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D Rabbit

To Sack or Not to Sack, that is the question!

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I've been reading quite a few posts on here and really enjoy the tutorials of people making their beers with the pictures and comments. Make this quite a bit of fun and wishing I had a Camera Man for one of these next times I brew.... mainly cuz i have self diagnosed ADD and would forget I was brewing beer when I started taking pictures and bad things would happen..... see off topic already.......

Anyways, at the point when people are adding their hops I tend to see a lot of the more experienced brewers just tossing them in without a hop sack. A few questions about that.

1. What are the benefits/negatives about doing this?
2. Should you strain it out when you add it to the keg?
3. Does letting it sit in the keg help with any part of the bittering/flavoring/aroma....ing?

I know you can dry hop by just adding the hops right to the keg around day 7 or so but have yet to do that so i'm not quite sure on how well it will drain or clog due to the extra floaties in the mix. I plan on batch priming so i figured by doing so that will eliminated a lot of my floaties.

I'm also planning on throwing my keg in the fridge the night before bottling to help settle anything that is really still floating around. Any thoughts on that?

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D Rabbit wrote:

1. What are the benefits/negatives about doing this?
2. Should you strain it out when you add it to the keg?
3. Does letting it sit in the keg help with any part of the bittering/flavoring/aroma....ing?

I know you can dry hop by just adding the hops right to the keg around day 7 or so but have yet to do that so i'm not quite sure on how well it will drain or clog due to the extra floaties in the mix. I plan on batch priming so i figured by doing so that will eliminated a lot of my floaties.

I'm also planning on throwing my keg in the fridge the night before bottling to help settle anything that is really still floating around. Any thoughts on that?

Those who use hop sacks are almost all convinced - usually by personal experience - that the hops will clog their spigot if they just toss them in. Those of us who don't use hop sacks just take the chance, I guess. I've been brewing for several years and I've never had that particular problem. I guess it depends on how lucky you feel (or if you have a special devotion to St. Arnold or something similar.) Those who don't use hop sacks are sometimes a little worried that the wort won't really get soaked into the hop sack well enough - or that the hop flavor won't make it out - and they'll lose some hop flavor. Personally I'm not too worried about that, but I am lazy and cheap, so I don't bother with hop sacks for that reason.

Straining it out? Some do, but most don't, I think. Obviously those of us who don't use hop sacks can't even consider removing the hops and we seem to think our beers taste fine. But I honestly have no idea whether there would be any difference in "bittering/flavoring/aroma. . . ing" if the hops were removed.

I think your idea about dry hopping and putting the keg in the fridge on the night before bottling is okay. One small thought on that: among the things that settle to the bottom will be some yeast. Not much will settle in 24 hours, but some will. That will slow carbonation by a some amount. Not to worry. I've allowed beer to lager in a secondary fermenter for over a month and the beer still carbonated without adding extra yeast. But the carbonation took considerably longer. If that bothers you too much, you could always add extra yeast.

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I've never used a hop sack and haven't had any problem. I've only used pellet hops. I think I'd be inclined to use a hop sack if I used leaf hops.

The benefit of using a hop sack is that you won't get sediment from them (and sometimes floaties). The disadvantages are that you need to get the hop sack, you need to sanitize it, you need to remove it from the fermenter.

I don't think there is a huge reason to use them, nor do I think there's a huge reason not to use them. I'd call it personal preference.

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I don't use a sack, never plugged the spigot. Gonna bottle my Snow Drift tonite so I probaby just jinxed myself.

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