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This is my first attempt at dry hopping. I added hop pellets directly into the secondary fermenter. They have been in for 1 week and many have settled to the bottom, however there is quite a bit still floating and in suspension. It does not seem like they are settling out any more. The amount floating seems to have stayed consistent over the last 2 days.

I'm considering tying a sanitized muslin bag to the end of the racking cane when I transfer to the bottling bucket, in order to filter out the excess hop film and floating sediment.

Here's my question:

Will filtering through the muslin bag reduce the amount of yeast in the beer I am bottling, preventing carbonation in the bottle? Or is the standard muslin bag coarse enough to let sufficient amounts of yeast through?

Thanks in advance, Bob


Thanks guys for the helpful info. I just bottled tonight using the muslin bag filter to transfer from the secondary to the bottling bucket & it worked great. It kept all of the remaining floating particles from transfering to the bucket.

Thanks again Bob M.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The muslin should let plenty of the yeast through.

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Great, thanks for the quick answer. –  Bob M. Mar 27 '11 at 23:54

When I dry hop, I don't use any kind of bag to hold the hops either as I prefer as much exposure as possible. Generally I will agitate the carboy every day or two (just a quick rock back and forth) during the dry hopping phase.

The rocking action will break up the "mat" of hops on top and allow them to begin settling out. Using this method, I generally have only a few specks of hops floating on the surface after 7 days. Then I can just rack the beer off the top of the sediment as usual.

This technique works equally well in my heavily dry hopped (60+g of hops) beers.

Your muslin bag idea will have no effect on yeast concentration in the bottle, you'll carb just fine. Even so, I always prefer to avoid sticking as many things into the beer as I can - even if they have been properly sanitized.

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Great, thanks for all the good advice. –  Bob M. Mar 30 '11 at 1:20

my brew pertner & I just did our first dry hopping about 5 weeks ago. We got a tip to use a knee high womens stocking at the end of the syphon. Worked great. Not one speck in any of the bottles. Also, it was our first time using carbonation drops instead of bottling sugar. Have to say, they worked great. We got a clone recipe for Boulder Beers Hazed & Infused Dry Hopped Ale. An American double IPA. Very citrusy & a great bitter bite at the end.

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Did the stocking filter out the hops well? –  Mark McDonald Aug 22 '11 at 14:07

When I dry-hop a recipe, I tend to use the following procedure. It nicely prevents any free-floating hop pieces from making it into the final product while giving the most exposure of hops to beer that I can imagine. It all starts with a larger, wider-mouthed carboy. It's an investment I have been happy with. I just can't bring myself to use "open-bucket" fermentation; I need glass with a good seal. The large-necked carboy lets me work my dry-hopping method, and also is good if I want to throw large things into a secondary fermentation.

I fill a sanitized mesh bag with the dry hops and shove it through the neck - the wider mouth makes this possible and makes it possible to remove the bag intact later. I loosely tie the bag shut and leave a long end of free twine with a loop tied in the far end. The extra twine will make it easier to fish the bag out at the end. I rack from the primary into this setup. (Actually, I've also used this setup in the primary with great results - read on.)

Because I'm using a bag rather than letting hops float free, the hops are all pillowed together. The whole bag just floats with about only a quarter of it submerged. So I take a long metal rod and push the bag down so that it's about halfway down to the bottom of the carboy. I don't push it all the way down because I don't want the bag interacting with the sludge.

Then I wedge in the bung and the bung holds down the other end of the rod. This way the bag is stuck submerged. My intention is to get all of the hops exposed to liquid. Also, just in case there were a sudden burst of fermentation (or if I am actually in a primary stage), I don't risk the bag or free floating hops getting pushed all the way up to the neck and choking off gas escape.

The hops are 100% submerged and at depth, the fermenting currents are scrubbing the hops. The product racks out with no hop leaf particles. However there is a beautiful sheen of lupulin drops floating at the top of the carboy. The IPA's I have made with this method are very very fragrant.

After racking to bottle or keg, the bag can be removed without hassle due to the wider mouthed carboy. It helps to fish the bag out with a coat hanger or something - that's what the loop tied in the end was for.

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I'm doing something similar. But instead of fishing later, I use dental floss, then end of which is outside the carboy (the carboy topper still seals fine) –  Dale Mar 17 '12 at 1:47

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