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To strain or not to strain

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hekkubus

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Post Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:55 pm

To strain or not to strain

It wasn't until I began reading The Joy of Homebrewing that I began to realize that maybe I should strain my hops before I move my wort from the kettle and into the carboy for primary fermentation. My first two brews (wit and nut brown) I didn't know to strain the hops. The wit came out good, and I don't think it is entirely too hoppy or bitter. The brown is being bottled conditioned right now.

Would you guys recommend straining? What do you do?
Last edited by hekkubus on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bierbunker

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Post Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:09 pm

Re: To strain or not to strain

hekkubus wrote:I began to realize that maybe I should strain my hops before I put them into the carboy for primary fermentation.

I'm assuming you're talking about filtering the wort between kettle and carboy.

I get very few hops in my carboy because I whirlpool the wort before racking and when bottling I hold the tip of the cane off the bottom - the beer I miss helps get the yeast into a slurry for when I pour it out and store it for a later brew.
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richt

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Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:06 am

Re: To strain or not to strain

I tried to when I first started brewing, probably because I was reading Papazian at the time as well. IMO, it's not worth it. Any kind of strainer you use is going to get clogged, and it will take a long time and constant stirring and dumping the hop matter from the strainer. The whole time your precious wort is exposed. If you're using an IC, try to whirlpool as best you can and siphon from the side. If you're not using a siphon, just pour slowly and try to keep some of the junk behind. If some gets through, no big deal, it's not going to hurt your beer.
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hekkubus

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Posts: 127

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:21 pm

Location: Southeast

Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:09 pm

Re: To strain or not to strain

Good advice. I, like you, read Papazian and didn't know if I should be straining my hops from my wort when moving it from kettle to primary. My biggest thought on this was, "Will this take some of the bite out of the beer from the hops being in there for primary fermentation?"

I spent a good 40 min. straining the wort over and over, and it was frustrating. My biggest worry was whether or not I contaminated it.
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sonex

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Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:25 pm

Re: To strain or not to strain

Everyone has there own preferences I use a hop bag when using hole hops,makes transfering to fermenter a snap. No hops to get stuck in siphon,or if you pour your wort no hops to strain.
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Robbimus Prime

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Post Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:08 am

Re: To strain or not to strain

sonex wrote:Everyone has there own preferences I use a hop bag when using hole hops,makes transfering to fermenter a snap. No hops to get stuck in siphon,or if you pour your wort no hops to strain.


A fellow at my local homebrew store, whom we generally just call the Hippie, said that hops used in the boil will get better hop utilization if they are free to move about the wort rather than being contained in a bag. Anybody else heard/believe this? A bag would make things way easier.
-Rob in VT
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pinnah

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Post Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:46 am

Re: To strain or not to strain

Robbimus Prime wrote:A fellow at my local homebrew store, whom we generally just call the Hippie, said that hops used in the boil will get better hop utilization if they are free to move about the wort rather than being contained in a bag. Anybody else heard/believe this? A bag would make things way easier.
-Rob in VT


Only hippies believe in free hops :)

Wait...that means....rats, guess I am a hippie :shock:
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yugamrap

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Post Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:23 am

Re: To strain or not to strain

Robbimus Prime wrote:A fellow at my local homebrew store, whom we generally just call the Hippie, said that hops used in the boil will get better hop utilization if they are free to move about the wort rather than being contained in a bag. Anybody else heard/believe this? A bag would make things way easier.
-Rob in VT


I've used hops loose in the kettle, and I've also used a hanging hop bag for whole and pellet hops. When I use the hop bag, I make sure to agitate it several time over the course of the boil by dunking it up and down and/or pushing it around with my spoon. Doing this, I don't think there is a noticeable difference in utilization because the hops can move around in there. If you use the smaller hop bags, just be sure to tie them so that the hops are loose inside. Lately, I've been skipping the bag and using the whirlpool technique. It works nearly as well as the bag for low- to mid-IBU beers, and I have one less piece of gear to clean. Here's the hanging hop bag in use:

Image
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Wahoo

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Post Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:30 am

Re: To strain or not to strain

Robbimus Prime wrote:
sonex wrote:Everyone has there own preferences I use a hop bag when using hole hops,makes transfering to fermenter a snap. No hops to get stuck in siphon,or if you pour your wort no hops to strain.


A fellow at my local homebrew store, whom we generally just call the Hippie, said that hops used in the boil will get better hop utilization if they are free to move about the wort rather than being contained in a bag. Anybody else heard/believe this? A bag would make things way easier.
-Rob in VT


I believe the hippie to be correct.
I like to strain my stovetop batches because not only does it keep the hops out of the fermenter, but it helps aerate the beer.

I boil my strainer in water for 10 minutes before using it.
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