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Method for Leaf Hops in Brewing

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fsinger

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Okay, I 've gotten some very good advice about storing 4 pounds of fresh leaf hops (most recent harvest), now I'm going to use a few of them.

I have always steeped the hops in a bag, but I'm wondering why that is necessary when you can just filter them out at the last step into the fermenter. I'm thinking of just stiring in the hops when needed, since they are timed with the first type in for the whole time, the 2nd for less, and the last for bittering at the end. Why use 3 bags? Except, it sure is nice to have the hops contained so you can just pull out the bag and pour into the fermenter.

Any thoughts?
 

Swervo Maneuver

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my last batch I used a sanitized handheld strainer to pull out the hops. worked fine, got the vast majority out.
 
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fsinger

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You feel that you get any more flavor from the leaves by just pouring them in and straining vs using a tea bag??
 

Janx

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It's much better to just throw them into the boil unbagged. You get much better utilization. If you have a spigot on your kettle, it's really easy to just let them filter themselves out by putting a wire mesh filter inside the kettle. If you siphon out of your kettle, you can afix a metal scrubby pad to the racking cane and that'll keep them out. You really shouldn't pour hot wort out of the kettle because it's dangerous and it aerates the hot wort. Hot side aeration leads to off flavors and chill haze and should be avoided.

The alpha acids in hops and the iso-alpha acids generated in the boil aren't all that soluble. A key part of the utilization of hops is the physical rolling action of a good boil. That's one reason an aggressive rolling boil is so important. If you want good hop flavor you need to allow them to roll around freely in the wort, and that means not using a bag. The bag will really interfere with good hop utilization.
 

brewhead

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to continue with the hops discussion - in the past i usually bag em - though janx says free floating - which would kind of make sense. most tea drinkers of serious nature swear by loose leaf steaping than bagged like you get in the grocery - and i would imagine the process would be about the same.

how long should one keep the hops in the wort at a roling boil? i usually put em in 2-5 minutes to the end of the boil.

i've been brewing pilsner for the past few batches

any opinions ?
 

BitterRat

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Janx said:
It's much better to just throw them into the boil unbagged. You get much better utilization. If you have a spigot on your kettle, it's really easy to just let them filter themselves out by putting a wire mesh filter inside the kettle. If you siphon out of your kettle, you can afix a metal scrubby pad to the racking cane and that'll keep them out. You really shouldn't pour hot wort out of the kettle because it's dangerous and it aerates the hot wort. Hot side aeration leads to off flavors and chill haze and should be avoided.

The alpha acids in hops and the iso-alpha acids generated in the boil aren't all that soluble. A key part of the utilization of hops is the physical rolling action of a good boil. That's one reason an aggressive rolling boil is so important. If you want good hop flavor you need to allow them to roll around freely in the wort, and that means not using a bag. The bag will really interfere with good hop utilization.
Um, what Janx said!!!! :p
 
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