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I've been struggling a bit to get hop aroma into an IPA, and I think maybe my hop bags aren't letting enough wort get into the hops. I've been adding 50g of Simcoe to 20L of wort 5 minutes before flameout and getting a fairly plain beer. 25g of the same hops as a dry is doing nice things for me.

Anybody have strong feelings about bag or no bag for late additions?

Here's a picture of the bag material: (cheap disposable Chinese Traditional Medicine bag) cheap disposable Chinese Traditional Medicine bag. The bag is about 20cm x30cm over all.

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    Go without the bag. In the kettle it isn't needed IMO, and if dry hopping I feel the same way. Rack the beer to another container after dry hopping – Wayne In Yak Jan 30 '15 at 14:57
  • I've used those bags too. Not great. Taobao right? :p – Darryl Snow May 13 '15 at 3:13
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I use bags for all whole hop additions. I use muslin bags that have a very open weave. I also account for the theoretical 10% loss when using a bag by using 10% more hops.

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    Wow. Had no idea there was a loss to account for hop bags! ...Edits brewtarget settings ... again... – Wyrmwood May 22 '15 at 21:20
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I always do all my hop additions without bags. Recently I've try dry hop in the serving keg with bags and liked, because otherwise it would clog my line, but on the boil, I don't think it is very useful, since the hop material will be easy left behind with break material on the kettle. If you don't be able to let it behind, it will be nice on the fermenter to. It will fall on the yeast cake and everything will be ok.

I'm not sure about what material is used in your bag, but seems like it have a mesh that is so tight that the hops couldn't mix very well to the wort.

I think you will get more utilization on the aroma additions without bags. And there is no chance of harm for your beer, so give it a try and see!

Unless you have a plate chiller. If so, forget about it and just try another kind of bag, or make something to ensure that hop material don't get the plates, or maybe you will have a clogged thing to deal with. Good luck!

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I either add aroma hops without a bag like @jards or use cheese cotton cloth.

The mesh of cheese cloth is very coarse (large holes) compared to the nylon bags I've seen and should let the wort and the hops get to know each other very well.

Even though cheese cloth lets a few hop bits through the cleanup is much easier than leaving the hops free.

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It really depends on the style, how much time you have, your setup and ultimately how clear you want your beer. For lighter colored beers I'll generally use a bag for dry hopping (make sure you sanitize it first.) Nylon straining bags, cheesecloth or even bags designed for paint sprayers work. Bigger beers I'm more likely to just add the hops directly to the beer as I do a lot of aging in fermenters and it has time for the sediment to settle. During the boil I used them regularly in my previous setup (usually a hop spider,) but with my current setup I can whirpool the wort to minimize transfer of sediment to my fermenters.

The bag you have looks a little too tight of a weave, but that could just be the quality of the photo. Depending on quantities you're doing you could always get bags that are used for steeping loose tea.

  • This spider idea sounds interesting, thanks! – Pepi Jan 30 '15 at 15:25
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I personally do not use bags for Leaf hop additions, as the filter on my kettle captures all the pieces of hops. Where as with pellets I find they escape from my kettle and make the beer bitty, so I tend to use them in a tight weave bags.

May be split the hops into 2 bags so they have more space to circulate and stir the wort with the bag to get the wort flowing over the hops. I have done this with 10g of citra pellets in a similar bag 2 min before end of the boil and got rather pleasant citrus aroma. The problem is likely there is very little diffusion through the tight weave.

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