Author Topic: Dry Hop question  (Read 13133 times)

Offline sbaker11

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Dry Hop question
« on: October 10, 2012, 07:21:09 PM »
Just wondering when most people dry hop their beers. I'm making a clone right now that says to dry hop after 10 days but it's fermenting pretty strong still. So I figured I'd wait until it's been 2 weeks, re-rack, and dry hop. Any advice or tips? I figured if I dry hopped it while it's still fermenting I would stop the fermentation short which I obviously don't want to do either. Cheers!

Offline WoodlandBrew

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 04:01:12 PM »
Two weeks is a long time for the active fermentation to be going.  Do you mean that you still see significant activity in the air lock, or that the specific gravity is still dropping quickly?  If it is the former, then perhaps the bulk of the fermentation is done and it would be a good time to dry hop.  Sometimes bubbles will continue even after fermentation completes as CO2 escapes from the beer.  Unless it was a really big beer (1.060) or temperature very low (less than 60 degrees or so) then I would bet that the yeast are mostly done making alcohol.
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Offline sbaker11

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 04:06:01 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Yes I meant that there is still quite a bit of activity in the air lock. I've been fermenting it at around 60-64 degrees per the instructions for the clone. The O.G. was 1.056. I'll probably dry hop in the next day or so then.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 07:00:11 AM »
Always check the gravity of a beer nearing the end of fermentation.  Once it has remained unchanged for three days in a row, you can safely assume fermentation is done.... Unless you are using a funky yeast like saison.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 12:43:55 PM »
Personally, since I brew exclusively in glass, I don't mess with gravity readings since I'm paranoid about introducing an infection.  If my brew was in something with a spigot I for sure would test the gravity. However since I've got to dip something into the brew to test it, I don't bother. Like I said, I'm paranoid.

I wait until the yeast settles out and the brew is nice and clear, then rack. If I am going to dry hop, I do it in the secondary.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 01:14:31 PM »
Personally, since I brew exclusively in glass, I don't mess with gravity readings since I'm paranoid about introducing an infection.  If my brew was in something with a spigot I for sure would test the gravity. However since I've got to dip something into the brew to test it, I don't bother. Like I said, I'm paranoid.

I wait until the yeast settles out and the brew is nice and clear, then rack. If I am going to dry hop, I do it in the secondary.

I got paranoid about carboy breakage.  I only use them for specific recipes where I need to see in...or, if I'm going to do a real secondary fermentation for longer than a month. 

Mostly I ferment in buckets with spigots, now.  I can draw off a 50ml sample.  I can get a taste sample, measure SG, Temp, and pH without risk of contamination.  I don't always measure everything, but I always measure SG...at least every 2 days.  It gives me the peace of mind knowing that fermentation is proceeding exactly as expect.  I don't have to rely on airlock activity.  Plus it allows me to move things out of the fermenter a little faster. 

I'm not usually in a rush...but, when I am...its nice to KNOW that fermentation completed on Wednesday, and Friday I can turn off the heat and crash it. 

I replace the buckets about once a year. 
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 02:31:19 PM »
Quote
I got paranoid about carboy breakage.

I've lost two over the years. Luckily they were empty.

Quote
I don't have to rely on airlock activity.

Like I said, I watch it. When the yeast drops out it's ready to rack. My primary is a huge glass carboy that I found in the classifieds. I estimate it to be at least seven gallons. Maybe more. It's big enough that I don't even need a blowoff tube.

Quote
I replace the buckets about once a year. 

Last I checked they were asking twenty bucks for a single bucket! I'm way too cheap for that.
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Offline Wingeezer

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 03:30:11 PM »
I use a 6.5 gal carboy as primary, then a 5gal keg as secondary then finally keg.

Twice, I have tried dry hopping in my 5 gal secondary and had a great mess coming out of the trap! (not a lot of headspace).

I'm not sure if it would have worked better if I had racked into the secondary with the pellets already thrown in.  I did not, I added them to a nearly full carboy.

Anyway last time, I threw the dry hopping pellets right into the primary after maybe two and a half weeks, left them a week or so, then racked to a secondary for a couple of weeks before kegging.

Everything went well,  I use a small hop bag secured around the outlet hose going into the keg to try to eliminate hop residue - but there was none.  Seems it virtually all got left in the primary. 

All hops in this recipe were Amarillo.  the finished beer has a lovely characteristic grapefruit odour and taste so this eems to have worked well and I will likely try this method again.



I have a small harvest (first year) of Zeus hops that i have grown.     I think they are best used for bittering,   but I have no idea of the AA%, so I may give them a try for dry hopping at some point,  directly in a  keg in a hop bag.

If I do, I don't know if I should put them in whole or maybe throw them in a blender before putting in the hop bag?  No idea if it would make much difference either way. 

Brian




Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2012, 09:40:44 PM »

Last I checked they were asking twenty bucks for a single bucket! I'm way too cheap for that.


One word: uline. Less than $10 per bucket with lid.

Back on topic...

i dry hop in bags weighted with marbles. I put them directly in the keg.

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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 03:33:49 PM »
Quote
Twice, I have tried dry hopping in my 5 gal secondary and had a great mess coming out of the trap! (not a lot of headspace).

I've had that happen as well. Now I make sure that there's sufficient head space before adding them.

Quote
i dry hop in bags weighted with marbles.

Being all paranoid about infections, I don't do that. Though if I did I would boil the rig first. I just drop them in and wait for them to settle out. Takes a month or so.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 04:01:09 PM »
Being all paranoid about infections, I don't do that. Though if I did I would boil the rig first. I just drop them in and wait for them to settle out. Takes a month or so.

1.  I sanitize the marbles and the nylon stockings.  I soak them overnight in StarSan. 

2.  You realize, of course, that there is WAAAAY more biological material on the hops than there is on the marbles or bag, right?   If an infection starts, its going to be from the unsanitized hop matter.   Not to make you more paranoid, but....

I have stored dry-hopped IPAs this way for 3 years with no sign of infection.

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Offline philm63

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 04:55:18 PM »
@ tom_hampton

If y'all don't mind me hitchin' a ride here for a moment...

Tom - you say you dry-hop in a marble-weighted bag right in the keg? I want to try this on my next IPA as the one that's about to run out has long lost its initial hop nose - it was merely dry-hopped in the secondary. I mean it still has plenty of bitterness and some decent hops on the nose, but NOTHING like it had the first week in the keg - I want that big hop nose all the way to the bottom!

Are we talking pellets or whole-leaf? Can I do either? Do you just drop the bag in when racking to the keg? Any tips on doing this?
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 07:26:34 PM »
Yep. I buy nylon knee high panty hose. Always get good looks at cvs.

I soak the hose and a handful of marbles in starsan.  Then add hops and tie the top closed and toss in the keg. Do not add hops to carbonated beer. Ask me how I know.

Presurize to seal the lid.

I've done both whole leaf and pellets this way.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 07:28:24 PM by tom_hampton »
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Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline philm63

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 01:41:36 PM »
@ tom_hampton

Excellent tips, thanks. I imagine one could find both items at the local drugstore and I'm sure it'll throw some folks for a loop at the checkout counter.

Say, I dry-hop in the secondary to the tune of about 2 or 3 ounces of pellet-hops in a 5-gallon batch. Knowing that, how much would you recommend for the "panty-hose/marble/pellet-hop" keg addition?
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Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Dry Hop question
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 02:00:44 PM »
What is the advantage of using marbles to weigh down the hops?  I have dry hopped just letting them loose.  They initially sit on top but by the end of a week have dropped to the bottom.  I typically use the point where they have settled on to the trub layer as my queue to pull the beer and bottle.
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