The Brew Bag vs Paint Strainer and Muslin Bags.

About every fourth person I speak with asks why the The Brew Bag is better than a paint straining bag, or why not just get the two pack nylon bag from their local home brew store, or why not just use a muslin bag, "that's what the steeping brew kits come with". So here's the straight up on bag material and why Voile is the best. 

Paint strainer bags are made of nylon and have a thread count of 45. Thread count is measured in a square inch both vertically and horizontally. Paint strainer bags have 9 threads vertical and 5 threads horizontal, so 45 TPI (threads per inch).  A paint straining bag is designed to remove chuncks of dried paint, or drywall paper that gets stuck to the roller, or if spraying, anything else that would otherwise impede the operation of the paint sprayer. Using a 5 mega pixel camera you can see in the photo below the thread count will allow grain and hop bits through the material. It will work, but it won't work as well. Granted the trub will settle out of the wort anyway, but why allow it in the wort at all? You can also see the tear in the fabric I made by simply pulling at opposite sides. 


Muslin bags are typically what is supplied with "partial" grain extract kits. They work for that intended purpose, and they are considered disposable as they stretch, not only when used, (making the gaps in the thread bigger) but even after a washing as well. Muslin provides even less filtering capability than a nylon bag. And, yes, you can tear one apart very easily. 

Depending on the country of origin and manufacturer, Voile has a TPI count of between 85 and 95. it is made of polyester, does not stretch, and is very strong. Due to the construction method and material used, a grown man can not tear it.  We don't know how many brew sessions a voile bag will produce, but we've used ours over 50 sessions. At that rate a good voile bag costs $.71 per use. Paint strainer bags cost $6.50 for two five gallon bucket sized bags..and they will break down. If you have kettle bigger than the paint strainer, you're out of luck. Nylon bags come in various sizes and range in price from $14.00 to $2.99...and they will lose their thread alignment and burst at the seam under pressure. 

There is another bag maker who instructs on his web site to not squeeze the bag as it puts undue pressure on the seams - which may cause a rupture. The Brew Bag ENCOURAGES squeezing of the bag - we know it will not rupture! Now compare the three images in this article and you'll see why The Brew Bag is as much a part of your brewing equipment as your kettle and why you should seek out Voile for your choice of material. 

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  • The Brew Bag on

    Troy – Glad that you’re using paint strainers successfully to make wine from fruit. Our customers purchase our bags because they can use them 150 times or more. The bags can lift 200 pounds of grain and have handles to hang for draining.

    We went to Home Depot and bought the strainer that was closest to the micron rating of our bags. They were easily torn, something that can not be done with our bags.

  • Troy Yarbrough on

    Did you purposely go out and find the cheapest made paint strainer bag you could just to prove how much better your brand of brew bag is? I have used paint strainer bags many times making everything from banana wine to strawberry wine. Never had a problem.

  • Michael J Lehn on

    The only disadvantage I see with the paint strainer is that you have to stretch it quite a ways to get it to fit over a typical brew pot. I get mine (5 gallons) for 3 for $3 at Menards.

  • Loren on

    I have never seen a paint straining bag as coarse as the one in the picture at top. Where on earth did that come from?

  • JAck TYrrell on

    Looks like a great material to me better than what we can get from our home brew supplies I’d ssay thanks for the info cheers

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