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Dry Hop Question!

A buddy told me once he sanitizes and puts large marbles in his muslin bags when dry hopping. He says sinking the muslin bag gives a better hop aroma because all of the hops are completely covered by wort, rather than only half the hops touching wort while floating on top.

My questions: Has anyone ever tried this?

Does anyone have any other techniques for getting the best hop aroma?


It’s standard practice when using a bag with leaf hops to weight it down with marbles or stainless bolts or other easily-sanitized objects - if you don’t the bag will float on top and you will have something less than 50% of the hops in the beer. I get the best results from dry-hopping with pellet hops dropped directly in the fermenter, sans bag, where they fully submerge and sink to the bottom eventually.

I don’t weight the bag and I’ve never experienced any dry hop issues because of it. I have tried weighting the bag, but I didn’t get any better dry hopping than when I don’t. When I was at Sierra Nevada recently, I saw dry hop bags for 400 bbl. fermenters of Celebration. There were no weights.

Did you see the bags in the beer or just on the side? That carabiner would make it easy to attach a weight to the bag.

Did you see the bags in the beer or just on the side? That carabiner would make it easy to attach a weight to the bag.[/quote]

Yeah, you’re right I didn’t see them in the fermenters. I’ll see if I can get any info from SN on exactly what they do. But even that would be mainly for curiosity’s sake since I don’t believe that things commercial brewers do necessarily apply to homebrewers. I guess my bottom line is weight if you want to, it isn’t going to hurt. But having tried dry hopping with and without weights, I’ll go the simpler no-weight way.

I dry hop lots, have tried almost everything.

for pellets I just throw them in, and they eventually sink.
I tried the marble in the bag thing, and they didn’t sink!
you have to put lots and lots in, too much work!

for whole hops, I tried a bag, and oh my, what a mess!
I couldn’t get the bag out of the carboy neck, had to cut it out!

so now I just throw them in too… works great.
I used 2 oz whole hops in my last SWIPA and best IPA yet!

I swirled it once in awhile to make sure the hops were all soaked.
then when I siphoned to bottling bucket, I just tie a nylon knee sock to the end of the tubing.

simple is good. I don’t use hop bags for my boil either now.

my beer tastes better.

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