Hop Bags

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Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2007
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Westmont, IL
What's the deal with people discussing how they get lower hop utilization with hop bags.

I feel like the only “real” application for a hop bag should be for dry hopping in kegs.

Instead, I have use grain bags if I’m going to use a bag at all. It contains most of the flower hops, it allows for full flow of the wort to pass through the bag due to the larger openings, it has easy cleanup, and I don’t realize why I need such a fine mesh to contain flower hops.

Now for pellet hops, I completely understand. My hopstopper clogged last week due to pellet hops, but that was 6oz. worth of pellet hops. This week it clogged due to some crazy protein strings and a loss of siphon in the kettle.

I went from using a hop bag to no bag at all to using a 5-gallon pain strainer bag weighted down with stainless steel washers. I find that the latter option is the best compromise between allowing the hops to churn (almost) freely in the wort and making for easy removal of most of the hop mass. I use pellet hops exclusively.
I don't have utilization issues using a 5-gallon paint strainer. I only use pellets.

I think trying to crowd hops into a 1-gallon bag would would a problem. But a 5 gallon bag is 1/3 the size of my keggle so it offers plenty of boil-a-round space.


I have a bag for each addition, so they are spread out in a 1.25 sq ft area. No issues with utilization.

BM, has your paint strainer ever gotten cut by your ugly junk?
+1 for the paint strainer bag. I use 1 gallon for less hopped beers and 5 gallon for more than a couple ounces. Of course, I use a 10 gallon kettle so the 5 gallon bag has to be choked up a bit.