I get a lot of cold break because I use a 50' SS immersion wort chiller. I also use a keggle so dumping is out of the question. So I figure no matter what I need a strainer. One day I will get a Blichman boil kettle.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullrider4 View Post
Hey guys-

I have never used a hop bag because years ago I read that they can "stifle" the activities of your hops.. Better utilization if free floating... But man are they a pain to strain sometimes.. So do you guys use them? Does their use lead to less utilization?
i started straining the wort through a stainless industrial colander... the combination of that and whirfloc seems to work well.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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I have done both and noticed little difference. The simplicity of a hop strainer is very nice though.

I took a SS mesh strainer for cooking, cut a small hole in the bottom of it, turned it upside down and put the dip tube through it in my keggle. Easiest conversion I've ever done.



Because the sides of the strainer are mesh as well it compacts to fit under the horizontal portion of my dip tube thereby holding it place. If you are brewing in a spigotless pot, you could put a SS racking cane through the bottom of the strainer and place it in the pot and it should filter out the majority of the hops.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullrider4 View Post
Hey guys-

I have never used a hop bag because years ago I read that they can "stifle" the activities of your hops.. Better utilization if free floating... But man are they a pain to strain sometimes.. So do you guys use them? Does their use lead to less utilization?
I don't use hop bags anymore, and I don't strain either. All the junk goes into my fermenter, where it eventually settles out under a nice thick layer of dormant yeast.


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