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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through November 09, 2004 * How much water absorbed by hops? < Previous Next >

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Jonathan Koehler
New Member
Username: Santium

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 01:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Something occurred to me today as I brewed a Dubbel - quite a bit of wort is absorbed by the pellet hops I use. After I drain from the kettle to carboys and clean up, the hop bags are bulging with saturated hops. It seems like a significant amount of liquid.

So my question is: Is this absorption a predictable rate (like grain absorbtion) or not worth worrying about. Just curious if anyone else has thought about it. Thanks,
Jonathan
 

Jeffery Swearengin
Advanced Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 513
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 04:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ProMash® allows for this in the Water Needed section of the brewing session. It can be added as a V-percentage under Kettle Deadspace and/or Left In Hop Back. I use a percentage range of approx. .125-.175/5USG for pellets & .275-.375/5USG for whole leaf. Of course, this is always going to be variable upon the quantity of hops used e.g. of course IPA's are going to be more "wort absorbtion" monsters than Ordinary Bitters.

(Message edited by beertracker on October 31, 2004)
CHEERS! Beertracker

"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." ~ Saint Arnold of Metz (580-640) - Patron Saint of Brewers

 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 267
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For fresh whole hops, I just conducted a new non-scientific experiment. 1 ounce of whole hops fresh from a brand new package absorbed 9-10 ounces of water (as determined by pre and post weight). I don't think pellets should differ by much, since they are processed dried hops. The perceived losses may differ, though, since more of the pellet hops will end up in your fermenter (depending on how you transport wort from kettle to fermenter). What I have been unable to determine is whether the liquid absorbed is simply water or wort with all sugars. For highly hopped brews, this will factor significantly in efficiency calculations and/or in how much raw wort you need to collect for a final volume.
 

Jonathan Henderson
Member
Username: Henderson1966

Post Number: 141
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 01:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is all very interesting. Since my order of fresh whole hops from the northwest arrived, my mash yield to the BK has dropped. Before this I mainly used pellet hops. My last few brews were hop monsters (DC's Rye IPA and another IPA) and I thought the drop in yield was the result of the propane being too high and boiling off too much, but this hop absorbtion idea makes more sense.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 976
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 02:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is no doubt that whole hops absorb more liquid, although I have never seen or calculated the precise amount.
 

robert rulmyr
Intermediate Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 389
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 06:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I squeeze my bags of pellets after the boil. Works for me.
 

Adam W
Intermediate Member
Username: Adam_w

Post Number: 326
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, November 01, 2004 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Answering J. Steinhauer's question....

Since the sugars in wort are soluble (of course) and composed of small molecules, the hops wil absorb wort (with all the soluble constituents), not just water.
 

Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 531
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On the last couple batches, I've tried something different. As the kettle is draining, when the outlet begins to suck air, I pump in maybe a half gallon of hot water (180F) and sort of rinse/sparge the hop pile. This seems to kind of cancel out the "kettle deadspace" loss. I wind up getting a small amount more wort and lose maybe a point of gravity on the batch, if that.

(Message edited by DaveW on November 02, 2004)
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 268
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 03:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Adam, have you determined that experimentally?

Assuming cell walls are still intact, they are not necessarily permeable to all molecules. In live plants, sugars (and some electrolytes) need to be transported across membranes. I don't know the answer to that regarding cell walls. Maltose is small. Maybe it passes right through. Certainly there must be some dextrins, though, that can't cross the walls. So maybe you can assume you lose more fermentable sugars than nonfermentable sugars?

It's easy enough to test, I suppose, in an extract wort with a lot of hop flowers.
 

bilge rat
Member
Username: Bilgerat

Post Number: 123
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 04:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

we call this the "soppage factor""
 

Adam W
Intermediate Member
Username: Adam_w

Post Number: 327
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 06:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Assuming the cell walls are still intact"

In the cause of processed pellets hops this is obviously an ill advised assumption. In the case of whole hops that have been dried and boiled this is also doubtful. Lastly, the cell wall of plants is impermeable to water (hence their rigidity), so it is a moot point anyway.

To answer the first question...

Yes, I have determined it experimentally. I have measured the SG of clear wort and wort obtained by squeezing/wringing a hop bag (post boil, same batch) and the gravity was the same.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 269
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 08:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How does the water get into the cells then? And how does it come out when the plants dry?

And are pellet hops pulverized to the subcellular level?
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3767
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Will you guys keep quiet? If Fredrik sees this, we're gonna get more charts...;)
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

davidw
Advanced Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 717
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hell, Denny, wait till he gets a hold of your decoction experiment data!


Heh!
Drink beer, damn it!!!