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drewish927

Dry Hopping sensitization question.

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Just a general question. When dry hopping you are throwing a muslin bag full of hops into what is essentially a sterile environment. What is keeping any unwanted bacteria that is on the hops or the bag from infecting the beer? I feel like you do all this work to keep everything that touches the beer post boil sanitized and then you just toss in a bag full of random bacteria and wild yeast... 

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When you dry hop you're putting the hops into an alcoholic environment which will inhibit bacterial growth.  Hops have an inherent antibacterial character which also helps preserve the beer.

I would sanitize the hop sack before putting it into the LBK. 

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Sanitizing the bag is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  If you put the bag in right after the wort, the high temp likely kills anything, but again there is no reason to not sanitize the bag.

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Or you can pour them in commando, which is what I do. There is a risk of plugging the spigot at bottling time though.

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I could probably be accused of being overly paranoid, but I have had the same concern.  The hops should be fine since they are naturally anti-bacterial.  As for the hop sack, my solution is to boil it in water for a minute before putting the hops in.  I use Iodophor for sanitizing, and I have been concerned that the cloth would retain too much iodine if I were to soak the hop sack in it.  I haven't used Star-san very much, but it could be a different story:  I have read that it breaks down into yeast nutrient. 

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