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Hop effects subdued by using a paint strainer bag

Has anyone noticed their bittering or flavor/aroma additions subdued by using a paint strainer bag during the boil? If so, how much would you say to add on to compensate for that? The same for dry-hopping?

I can’t imagine this would subdue the effects. The alpha acids are still being isomerized by the boiling liquid that makes it through the bag then back out into the wort when the bag is removed.

I used one for a little while and never noticed any loss. I never did any side by side experiments, but nothing ever stuck out as losing hop flavor or bitterness. I’ve since stopped using one though. It was just one more piece of equipment to take apart and clean at the end of a brew day. I just toss the hops in now. Haven’t noticed any ill effects. As a whole, I don’t worry much about break material, trub, hop particles, whatever getting in my wort anymore. I went though that phase early on of making sure I strained out the hops and other stuff, but got tired of it and went the other way. Again, haven’t noticed any ill effects.

The only time I break out the hop spider is if I’m doing a real big IPA, IIPA, etc with an extra amount of hops.

This was exactly my argument as well but I was told by some people in some thread buried on this site (and I believe someone quoted a study done by Denny) that you can lose up to 10% of your hop utilization using a bag. Unless the bag itself is absorbing the isomerized acids, I couldn’t see how that would be possible.

The ROT is that using a hop bag reduces your utilization by 10%, but I can’t tell you where that number came from. The reasoning is that the bag constrains the hops and limits their contact with the wort. I just increase my hops by 10%.

[quote=“Denny”]The reasoning is that the bag constrains the hops and limits their contact with the wort. I just increase my hops by 10%.[/quote]+1 Unless I was using a hop spider that holds the bag open and the hops are free to roll around in the boiling wort inside the bag, I found that 10% extra was about right for replicating bitterness.

Same here.

Matt, are you bagging whole hops, or pellets? I throw pellets in loose, but whole hops clog my drain. They get bagged.

I’ll put a sanitized paint strainer bag in my primary bucket and rack into that.
I then pull the bag and gently strain my way into a tasty beer.
Works every time.

Same here.

Matt, are you bagging whole hops, or pellets? I throw pellets in loose, but whole hops clog my drain. They get bagged.[/quote]

I was throwing them all in a bag (whole and pellet). My kettle has a dip tube so if I’m doing an IPA with 4+ oz of hops, ALL of that makes it into my fermenter.

I want to start re-harvesting yeast and I don’t feel like rinsing it so I started bagging all my hops using a hop spider. I’ve thought about turning my dip tube on a 45* angle so it leaves all the hops and break at the bottom of the kettle but then I have to let it sit for an hour or so after boil so it settles.

I’ve been considering picking up one of these. We have the same kettle I think (Boilermaker).

[quote=“Hades”]I’ve been considering picking up one of these. We have the same kettle I think (Boilermaker).[/quote]

Yep, I will have to look into those. Has anyone used one of these?

I built a hop spider using a 6 inch diameter ss baking ring (mostly used for desserts I think). That with a 5 gallon paint strainer bag allows quite a bit of room to move for the hops so I don’t work any decrease in utilization in my recipes.

[quote]I’ve been considering picking up one of these. We have the same kettle I think (Boilermaker).[/quote]

I’m curious to know how this one works. I have tried about everything including the Hopblocker or whatever metal strainer offered from blichman.

If you want to know, don’t bother with it. 50 dollars down the drain. I’ve tried it for nearly a year and it does not work. It does not work with whole cone hops. (I know it’s not designed for it but I tried it because…) It does not work with pellet hops. It pretends to. The problem is that with a hard boil you can have the metal canister lift off the bottom of the pot which lets in… all the hop particles you are boiling. It does not weigh enough to sit on the bottom of the kettle neatly, and God have mercy on your soul if you try to do the suggested whirlpool or make the mistake of a immersion chiller.

Now Myself I’ve been using the muslin bags for whole cone hops and a very fine mesh bag for pellet hops and I have empirically not noticed a huge enough difference. The reason I attribute this to is because I don’t cram the hops in to the bag. I try to let the hops in the bag, no matter what they are cram it to the seams. Give it some room to float and swirl as much as possible and possibly you have a better utilization.

Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of negative reviews about the Blichmann Hopblocker. I just pulled the trigger on the hopstopper from the above link. Somebody has to try it, right? :wink: I’ll post back to this thread after I use it.

[quote=“Hades”]I’ve been considering picking up one of these. We have the same kettle I think (Boilermaker).[/quote]

Product arrived today (2 days). Shipping was included in the price from the link above, or you can piece it together direct from the maker but after looking, the price is the same. So far so good, looking forward to using it, probably on the 25th.

Stops a lot of trub
Easy to install

Left 3/4 gallon in kettle
The mesh screen has folds which are virtually impossible to get completely clean. Took item apart, blasted with jet bottle washer, still can’t get it all out. Tried air compressor as well. Probably not really a big issue I suppose, since the screen goes in the boil kettle, but it bugs me.


Thank you first all for your trial with the item.

I’m not sure what to offer to help other than perhaps the install is a bit wonky and causes creases in a smaller kettle like a 10 or 15 gallon one?

And it would bother me too because boil or not I don’t want hop particulate molding or adding to a kettle that I’m boiling. It could be insignificant in the amount but I feel that a reusable piece of metal equipment should be able to come completely clean.

I use a stainless steel pot scrubber over the end of the kettle drain. It works very well with leaf hops. With pellets you get some hop debris initially, but once a layer of particles build up on the surface of the scrubber the wort runs reasonably clear. If you want clearer wort when you use pellets, recirculate the first gallon.

My buddy made a hop stopper for like $40. He ordered some stainless steel screen and made it.

Me? I am lazy… and patient… and lucky once in a while. I snagged one on Craigslist for $30.

I love my hopstopper, and my buddy’s works just as well. Someone else posted that it left too much wort in the kettle, but I didn’t have a problem with that. It seems to me, that how much wort is left in the kettle would be affected by how high/low off the bottom of your BK the hopstopper is installed. If your false bottom dip tube pulls from 1/4 inch off the bottom and the hopstopper is installed in the same spot and its dip tube pulls from 3/4 inch off the bottom… yeah, it’s gonna leave more wort.

As for cleaning it, boil that mofo. Also, probably just relax a little… who cares if there is like .01 gram of hop pellet on the screen? You’re gonna boil it, so it’s not gonna be an infection… and the amount left is immaterial and will not affect your flavor.

IMO - Hopstopper rocks.

Update and a different route taken.

So I went with a different route and got the Blich Hoprocket. Now This was so I could try the whole cone hop flame out sort of deal. (Disclaimer I also wanted to do the plate chiller method so I bought both…)

So with my Rye IPA this time I tossed in four ounces of pellet hops in to my approx 5 gallon batch in to the kettle. One ounce at 60 minutes, an ounce at 45 and two ounces at 15. I had a single ounce of whole cone hops in the hop rocket.

What I found is that the hop rocket with the whole cone hops caught a lot of hop matter. The kettle was set up this time with the hop blocker that I cursed so much before and nothing else. I stirred the wort to get some spinning at flame out and then I just set the ball valve to 50% and let it start to filter though gravity though the hop rocket then the plate chiller. This time the hop blocker seemed to work a -bit- better but it still is not heavy enough to sit at the bottom of the kettle though the boil in a 10 gallon pot. (Yes, Blichman pot with the 90 Degree pot valve inside installed.) The hop rocket filtered a large amount of hop material from the boil kettle. Mind you there was a lot left in the kettle but there -should- be at 4 oz of hops added to the boil at some point.

I will attempt to follow up with the trub material left in the fermentation bucket when I bottle but what I would observe is that I still would continue to use a fine mesh bag or the other mesh screen that’s been mentioned previously. I will see how this fermentation leftover material goes but with out some sort of external filter I still would suggest a paint strainer bag or a hop bag to be used with the boil if you do not have some soft of filter device, at least with the bittering addition of hops. To date I’ve not seen any difference in bittering for flavor in a full rolling boil for no bagging or bagged pellet hops.

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