From the HBD Archive
From: Jeff Miller <>
Subject: hop pellets and lauter tun/hop backs
Date: 1989-03-30 13:03:18 GMT

First off I liked Jim Conroy's response to Jackie Browns questions and
I also think that Jackie's brew will be fine. If you don't trust it
I'll be glad to try it for you!

Now I would like to stir things up a bit. I have used whole and pellet
hops before but never any of the liquid stuff. My questions to the net
in general is what kind of success they are having with different types
of hop products.

I used to be a hop snob that would require the use of whole hops. The
problems that I encountered with this attitude resulted in less choice,
more incidences of less then fresh hops, and a real pain in the neck in
getting the hops out. I have used both hop bags as well as one disasterous
affair of using my Zapap lauter tun as a hop back with whole hops. I
like the idea that filtering through a hop bed removes proteins that
could contribute to chill haze but I guess I haven't found the correct
hop back mechanism to justify the time I would put in trying to remove the

Of late I really have started to like using pellets. My local brew shops
offer better selections in pellets and I haven't had as many problems with
stale hops. The hop bags I used for leaf hops work GREAT for pellet hops.
The hop bag (6"x8" with a drawstring) gets keeps most of the hops in the
bag so filtering isn't needed. The bag also cleans out nice because once
you remove the wort from the bag the hops cling together and come out nicely.
When doing this with whole hops its a real mess.

Now for lauter tun/hop back systems. I like my zapap lauter tun but I think
if I had to do it again I would look at some of the other things that are
showing up in my brew supply stores. Namely there is a great spargeing bag
available that fits nicely into one of those food grade buckets, has very fine
mesh on the side and a little coarser weave on the bottom. For the few bucks it
sure would be nicer then drilling wholes and it would probably clean up a
whole lot easier. If anyone has one of these things maybe they would like
to comment so those interrested in getting a lauter tun/hop back could get
a better idea of their options.

I have also used different bagging techniques during the cooking. I really
like hop bags but the small size I have makes leaf hops harder to handle.
I also like to have at least two around so that I can add extra hops easier
then pulling the hot thing out of the wort just to burn my hands opening it.
I have tried other home made bags that required tying (works ok but the
karma just isn't right) to having my wife buy me some special brew nylons.
I only tried the nylons for grain and it worked fine for small amounts.
I think I'll have to try them with hops to see how they work. If you use
nylons get BIG ones. You may even want to try and strech them before using

Sparging through a huge funnel has always been my least favorite method.
I have a nylon bag that fits in the funnel and I can poor through it right
into the fermenter. It is a hassle because sometimes the hot wort going in
gets thown back out. This can be remedied by expecting it to happen at first
and then once the flow gets going the poor goes much easier. Of course
when the filter gets plugged up its a real hassle and you also have to hold
the hot wort during the poor for a much longer time then just pooring into
a bucket.

Just my two cents....

Jeff Miller (

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