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Old 07-03-2016, 12:59 PM   #1
terrym
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Default A Newbies Guide to Dry Hopping Your Beer

Dry hopping is a process used by homebrewers and commercial brewers to add hop flavours and aroma to a beer, which is usually carried out by putting an amount of hops into the brew usually at the end of the primary fermentation, although there are other methods available e.g. directly into the cask. Dry hopping is distinct from hops usually added in the boil for bittering. It seems to have become more popular in recent years with the advent of American style beers some of which use prodigious amounts of hops in the fermentation process.
Pre hopped liquid malt homebrew beer kits can be greatly improved by a simple dry hop since the process will replace some of the hop profile lost when the kit was originally manufactured, and some premium kits do include hops for dry hopping to address this.
Some hop types are better than others for dry hopping and for late boil additions, although some are dual purpose where they can be used for bittering as well. Clibit's guide on hops http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/sh...777#post483777 and this link http://beerlegends.com/hops-varieties are two of many useful sources of information on hop selection. Typically Goldings and Styrian Goldings are often used to dry hop British style beers, whereas Centennial and Cascade are often used in American beers, although many other hop types are suitable.
Hops usually come as flowers or in pellet form. Pellets are ground up flowers compressed into pellets. Pellets are probably better than flowers for dry hopping since when they are immersed in a liquid they break up and the hop particles present a large surface area to give up their flavour and aroma. Note that hop pellets do not dissolve, they simply break up. And hops are naturally sterile so there is little danger of infection when they are directly put in the brew.
To dry hop a beer:-
- Decide on the hop type or types to be used. There is no rule about what you can add, experiment when you have done a few dry hopped beers.
- Decide the weight of your dry hop, the choice is extremely varied from say 25g to 100g plus for a 23 litre brew. It all depends on the style of beer and your personal taste.
- Dry hop at the end of the primary fermentation when the CO2 bubble rate has dropped to virtually nothing and cannot strip out the volatile hop oils from the brew, which is mainly what the dry hop process adds to the brew.
- Decide whether you are going to chuck the hops in as they are, or use a muslin or nylon bag with or without weights to contain the hops. 'As they are' may mean you have to filter out the hop particles when you bottle or keg, but bags can restrict how the hops give up their flavour and aroma. If you use a bag make sure it it sanitised; boiling before and after use is one way. And bigger bags are better than small bags since they allow the hops to distribute better in the brew. At the beginning of the dry hop period you could also swirl the brew from time to time to move the hop particles around and keep them distributed.
- Decide how long the hops will be in your brew. Four to seven days is usual; less than this and the hops won't have been given the best opportunity to work, too long and you may get unwanted flavours being leached out into the brew.
- Choose where the brew is stored for the dry hopping period. Warmer temperatures will generally be better than colder temperatures. As an example Brew Dog in their DIY recipe book say that 14*C gives the most aromatic hop profile for their Punk IPA.
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Last edited by terrym; 08-03-2016 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Note hops/sterile
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:30 PM   #2
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Nice work!
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Old 14-03-2016, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
At the beginning of the dry hop period you could also swirl the brew from time to time to move the hop particles around and keep them distributed.
I'd worry about potential exposure to oxygen and adding unnecessary risk of infection?

Having said that, without thinking it through I decanted off a pint of cold crashed IPA and dissolved the priming sugar into that by whisking vigorously before chucking it back in the top and that's turned out really good. My thinking at the time was that a pint glass of beer was more likley to be sterile than a bottling bucket. So I guess as long as there's some sugar/yeast still in there to metabolize it then oxidation isn't a huge issue.
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Old 14-03-2016, 11:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
I'd worry about potential exposure to oxygen and adding unnecessary risk of infection?

Having said that, without thinking it through I decanted off a pint of cold crashed IPA and dissolved the priming sugar into that by whisking vigorously before chucking it back in the top and that's turned out really good. My thinking at the time was that a pint glass of beer was more likley to be sterile than a bottling bucket. So I guess as long as there's some sugar/yeast still in there to metabolize it then oxidation isn't a huge issue.
You wouldn't need to open the fv to swirl.

I love what dry hopping does to a beer. Or rather what hops do to a beer when used this way. It's an expensive way of using hops but I tend to dry hop with whatever's left from bittering and flavour additions. I'm planning a 15L mosaic and simcoe rye which will use about 10g of each through the boil and the rest of the 200g total as late and dry additions.
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Old 14-03-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Is using a ball/bag advisable for pellets? I'd be worried that my pellets would just sink to the bottom and sit in the trub for a week! Would there be any benefit to transferring to secondary for dry-hopping?
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Old 14-03-2016, 12:38 PM   #6
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Hehe... Ballbag
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Old 14-03-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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I am also interested in if there is any benefit to using a bag with pellets. I plan to dry hop my current brew 5 days before bottling. I will be siphoning out of the primary into a bottling bucket. Will 5 days be enough for the pellets to sink to the bottom? Also I read people boiling the bag, can you just dunk it in a starsan solution instead?
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Old 14-03-2016, 01:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Notlaw View Post
Is using a ball/bag advisable for pellets? I'd be worried that my pellets would just sink to the bottom and sit in the trub for a week! Would there be any benefit to transferring to secondary for dry-hopping?
I've had my ball/bag sit in the trub for a week. Never again. My pellets were a sloppy mess.
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Old 14-03-2016, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonD_87 View Post
I am also interested in if there is any benefit to using a bag with pellets. I plan to dry hop my current brew 5 days before bottling. I will be siphoning out of the primary into a bottling bucket. Will 5 days be enough for the pellets to sink to the bottom? Also I read people boiling the bag, can you just dunk it in a starsan solution instead?
Yes I just dunk the bag in starsan, no issues. The hop bag that is.
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Old 14-03-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
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Thanks for this, very helpful.

My next brew is going to be an American ale, which I think will benefit from dry-hopping. The problem is I brew in demijohns, so bags aren't really an option. So I'm fine to put the pellets in directly right?
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