Hop bags or straight in?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Edan Z, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    I am wondering if there are any real advantages from using a hop bag, vs just tossing the hop pellets straight into the wort. I normally dump all the trub into the fermenter, so any hop debris will make it in there.

    So far, I have used a hop bag for all the additions, but for the next batch, I'm thinking throwing the the aroma hop addition (about 5g worth) straight in.

    Would there be any problems with that?
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Are you transferring kettle trub and all to the fermenter? If you're not, then there wouldn't be any difference or advantage. If you transfer everything, your flameout hops would be in the fermenter and still have some oils left to interact. You'd get more complex molecular action due to biotransformation. Would work even better with whirlpool/hopstand hops that don't get any contact with near-boiling temp wort.

    I think that biotransformation is better with certain hop/yeast combinations and might bear some research if you want to take maximum advantage. I did a couple of batches for a workshop group brew involving Amarillo/Simcoe and Amarillo/Columbus thrown in at yeast pitch along with US-05. Absolutely sublime aroma and flavor. I remember a batch of Cascade smash that I used a lot of whirlpool hops left in for fermentation and it was great too.
     
  3. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    Yes, I dump the entire kettle into the primary, so there would be 5g of low %AA hops in there (Hallertau Mittelfrüh). If the net effect were increased hop aroma, I would welcome that, as long as it's not some indiscriminate grassy note.

    This will be my 4th brew. For the first three, I used high %AA bittering hops at 60 mn, and less than 18g total flavor/aroma hops at 20 mn. I noticed that while overall bitterness is great, the hop aromas subside quickly after a few weeks in cold storage. I'm hoping to enhance the aroma/flavor slightly in this 4th batch, while retaining the same total IBU at 30.

    I decided to use less bittering hops at 60 mn, increase the flavor hops to 25g at 20 mn, and add 5g aroma hops at 5mn. I may still use a hop bag for the hop additions at 60 mn and 20 mn, but throw the 5g at 5 mn directly in the wort and dump it all into the fermenter.

    I'm hoping to keep the overall profile "decidedly" Belgian, but with a little more hop aroma/flavor. I guess it's worth a try...
     
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  4. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Better off just throwing them in. Experiments I have read all conclude it works better than using a bag. I do use a big canister to contain my dry hops but never use a bag during the boil and whirlpool.
     
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  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've alternated consistently on this but I've kind of hit the point where cleaning the hop sock is a bigger pain in the ass than just being careful with the siphon. I basically just toss them in now.
     
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  6. chub1

    chub1 Active Member

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    I use a tea ball, ebay from China.Holds enough hops for me(i only do max of 10 litres at a time) and they sink,fairly easy to clean out as well:)
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have various devices. None of them work well. I don't want the hop debris in my fermentor so I'm still working on a way to keep them out. The break material I don't mind so much.
     
  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I agree its a pain in the butt to keep cleaning out the hop filter bag between the boil kettle and the fermenter, but after a 6 hour brew day, 5 more minutes keeping the hop filter bag clean is no problem. I purchased my boil kettle specifically for keeping all of the protein and hop debris out of the fermenter before the valve. Using the hop filter bag removed the need for all that and I don't leave any wort behind.
     
  9. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    I've been throwing them away... oops! They just look so gnarly after brew day.
     
  10. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    After brew day, my wife throws it in the dishwasher for the next brew. Been using the same hop filter for 8-10 brews by now
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I just trow mine in, the only thing that can hurt is if you save yeast then you have more to wash later and your yeast will have the hop flavor
     
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  12. OkanaganMike

    OkanaganMike Active Member

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    #12 OkanaganMike, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
    I'm with Ozarks - throw them in and you'll get a better hop flavor extraction as you are increasing the surface area exposure between the wort and the hops. Only time I'd use a hop bag is if using whole leaf hops as they tend to float on the surface limiting the exposure. If using whole leaf hops in a bag you can weight it to have it sink.

    Here's a good read

    https://learn.kegerator.com/pellet-hops-vs-whole-hops/
     
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  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yep...and that's the main reason I use a bag. I often re-pitch and it's just easier to keep the flavor of the last batch out of the current pitch. :)
     
  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I do starters and jar half of it for next time instead of reclaiming yeast now. I just gelatin fine my beers now and it pushes everything to the bottom.
     
  15. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    Man... there's a whole other subject I need to get into, but am too afraid to try just yet.
     
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  16. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    At some point I plan on yeast harvesting as well. I've read up on it and learned a lot from the wisdom of the members in this forum, just not ready to pull the trigger yet as I am just now (after 16 brew days) getting comfortable enough with my system. I would have started in that direction sooner rather than later, but am now focusing on brewhouse efficiency improvements and am getting pretty comfortable that my tweaks are working in that regards. Just have to get it into muscle memory so it too is second nature.

    But as I mentioned in an earlier response, and on another thread reply somewhere, we dump everything in the boil kettle into the fermenter with a simple hop bag filter between the two.
     
  17. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I hate to scare you away from it but yeast harvesting requires a few more things than just washing yeast, sanitary air tight equipment. a clean "no draft' environment to work in, to get even more into detail, a mask, gloves and flame near by to kill any air born pests and yeast. think of working on a open wound and everything that can go wrong if your not sternal. now this is perfect conditions for creating a frozen library but you still have to be clean and on your toes to keep the yeast from catching nasties
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I didn't find it that hard, or do you mean like harvesting it from the air?
     
  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    no, harvesting pure cultures for an absolute bread of yeast, most people don't get that far but you still need to be conscious of how its done and practice some of the cleanliness
     
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, no I just build a starter with either a purchased packet or get something from a commercial beer these days and then jar it.
     

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