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losman26

Going commando from here on out.

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Well, my last two 5-gallon batches have had a much lower OG than anticipated (7 points), and I couldn't figure out why.I noticed that a lot of sugar is getting trapped in these hop bags. When you have 4 bags in 2-3 gal boil it traps a lot of malt extract, especially if you add some DME or LME towards the end of the boil to avoid carmelization and a darker color. It's time for me to buy some sort strainer that will fit my funnel, or maybe I need another funnel all together.

So, screw these bags, I'm going commando!

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I find commando less problematic at bottling time when using an autosiphon instead of a spigot and hose. I draw off the top now and leave a film of beer on the trub which leaves all the residue in the fermenter.

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I tried bottling once with the autosiphon, but it comes out way too fast even with the fermtech bottling wand that connects to the tubing. I'm going to find a funnel that matches a decent size strainer.

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I always go commando during the boil. I then strain into the primary fermenter.

**You may need to dump the strainer a couple of times if you use a lot of hops (and since you said 4 hop bags, you use a lot of hops) because it can and will get clogged.

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I don't bottle from the autosiphon. I use it to rack to the bottling bucket. Then I use the spigot on the bottling bucket. Using the autosiphon as opposed to a spigot on my fermenter really leaves a lot of stuff behind so the beer in my bottling bucket is much cleaner.

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"Gymrat" post=258889 said:

I don't bottle from the autosiphon. I use it to rack to the bottling bucket. Then I use the spigot on the bottling bucket. Using the autosiphon as opposed to a spigot on my fermenter really leaves a lot of stuff behind so the beer in my bottling bucket is much cleaner.

+1 very clear & clean beer

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I have always brewed commando and don't strain my beer. The hops particles fall into the trub and as long as your careful during bottling they won't get into the bottle. I have never seen a hop particle in any of my finished beer. That includes Hefe's with which I swill the last 1/2 of beer in the bottle to get the goodies off the bottom and into my glass. I haven't really heard of anyone that goes commando complaining about hops floating around in their beer, so I really think it's much to do about nothing. :)

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I used to get them floating in mine before I got my autosiphon. I also had trouble with them clogging up my bottling wand. The problem with spigots is they draw off the bottom and I had problems with hops every time until I started using hop sacks. Now that I draw from the top of my fermenter I can go commando again. I think I get better hop usage this way.

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I had 4 hop bags going in this batch, and set them in a large bowl after brewing. I can say that they suck up a lot of sugar. It was unbelievable, just the sugar alone in these hop bags thew off my OG a few points.

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"Gymrat" post=258883 said:

I find commando less problematic at bottling time when using an autosiphon instead of a spigot and hose. I draw off the top now and leave a film of beer on the trub which leaves all the residue in the fermenter.

OK, I got you. I barely get any trub using this thing. The large fermtech one is the best brewing invention ever. I have never timed how long it takes to transfer, but I'd say it's around 3 min.

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I did a commando dry hop addition and had hops floating in the brew. When I went to bottle the brew, the hops kept clogging my bottling wand. I'll keep my hops in a bag and will not do a commando add. However, do what works for you.

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I've taken to going commando. When used in the boil, I use an immersion chiller to bring the temp down quickly and a strong whirlpool to try to gather all of the material towards the center of the kettle. I then use an autosiphon to xfr the wort to my fermenter, sucking from the outside edge. For dry hopping, I used to use sacks, but those were a pain in the arse to remove from my better bottles, so now I just dump them in as is. No problems w/ floaties there either. Pretty much all settles to the bottom, and once I siphon into my priming vessel, the beer is clear to my naked eye. This seems to be the case whether or not I cold crash.

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I use the DIY hop spider when I do high qty hop boils. No hop sacks or hops in the wort.
I dry hop commando since I only use 1/2 oz max for aroma.

The hop spider works great. I used it last when I did a 4 oz hop boil.

If I am only doing 1/2 oz boil, I use the hop sack and remove at flameout.

A number of threads about the spyder are on the forum.

Will try to find a link later
R

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"pghFred" post=258887 said:

I always go commando during the boil. I then strain into the primary fermenter.

**You may need to dump the strainer a couple of times if you use a lot of hops (and since you said 4 hop bags, you use a lot of hops) because it can and will get clogged.

I do the exact same thing. I use a metal wire mesh strainer and yes I have to tap out the strainer at least 3 or 4 times during the process but clear beer is the result. I just use a sanitized pitcher to dip the wort out of the pot and pour it in the carboy. I believe this also aeriates the wort as well and I've always had good success doing it this way. Now I just need to auto siphon when in the rare instance when I use the LBK's.

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"k9dude" post=258897 said:

I have always brewed commando and don't strain my beer. The hops particles fall into the trub and as long as your careful during bottling they won't get into the bottle. I have never seen a hop particle in any of my finished beer. That includes Hefe's with which I swill the last 1/2 of beer in the bottle to get the goodies off the bottom and into my glass. I haven't really heard of anyone that goes commando complaining about hops floating around in their beer, so I really think it's much to do about nothing. :)

I've never used a hop sack. Just once I've had a plugged spigot. Luckily I was filling the last bottle.

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I tend to sack everything that in the boil > 20 minutes and anything

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I'm reading this thread with a lot of interest. I just recently tried my first hop boil and had forgotten to get extra hop sacks, so I ended up going commando. I thought I would have the bright idea to take the one spare hop sack that I had, sanitize it along with a rubber band and then use the two as a make-shift strainer in the LBK opening. FAIL! It didn't take long for this to clog. I then tried my bottling funnel w/strainer. This clogged even sooner. So I ended up pouring it into the LBK and got assurances from the borg that it would all settle to the bottom. So all it well.

That being said, the hop spider seems interesting, as do the metal tea balls that I saw in another thread.


Rick

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I have been going commando for my last five batches and have had no problems except for my barley wine. I was using whole leaf hops for the recipe had a terrible time with getting the wort into my keg and having a clogged spigot even after filtering. It's in my secondary right now conditioning for three more weeks prior to bottling but I lost a lot of beer and only have 7 liters as opposed to the 8.5 I started with. If I use whole leaf hops again I will definitely use a sac. But as for the pellet the boil usually breaks down the hops that I have had no problem with it as far as particles getting into my bottles.

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@Rick, be careful with the tea balls. You have to make sure the ball is much larger then the amount of hops you are sticking in it, or they will swell up and fill the ball and compress - all the hops in the middle don't get utilized so well when that happens.

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"mashani" post=259307 said:

@Rick, be careful with the tea balls. You have to make sure the ball is much larger then the amount of hops you are sticking in it, or they will swell up and fill the ball and compress - all the hops in the middle don't get utilized so well when that happens.

Thanks for that bit of insight. I hadn't considered that. Would that be true also of using a hop sack and tying it up too tight?


Rick

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"vmaxept" post=259314 said:

Here is the post with pictures
http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/12-community-drain-pipe/248421-repost-of-the-hop-spider#248421

Posted by yankeedog

I used 1/2 PVC pipe for the 'legs'. Wanted to it made with what I had.

Some use this for grain steep also.

Thank you vmaxept and yankeedag for his repost. This was originally (I think) posted by MonkeyMan's post BYO hop sack, which itself was a discussion of a project shown on BYO Build A Hop Spider: Projects. I have built this contraption myself, and can personally attest to its usefulness, especially when brewing 5 gallon batches. On my 2-3 gallon batches, I am doing fine going commando.

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"rickbray66" post=259393 said:

"mashani" post=259307 said:

@Rick, be careful with the tea balls. You have to make sure the ball is much larger then the amount of hops you are sticking in it, or they will swell up and fill the ball and compress - all the hops in the middle don't get utilized so well when that happens.

Thanks for that bit of insight. I hadn't considered that. Would that be true also of using a hop sack and tying it up too tight?


Rick

It would Rick. You want to make sure that the hops have plenty of room to expand in whatever you use them in.

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"genotype" post=259397 said:

"rickbray66" post=259393 said:

"mashani" post=259307 said:

@Rick, be careful with the tea balls. You have to make sure the ball is much larger then the amount of hops you are sticking in it, or they will swell up and fill the ball and compress - all the hops in the middle don't get utilized so well when that happens.

Thanks for that bit of insight. I hadn't considered that. Would that be true also of using a hop sack and tying it up too tight?


Rick

It would Rick. You want to make sure that the hops have plenty of room to expand in whatever you use them in.

+1. The tea balls are "worse" then the hop sacks, as they are rigid and won't expand at all, where the hop sacks can stretch a bit. But you still don't want to fill the hop sacks too much either.

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What is everyone doing for dry hopping.
Commando or sack?

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"Inkleg" post=259648 said:

What is everyone doing for dry hopping.
Commando or sack?

commando, then cold crash.

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"Inkleg" post=259648 said:

What is everyone doing for dry hopping.
Commando or sack?


I go commando all the way (boil and dry hop.). When I rack to the bottling bucket I use a sanitized 5 gallon paint strainer in the carboy and stick the auto siphon in after that, basically filtering into the siphon. Since its all submerged there isn't any risk of oxidizing. I've done some heavily hopped recipes (this latest pliny inspired batch has 18 oz http://hopville.com/recipe/1315332/imperial-ipa-recipes/pliny-the-giant ) and never had any problem with hops in the bottle.

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"Inkleg" post=259648 said:

What is everyone doing for dry hopping.
Commando or sack?

Commando, but because I don't secondary and don't cold crash I throw them in after 1 week, and then ignore my LBK for 2 more weeks, then bottle. I keep a shim under the front of my LBKs. By then they have settled to the bottom/back and I've not had any trouble.

I don't get "grassy off flavors" doing this, so I don't stress about the 2 weeks of dry hoppage.

EDIT: That said, I might end up putting a stupid amount of hops in a future beer, and if I do so, they might go in a sack. I think there are limits to my insanity.

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Commando. I was using hop sacks for a while but decided I didn't like seeing everything get caught in them. I felt like it wasn't dissipating into the beer as well (just my feeling, I can't say this is true) so I stopped using them.

Commando during the boil and the dry hop.

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T.M.I. !!!

Wait, for hops, never mind :)

I do both depending on the hops, if you ever use whole hops, trust me commando is a Pain in the Arse!

I find Dry hop with a few Stainless steel washers works fine.

I like commando in the boil since you have the little left when doing AG/PM that is alot of sediment I leave anyways since is just sediment in the LBK too.

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"k9dude" post=258897 said:

I haven't really heard of anyone that goes commando complaining about hops floating around in their beer...

You're about to. ;)

This thread is interesting in that some folks are talking about hops during the boil, and others about hops in the fermenter.

The only problem I've had with going commando is when using whole leaf hops in the LBK. Pellet hops end up in the trub, but the whole leaf hops stay suspended in the beer and make it a PITA to rack to the slimline for bottling. On one batch with 1/4 oz of whole leaf hops, I ended up having to pull the spigot from the LBK and strain through my fingers in order to get the last two quarts of beer out. That's after I'd spent ten minutes using a slotted SS spoon to lift the floating hops out of the LBK.

YMMV, of course.

In the future, I intend to go commando only with pellet hops, and use a hop sack for the whole leaf hops.

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I did my first hop boil/dry hop 3 weeks ago and went commando all the way.
Dry-hopped it for a week, cold crashed it for 3 days, bottled without any hop particles at all.
These were pellet hops.

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I built a hop spider... I don't worry about it any more.. and leaf hops are a PITA once your done with them.

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Any harm in leaving all the hops in the batch to settle in the trub?

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"Inkleg" post=259648 said:

What is everyone doing for dry hopping.
Commando or sack?

I just dry hopped my IPA commando. Only disadvantage I can see is that if they settle into the trub they may not release all the aroma I am hoping for. But it is all liquid so that may not be the case.

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"tywinter" post=260808 said:

Any harm in leaving all the hops in the batch to settle in the trub?

Any pellet hop that I throw in with 20 or

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