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StretchNM

Sacked Hops in Fermenter

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I have 2 hops questions:

 

First, I'm fermenting MRB 1776 Ale, and you put the hops in at flameout then stir in your LME. Then, the hops sack goes into the LBK with the wort and stays for the duration of fermentation. Now, it's hard to tell looking through the LBK with flashlight, but definitely the hops are floating. And it looks like there's stuff all over it (which I hope is just krausen). I read in another thread about weighing down the hops sack in these cases, but I didn't know about that when I began fermentation.

I'm starting to wonder if, because the hops sack is exposed to oxygen in the keg, maybe it's likely to cause an infection in the wort(?)

 

Second, I'm going to start a small, all-grain batch tomorrow. It didn't come with any grain or hops sacks (I have some of my own) but of course it says you can use sacks if you want. 3/4 of the hops packet goes in for 60 minutes then the remainder goes in at flameout. The instructions say nothing about removing the hops after boiling or leaving them in for fermentation. The malt is 2-row Barley, the hops are Goldings 5, and the yeast is Safale US-04.

What do you all think I should do with these hops?

 

Thank you

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13 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

I have 2 hops questions:

 

First, I'm fermenting MRB 1776 Ale, and you put the hops in at flameout then stir in your LME. Then, the hops sack goes into the LBK with the wort and stays for the duration of fermentation. Now, it's hard to tell looking through the LBK with flashlight, but definitely the hops are floating. And it looks like there's stuff all over it (which I hope is just krausen). I read in another thread about weighing down the hops sack in these cases, but I didn't know about that when I began fermentation.

I'm starting to wonder if, because the hops sack is exposed to oxygen in the keg, maybe it's likely to cause an infection in the wort(?)

 

Second, I'm going to start a small, all-grain batch tomorrow. It didn't come with any grain or hops sacks (I have some of my own) but of course it says you can use sacks if you want. 3/4 of the hops packet goes in for 20 minutes then the remainder goes in at flameout. The instructions say nothing about removing the hops after boiling or leaving them in for fermentation. The malt is 2-row Barley, the hops are Goldings 5, and the yeast is Safale US-04.

What do you all think I should do with these hops?

 

Thank you

I just looked at the instructions online. It does say to add the hop sack to the fermenter. Seems strange to me. I wouldn’t personally do that. But to your question, no the hops sack is not exposed to oxygen in the keg. The CO2 from fermentation has already pushed out the oxygen. As far as floating, I usually add the hops without bagging them. They float for about three days but then they sink, especially true if you cold crash. The stuff all over the hop sack is most likely yeast clumps that are caught on the sack. I wouldn’t worry.

 

for the all grain batch, I’d remove the hops. That’s why you’re bagging them in the boil, to keep out the vegetable matter but isomerize the alpha acids. That’s when they sell bazooka screens and hop spiders. You generally don’t want excess hops or proteins in your beer. 

 

How many batches have you brewed so far? I’m all about experimenting but maybe a little research first would keep you from wasting time and money tomorrow. 

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Thanks Creeps Mclane. Yes, MRB does instruct you to add the hops sack to the fermenter, so I did it. But my mind is at ease now about infection simply because the sack is floating. This is my second brewing. When I brew the all-grain batch tomorrow or this weekend, it will be my 3rd brewing.

 

RE: The all-grain batch - the main reason I'm asking about adding/not adding hops to the fermenter (gallon jug) is because the instructions don't say. But then, they also don't provide any sacks either and they say nothing about straining the wort (except the grains) before adding to the fermenter. Now, I have my own sacks and will use them, but I don't know why they wouldn't mention taking them out, especially the 60-minute boil portion. Plus, the aroma portion of the hops is added after the boil, and just before cooling down to add to fermenter. Since the aroma hops won't spend much time in the wort, shouldn't they go into the fermenter? I mean, if they're only in the wort for the time it takes to cool down, is that enough time for them to do their job?

 

The instructions are very lacking with this Kit. There is another thread I started specifically about this Kit the other day in this very sub-forum. It's frustrating as a new brewer to not have complete instructions, so I'm glad you all are here.

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8 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

The all grain batch, if you cool it, then pour it through a sanitized strainer into the LBK will have almost no hops.  Or, cold crash the LBK at the end of fermentation.  

 

Having hops go commando is done regularly by people.

Yes Rick, I am going to use my muslin sacks, for both hops and grains. I'm glad I picked them up the other day at the brew store. I wasn't thinking about this all-grain Kit at the time, but rather "You know, I might have a need for these someday".

 

I will certainly remove the grains and bittering hops, but what about the aroma hops? Don't those normally go into the fermenter? Or...no(?) They're only going to be in the wort for the amount of time it takes to cool down, so that's my confusion.

 

ON EDIT: RickBeer I was composing at the same time as you and now I see your latest post. Still, though: have the aroma hops had enough time in the wort to do their job if I strain them out?

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OK. I just cleaned all equipment with PBW (jug, cap, airlock, siphon tube, thermometer, racking cane and cap, etc.), so tomorrow I will sanitize and brew, and take everything out except the aroma hops. I'm thinking I will use sacks for the grains and bittering hops, and then just toss the aroma hops in naked and afraid at flameout. That way they'll just be in the wort when it goes into the jug.

 

OK. Questions answered. Thank you both @Creeps McLane and @RickBeer.

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