I think this topic may be helpful for lovers of hop forward brews. Each time (3 to be precise) I’ve used boiled nylon mesh bags for dry hopping, I’ve had trouble keeping the bags sunk because the fine nylon mesh does not discharge gas bubbles. The weighted bags (4 oz divided into three bags) accumulate gas and float. I need to sanitize a probe of some sort (like my hydrometer) and squeeze air out to let them sink. I hate this, and even though I’m sanitizing everything with Star San, I fret about infection (and maybe oxygenation from those infernal hop bubbles). I know there are flavor advantages to dumping in hops, but I prefer the head start on the clarity I get from bagging hops. I think the next brew that calls for dry hops, I’ll try boiled muslin bags. Thoughts?
I think I would consider using weights. Pure glass marbles come to mind first. Not painted marbles. A heavy shot glass or two would also work but would potentially take a slug of air down with them. Pure stainless steel weights would be good also.
I have seen pictures of floating bags that had mold growth on the exposed portion.
That’s what I use is sanitized marbles, like @flars suggested.
For dry hopping and to help clear my brew I rack off into a second FV (as opposed to a carboy), when the primary has almost finished.
If you do that, you can use a large nylon or muslin bag to contain your hops and retrieve it easily, or, as I have done recently, throw hops in as they are but use a nylon mesh sock (from a Festival kit) over the end of the siphon tube to filter them out. I use pellets and both methods are fine, and would therefore work with whole hops. And there does not seem to be all that much difference in hop uptake between containing/not containing the hops when dry hop is over 6/7 days as I do (4/5 days in the warm, last two days cool to drop the yeast).
And finally racking off has never caused any problems for me as far as oxidation or infection are concerned, which others seem to worry about.
I used to use marbles and sanitized cheese cloth. My opinion is that it’s a nearly total waste of time and money dry hopping like this. Let your hops free or in a depth charge like device. There are numerous articles on the advantages to “free range” dry hopping. If your hops are still floating then they did not truly dry hop.
My concern is the accumulated air. Twist the bags tight to remove the air before you stick them in. As the bag untwist it will suck in some liquid and should sink to just below the surface and eventually sink more. Free hops probably release more flavor but personally I just use a little extra. If you want them to sink more get some stainless steel nuts from home Depot
I use the mesh bag to contain hop cones… Since I bought sooo many stainless steel fittings over the years… I just put… say an elbow in star san for a while to sanitize, then put it in the bag for weight… And I use alot… I have a hard time getting them into the keg! I really enjoy hops! Sneezles61
I actually started with sanitized marbles and ended up adding a second weight with a sanitized shot glass in a sanitized bag. The hop pellets are actually producing (or collecting) some kind of bubbles that absolutely do not escape from these bags. I guess at some point I’ll just have to have a chamber to use for cold crashing and just go with naked pellets.
I used marbles at one point but I don’t know where I put them so now I use a shot glass or a heavy stainless nut.
Get some different bags.
I’ve dry hopped in a preboiled nylon grain sack for almost 2 decades. I’ve never been concerned with the sack floating at the top of the beer. Its still in the beer and those hop oils and essences are still free to enter the beer. I’ve never bothered with weighting the sack down.
If you have mold growing on the hop sack, you have other things to worry about. A floating sack is not the worry.
I’m with Martin…you guys worry too much. Boiling bags? seriously? Dip it in some star san, put the hops in and weighterd or no throw the bag in the beer. Done…
I just use a 1 gal paint strainer bag, new bag of course. It gets the star san treatment add marbles, hops tie up with unflavored dental floss good to go.
While I no longer bag my dry hops the great thing about bagging them is that you can then reuse them for bittering in your next beer as most of the IBUs are still there.
Only been brewing for a year or so but I just soak the bag in star San, toss a few glass marble- like things my wife gave me in the bag with the hops and done. Haven’t seen or tasted any trouble. First few batches I didn’t weight the bag at all and I couldn’t tell any difference.
I now boil bags as cheap insurance after two infections. Star San solution after boiling.