Ways of eliminating oxygen contact when dry hopping

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FirebladeAdam

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I know, sorry. It's all been discussed before! I remember seeing recently a fabulous contraption with some magnets designed to drop the hops into the fermenter. Awesome!
I dry hopped today, (my golden ale swap beer) and thought 'if I just put a bit of sucrose in there, it would create enough co2 to purge out the o2'. I didn't, but might next time, just to see if it improves things.
Has anyone tried this before?
 

nickjdavis

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The effect of opening your FV lid for the few seconds it takes to lob a handful of dry hops into your beer is not going to cause oxidation. Exposure will be utterly minimal unless you are dropping the hops in from 20ft with a house brick attached to the bag (assuming they are not going in loose).

Seriously...don't overcomplicate your process to try to alleviate an issue that in all likelihood you do not have.
 

Session

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I ferment in a keg, mainly as I want to minimise exposure to oxygen following fermentation and during packaging. I have two methods I currently use. One is more faff but gives more control of the dry-hopping process, but the jury’s still out as to whether it’s worth the extra effort!

1. The easy one!
Once you have pitched your yeast, make up your dry hop charge by placing a sanitised stir-bar inside a sanitised hop bag. Place this on the inside of your fermentation bucket/keg/lunchbox lid, and secure it by putting a neodymium magnet on the other side of the lid. It should stay there quite happily depending on the strength of your magnet and weight of your dry hops until you want to drop it in your beer. To do so, simply remove the magnet from the outside of the lid, and you hops - which have been happily purged of oxygen due to the CO2 off gassing created through fermentation - will fall into your beer. Simple!

2. More cleaning, but more control.
If I am not serving directly from my fermenting keg, I will add a stainless steel hop tube with my dry hop charge directly into an empty keg. Once I have pinched my yeast into the fermentation keg, I attach a tube from the gas out of my fermentation keg to the beer in of my empty keg, and a further tube from the gas out of the empty ‘dry hop’ keg into my serving keg, connecting a blow-off tube or spunding valve to the final keg. I let the CO2 from the fermenting keg purge the ‘dry hop’ keg as well as the serving keg. When I am ready to dry hop, I rack the beer from the fermenting keg into the dry hop keg. After three days or so I will then rack from the dry hop keg into the serving keg.

My thoughts on this process are… mixed. I like the sense of control it gives me, but am yet to find any perceived benefit in the finished beer, and it’s a lot more work and an extra keg to clean. I don’t notice any grassy off-flavours when serving off a keg with dry hops in, even when left for up to six weeks.

Anyway - two methods which work well for reducing oxygen exposure whilst dry hopping. Hope they help.
 

FirebladeAdam

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I know, and I agree really. But that is the great thing about brewing, you don't know if it's better or not until you try. I haven't ever had any I'll effects from dry hopping, although I can't know that to the full extent until I've tried all other things I can think of.
If that makes sense!
 

Buffers brewery

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fabulous contraption with some magnets designed to drop the hops into the fermenter
33D210C1-683A-424A-99BC-511691CA0042.jpeg

…you mean this “fabulous contraption” :laugh8:
 

FirebladeAdam

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@Session I like option 1! I might try that next time around. I've often thought of plastic welding or silicone an upside down smaller bucket on the lid, then having the airlock at the top, so that the airlock doesn't get clogged with froth and the hops stay dry until they're dropped.
 

Session

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@FirebladeAdam it works very well. One issue is had when I first started experimenting with the technique is that the magnet I was using was not strong enough, and my hip bag got knocked off too easily. I have since increased the strength of the magnet I use and it’s been great. No accidental dry hopping since!
 

Buffers brewery

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My first attempt was with a bag with 4 magnets.....post #70 I think...


...but I found with a large dry hop the bag drooped and dipped in to the brew forming a hop brick before I released it. Now working on a 100 gram 3D printed hopper so 2 will fit under the lid to allow an early and late dry hop.
 
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FirebladeAdam

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I read this in the voice of the British police officer from Allo Allo.
I've had the same thought, does a smaller hop bag still allow the dry hop to be as effective?
 

tigertim

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Is a hop tea a 100% alternative to dry hopping? For my next dry-hopped brew, I was contemplating making a hop tea, transferring it to a sanitised PET bottle, purging with CO2 through a carbonation cap, and then transferring to the FV via pipe (either by squeezing the PET bottle, or giving it sufficient CO2 pressure that it will transfer by itself). Or would there be sufficient dissolved oxygen in the hop tea that it would pose its own oxidation risk?

I'm sure at my level of brewing expertise it's all totally irrelevant, even though somebody like James at Verdant could probably sniff an oxygen molecule in a beer at 20 paces 🙂
 
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