I used leaf hops in my boil and did not filter them out when I transferred to primary. I thought it'd be like pellet hops, which settle down into the yeast cake. This is not the case, though. They stayed floating on top and were all up in my krausen etc. Fermentation seems to be progressing nicely, but i'd like to know if this will add more IBUs or aroma to my beer. I'd like to know this so that the next time I brew this recipe, I can know whether to expect a different hop profile or not by filtering out the leaf hops (or using pellet hops). The leafs where 25 min additions, I believe.

  • how much hops did you use at 25 mins?
    – mdma
    Mar 4, 2012 at 17:35
  • I don't have my recipe in front of my right this minute, but something in the 0.3 oz range.
    – wesanyer
    Mar 4, 2012 at 19:41
  • "all up in my krausen" is my new catch-phrase. Thanks!
    – Tony Adams
    Sep 10, 2014 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


On the whole, this is nothing to worry about. If they're 25 minute hops, then you may still get a slight change in flavor profile, since there are still flavor compounds that have not been completely boiled off, but not as much as if you'd used flameout hops. You'll not get any more IBUs, since that requires boiling, but you can get some astringency from polyphenols in the hops which can taste similar to bitterness for some people, but it's not usually much at all. You may also get a some aroma, but not much. As an upside, you'll also get better head retention, since the polyphenols contribute to foam stability (they combine with proteins in the wort to stabilize the foam.)

What I'd be most concerned about (apart from the fun you're going to have avoiding sucking up the hops when you rack) is that you'll also get some strong grassy flavors if you leave the hops in for more than a couple of weeks. Taste the beer after 7 days and see how you like it. If you choose to keep it in, then taste again after 10-11 days then 2 weeks. After 2 weeks rack and bottle/keg as normal.

When you rack off, you might want to tie a sanitized grain bag around the base of the racking cane, that should make it a bit easier. Leaf hops in a racking cane are almost impossible to get out!

So, just let it ride for 7 days, then have a taste of your gravity sample and decide how you want to handle it from there.

  • Thanks for the detailed response. I'm at 7 days today, I'll take a gravity reading and see where I'm at. I used a washed white labs wlp005 yeast which fermented a 1.052 amber ale down to 1.012. This porter was a 1.056 PG, so I'll be looking for an SG in that same 1.012 range. I am worried about the grassy taste, and that was once of things I was wondering about, so thanks for mentioning it.
    – wesanyer
    Mar 4, 2012 at 19:45
  • 1
    It'll take some time for 0.3oz to make a grassy flavor. I left 0.5oz in a keg once. The flavor was detectable after a couple of weeks, but took several more weeks to become unpleasantly strong.
    – mdma
    Mar 4, 2012 at 20:13
  • Ended up not getting a hyrdo sample till today. I'm at 1.020 and no grassy flavour. I went ahead and stirred up my yeast cake to give 'em a chance at getting down to that 1.012 range. I'll take another reading tomorrow to see if it's moved any, and if so wait till right at the two week mark to check for grassy off-flavours again. Thanks for the help!
    – wesanyer
    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:14

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