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Pellet Hop Adjustment

Next time I dry hop I plan on using a muslin bag to hold the pellets. My question is there any loss of hop efficiency when using a bag? Is there a rule-of-thumb that I should add an additional percentage of pellets to the primary and/or secondary?

There is no loss of efficiency when bagging hops, unless the bag is to small. Hops swell in size, contact with the beer will be decreased if the bag becomes tight. Submerge the bag to eliminate a potential growth point for bacteria.

Bagging will work best in a bucket. The bag will be difficult to remove from a carboy.

I watched and read about brewers who said that they believed it did decrease efficiency because the hops didn’t have a chance to really expand all the way and mix with the wort. They did their tests but YMMV. I have tried both methods but not on the same beer to can’t say for sure. I know I have seen hop rigs that go into the kettle, and imagine these work better because the bag is big enough and allows the hops to dance around during the boil. For dry hopping I wouldn’t say there is as much impact because you are really just trying to pull out the aroma profile. I use a muslin bag to help with the trub and allow better yeast harvesting.

I always bag my pellet hops whether in the kettle or DH, in 1 gallon paint strainer bags. I’ve heard guys say you should increase the amount of hops by 10% but I’ve never done that.

So if my 70ish IBU IPA is in actuality 63ish IBU I guess I’m OK with that…

The ROT is that a bag reduces utilization by 10%. OTOH, another ROT is that pellet hops increase utilization by 10%. In that case, it’s a wash.

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