Used socket wrench attachments (like these) to weigh down two dry hop bags. They are a coated steel material, so I thought they would be easy to sanitize. Then after I put them in, I found that one bag didn't have enough weight (after 10 minutes of cramming it into the carboy neck).

Could these affect beer flavor?

2 Answers 2


I'm surprised no one else has said this is a terrible idea.

Those socket attachments are chrome plated. Chrome, especially cheap chrome you are likely to find on your socket set, is not the same as stainless steel! Furthermore, some forms of chrome are really toxic.


Your wort probably has a pH in the 5.5 to 6.0 range. I don't know if that is enough to corrode your chrome plated metal or not because I don't know the details or science of corrosion of chrome plated steel. Will much corrosion occur in a week or two that you dry hop? Probably not. But my cheap chrome tools rust and corrode if I leave them and they get wet so ....

So I would err on the side of caution and remove those sockets from your wort.

If you need to weigh it down for some reason, I'd go for something more inert like clear glass or perhaps a stone.

  • good points, even more valid considering wort has a much lower pH than quoted - typically 4.0-4.5 range, especially with the dissolved co2 from fermentation. If there is any kind of surface imperfection in the plating, the steel underneath will almost certainly start to corrode given a few days contact time.
    – mdma
    Oct 2, 2012 at 0:08
  • They have been in the beer since Thursday, or five days, FYI.
    – Pietro
    Oct 2, 2012 at 15:32
  • 1
    rushed home and pulled them out of the beer, and they don't appear to have corroded. Going to try to rack asasfp and save the beer. Next time I will use marbles. Oh wait, I'm not a 19th century schoolchild and DON'T HAVE MARBLES ON HAND!! (anger not directed @ anyone here, but I have always seen to use marbles to weight down a hop bag and would not even know where I could find such things....maybe the town crier or the shoe cobbler?) Thanks for the heads up! Is this still drinkable or is it toxic!?
    – Pietro
    Oct 2, 2012 at 16:02
  • I removed both hop bags and examined all the chromed pieces. They did not appear to have any degredation/oxidation/corrosion, however, I'm not sure if the female portions of the attachments are coated, so I may have leeched some steel into the beer. I'm not sure if its just front of mind, but I may be tasting some metallic flavors. Going to have the wife try it and see if she likes it or can perceive any metal flavor.
    – Pietro
    Oct 3, 2012 at 13:47
  • also, I read the following OSHA reg, which seems to essentially say that the toxicity lies more in the FORMATION of hexavalent chromium as opposed to the compound itself. I still don't want it in my beer obviously, but trying to make sense of whether this stuff is safe to drink. osha.gov/SLTC/hexavalentchromium/index.html
    – Pietro
    Oct 3, 2012 at 14:10

If they're SS and you sanitized then you should be fine.

FWIW, I've never weighted a hop bag in hundreds of batches dry hopped and I've never felt that I would gain anything by doing it.

  • It is the first time I've done it, and I'm not sure why I decided to on this batch. I'm going to check out that episode of Brewstrong where they talk about dry hopping. Not sure whether its worthwhile or not..
    – Pietro
    Sep 28, 2012 at 19:31
  • 1
    Well, you've done it without and now you're trying it with. That's the best way to decide!
    – Denny Conn
    Sep 28, 2012 at 20:21
  • Given the PITA it was (and will be when I keg/bottle!), I likely will NOT be weighting a dry hop bag again!!
    – Pietro
    Sep 28, 2012 at 20:42
  • 1
    It's not SS, but plated steel. They will easily corrode in the wort given days of exposure. This is a very bad idea. It's better to use something inert like glass marbles, or simply not bother.
    – mdma
    Oct 1, 2012 at 23:58
  • Good catch! I missed that.
    – Denny Conn
    Oct 2, 2012 at 18:00

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