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Hops questions

I’m new to the whole home brewer scene and had a few questions about hops. In the recipe I’m currently fermenting it used hops pellets. 1- Is it necessary to use a strainer for the hops? The NB recipe doesn’t mention using any but wanted input on if using strainer or muslin bag changed sludge amount or taste, or just made for a cleaner process.

2- I’ve noticed some recipes call for boiling hops and “dry hopping”. Is there any magic to dry hopping or is it just throw it into the fermentor?

Welcome to our wonderful hobby/obsession! With pellets you will get several different opinions. Some on here prefer to loosely bag their kettle hops, some prefer to just let them go free range in the boil (this is what I do). I assume you are referring to using a strainer as you pour from your kettle to your fermentation vessel to separate the leftover hops from your wort.

I have a drain valve on my kettle and I do a manual whirlpool before chilling with my big stirring spoon, which tends to settle most of the hops and other sediment in the center and reduces the amount that makes it into my carboy after running through my CFC. For big Double IPA’s and highly hopped pale ales, I use a whirlpool with an immersion chiller run through my pump for a hopstand before chilling. I also toss the hops in free range for this and have never had my pump clog as most of the sediment stays in the center while draining after a whirlpool.

As for dry hopping, I keg so I use a muslin bag for my hops and toss the bag in the keg to prevent clogging. If you are bottling, you can also do this, although some others on here toss them in free range before bottling. Some recipes call for multiple rounds of dry hops, so you can play around with methods to determine which you like best.


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You are perhaps using a hose and siphoning? Or just pouring from one vessel to another?.. If so, the need to “contain” the hops is NOT needed… After a few more brew days, you’ll get to understand this…
Hops have two uses in brewing… (and some other great side effects)
The first addition is to add bitterness… The sweet wort is… sweet… Hops are not…
The second adds flavor AND aroma…
Heres where it takes some reading… AA, Alpha Acids… That is the first area to look at when choosing hops…
There are some that are “high in AA”… those appear to work to “balance” the sweetness… with a lesser amount…
Then there are some with “lower AA”… they can be used to “balance” out the sweetness, but will take a bit more…
Then there are “dual” purpose hops, Noble hops and Flavor hops with aromas all over the place… Its really quite fun to experiment (X-beerment)… Welcome!!

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Thanks radagast and Sneezles for the input, it’s much appreciated. I have a basic 5 gallon starter kit and would be using the hose and spigot setup. As for playing with hops in later brews- I’ll try and keep this info in mind. Thanks

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You can just toss them in. Or do use a hop spider. I do use 2 of these during. The boil. Hops are intresting. So many different kind. And flavour wise. Like what the. Other postings. Say. Just. Read about. Different. Kinds of hops. And best way of use.

Yea I saw the hop spider and that initially got my mind thinking about whether that would result in lower sediment/sludge. As I looked at it more that seems to only be used during the boiling phase rather than fermenting.

Utahbiodiesel has sooo many stainless steel mesh options… That is what I use only…

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Welcome man, Same question’s was. Thx all for answer !!

I went from hops in bags to the spider, and though you use it in the boil it does reduce the trub. Whenever I dry hop, I put gelatin in the fermenter (1/2 tbs+ 1/2 cup hot water) about 3 days before I move to the kegs to keep sediment down.

I use my spider at the end of the process as well, to filter out my free range dry hops as I siphon into my bottling bucket.

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