From the HBD Archive
From: Mike Fertsch <>
Subject: Hops in Fermenter
Date: 1989-10-20 18:29:00 GMT

Al Hainer reports excessive Hop Sediment in his fermenter -

> I used pelletized hops (5 oz.) and when I racked it, there was a HUGE
> amount of sediment. This was not sediment in the normal sense, it was
> mostly beer with hops floating in it, but it was still too thick to go
> through the siphen. I left a good three inches in the primary.

All primary ferments have varying amounts of sediment on their bottoms. As
the wort initialy cools (prior to fermentation), some trub (proteins, hop
resins, and other crap) fall out of solution. During the fermentation,
some yeast settles out. My experience is that the trub has much larger
volume than the settled yeast. Some experts say that the wort should be
racked off the trub prior to yeast pitching, but I am not yet convinced
that this is necessary.

Three inches of trub/yeast is probably okay, and shouldn't be a cause for
worry. When bottling the beer, be sure not to get any of this material
into the bottles - if you ever tasted this stuff, you would consider giving
up homebrewing!

Contrary to what the hop pellet packages may say, hops should be strained
out prior to fermentation. An easy way is to fill the fermenter through a
mesh bag. Execesive hops in the ferment (especially 4 ounces of Bullions!)
will create a harsh bitter bite in the beer. A stout will probably forgive
you for this, but watch out with those light lagers!

Mike Fertsch

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