Ask Mr. Wizard

Soaking Whole Hops

TroubleShooting

Todd Morgan • Olympia, Washington asks,
Q

I am on a quest to maximize the volume of beer I produce with each session, ultimately filling each corny keg to max capacity. As such, I am in the process of defining and marking volume levels in my various brewery vessels (kegs, carboys and boil kettle). I use a recycled commercial keg for the boil, modified with cutoff top, spigot and dip tube. When it came to determining the volume of dead space in the kettle below the dip tube, I ran into a conundrum using whole hops. How do soaking hops factor into this? Do they displace any appreciable volume of wort? My instinct from observing the floating hops is that the effect should be negligible (which would not be true if the hops submerged completely). Do pelletized hops behave any differently?

A
The Wiz lets loose with his opinion on wort loss.
Response by Ashton Lewis.