Hop Sock or Infuser

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ^Tony^, May 25, 2020.

  1. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    I am thinking of refining my process a little. Up to now I just toss the hop pellets directly into the fermenter when I dry hop. I bottle all my brews (better for carrying to a friends backyard BBQ than a cornie). Avoiding hop debris has got to be easier than putting a strainer on the end of the siphon and ever so carefully transferring the beer so I have been thinking of using either a hop sock or an infuser to try to keep the final product a little cleaner and reduce hop debris in the fermenter and the bottles.

    Hop sock or infuser for dry hop additions?

    I welcome your tried and true opinions!!
     
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  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I tried a few different scenarios for dry hopping in some kind of sieve, but found little to no benefit from doing this. Not to mention the risk of infection from tossing said item into the fermenter. I went back to adding dry hops loose into the fermenter, and I often use large volumes of dry hops. Two things that can help with keeping debris out are 1) cold crash for at least a few days to compact all the gunk, and 2) increase your batch size by a liter or two so that you don't get said gunk transferring into your bottling bucket/keg. IMHO that the extra ingredients to increase batch size by this much is negligible. That is actually one scenario that the BF software does not account for, hop absorption in the fermenter.
     
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  3. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    You ever had a "blink blink" kind of moment where you realize something so simple as a small increase in batch size would help? I just did....i am still curious about a sock or infuser though. It is a LOT of work for me to cold crash. I have a fridge for it but I have to share it with actual food once in a while...the misses has this hang up about making sure we can feed the kids :D;)
     
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  4. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    I too do not have the ability to cold crash. I use a hop socks on all my IPAs with great success. I do spray it down with StarSan before adding the hops. Then, tie it off with unflavored floss before tossing in my fermentor. I leave a tail outside the fermentor so the sock doesn’t sink to the bottom. There is always a risk of infection, but I haven’t experienced this. My thinking is that there is a layer of C02 on top that provides some level of protection.
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    The stainless tube infuser things don't work well for dry hopping in the fermenter for me. Too tall and thin for my batch sizes. They work well in the keg and with an auto-syphon inside the stainless tube for transfer, though I don't really use those approaches much anymore.

    Currenly I use bags for the dry hop and loose for the boil and that avoids blockages. I just spray the bag with sanitiser and let it float/drop free in the fermenter.

    I've now got a few fermenters with floating dip tubes so I can go back to loose hops on all my batches and follow the approach Craig's mentioned (a litre or two extra batch size for highly hopped and cold crashing).
     
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  6. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    That's good info. I was waffling on the infuser tubes and it sounds like I was smart to ask...I hate spending to buy something that I use once and hate. I use hops pellets and the infuser balls I have found don't look like they have a fine enough mesh to keep the hop debris in. Sounds like a simple disposable hop sock might be what I am looking for at the moment.

    Unless someone has found something like an infuser ball that works really well.
     
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  7. Daniel Parshley

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    #7 Daniel Parshley, May 26, 2020
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    A fine mesh nylon bag solved my dry hop issues (~$5 at the brew shop). The secondary ferment helped, too. I bottle mine, too. There is something about looking at a selection of 12 beers and choosing which one I want today that I like, and 12 kegs is not an option around here. Also, some of the ales do get smoother and condition well with time.
    NylonHopBag.jpg
     
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  8. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    I considered Nylon but was concerned I would have a difficult time cleaning the hop goop out of it. Is it easy to clean?
     
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  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    They are quite easy to clean
     
  10. Daniel Parshley

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    Very easy to clean. I grab the ball of hops and peal the bag back over the waste can and turn it inside out. Then use the spray nozzle to remove any sticking particles. Wash with some dish detergent, a spray of Starsan, and it dries quickly on a paper towel.
     
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  11. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    You can also purchase small, disposable muslin hop bags. In bulk they are less than $1 each.
     
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  12. rolandblais

    rolandblais Member

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    Brulosophy just did a podcast about infusers, if you're interested.
     
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  13. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    That's awesome! Thank you!
     
  14. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    Just an FYI: I went with a disposable muslin hop bag sanitized in Starsan for my last IPA. Great flavor and aroma to the beer, I was able to recover about an extra 3 1/2 liters off the trub, and it is the cleanest IPA I have every bottled. I don't think I will ever go back to just dumping the hops into the fermenter.

    Thanks for your input everyone!
     

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