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Hop leaves in my primary...

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by marcdalke, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. I just brewed an extract kit with specialty grains (hoppy amber). Part of the recipe called for Amarillo hops at 10 minutes and at flameout. The only Amarillo I could get was whole leaf hops.
    Having never used whole leaf hops before, I ran into a bit of a problem. I just threw them into my brewpot whole. When it came time to transfer to my carboy, my strainer quickly became clogged. Needless to say, I wound up with a considerable amount of hop leaves in the carboy.
    My question is this: should I transfer to a secondary as soon as fermentation dies down? I normally do not do secondary fermentation. But I am planning on leaving this for a month or so, so I am concerned about potential effects of leaving that material in contact with the beer for so long.
    Thanks everyone.
  2. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (780) Texas May 21, 2010

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Sometimes when straining you may have to empty the strainer, re-sanitize, then repeat. If some hop material gets into the fermenter it will probably settle with the trub. Any floating leaves you can just NOT siphon into the bottling bucket or keg. A little hop debris never hurt anything anyway.
  3. OK...thanks for the reply. I feel much better now. I was hoping I didn't have to go through the trouble of transferring.
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    If you have a strainer like this one...

    ...you can turn it over, and give that thing on the opposite side of the basket from the handle a good thwack against something to clear out the basket. I use the top edge of a cardboard box, so the stuff falls into the box. No need to re-sanitize.
  5. That is now on my wish list. I have been using a pretty pathetically small strainer, and the assistant brewer (wife) wasn't at home at the time to lend an extra pair of hands.
  6. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Savant (335) Massachusetts Nov 30, 2010

    I just started using my auto-siphon to transfer my wort to my fermentor. Tied a painter's bag (mesh) around the wort end and came out with my clearest beer yet by far. I'll probably continue to do this from now on, though you'll end up leaving a little wasted wort in with the mix of garbage at the bottom of the kettle. The trub supposedly can create off-flavors if it's carried into the fermentor so I'd rather have a little less beer if it's more likely to be of higher quality.

    However you'll be perfectly fine leaving some hops in there. Maybe you'll catch some minor off-flavors, maybe you won't. Not the end of the world either way. Secondary could be helpful here as well.
  7. Excellent tip. Thanks!
    This forum rocks!
  8. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (780) Texas May 21, 2010

    LOL that's the exact one that I have. Works like a champ.

    But if you're a noob and in doubt, sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.
  9. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (290) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    I also rely on a 5 gallon nylon mesh paint strainer bag wrapped around my auto-siphon.

    But for handheld filters, the China Cap & Chinois combo works better than using a cheap Walmart strainer.

    Place the larger China Cap over the smaller mesh of the Chinois and pour. The China Cap will collect the larger items while the Chinois will strain out the smaller particulates.

    You'll have greater capacity with this setup. Plus, the Chinois filtering mesh is very fine; much finer than those $5 medium-mesh sieves.

  10. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Just to make you feel better, have you had the chance to try heady topper? That beer looks terrible from all the hop matter floating in it, yet tastes divine.
  11. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (290) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    This is actually a cause from the haziness of the unique Pearl Malt base, and possibly a small portion of Oat Malt... not the hop debris. The head brewer publically spoke on the topic. But, of course, the unfiltered yeast also has something to do with the cloudiness.
  12. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    I remember a distinct cloudiness to the beer, but I'm speaking of the little green bits that settle to the bottom of a glass. I always assumed it was hop debris.
  13. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (290) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    I never got those, though I do pour carefully. Some HT's you see in pictures are completely chunky with no clarity whatsoever. Others are a murky, yet attractive slightly hazy beer with an orange tinge to it. Mine looked like the latter.
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Who has two thumbs and pours aggressively?
    << this guy.
  15. 1. I have definitely had my share of heady.
    2. And yes, it does make me feel better even if it might not be hop particles! I can pretend.

    If my beer tastes a gagillionth of a percent as good as heady, I'll be a happy (albeit sloppy) homebrewer.
  16. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (290) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    I can help there. PM me with your goals.

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