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half_whit 01-22-2013 04:45 PM

Adventures in Dry Hopping
 
So last night I had my first ever experience with dry hopping. The method that made the most sense to me was this:
boil a grain bag, some glass marbles (i had those flattened marbles that come with board games), and some string to sterilize. add hops and marbles to bag, tie with string and leave the end of the string hanging out of the carboy when you re-plug. In my head, this made total sense. The hops are suspended mid-brew, and the bag should be easy to remove.

And there I am, giggling like a five year old, trying to stuff this bag full of hops (leaf...wayyyy too fluffy) and marbles through the inch-inch and a half mouth of the carboy with my thumbs. I'll avoid comparing this to any inappropriate acts here in the thread...but seriously! Do the comparison in your head and see if you don't giggle too. Or at least blush.

After I finally got all of the contents inside, I plugged and put the carboy away again. Then it hit me..... how the FUDGE am I getting that bag out.

So while I muddle that one over, I'm curious about other people's methods for dry hopping. What do you find works best?

kblankenship11 01-22-2013 04:55 PM

I shove a muslin bag in star-san and let it soak for a bit. Take it out, fill it with desired pellet hops, tie a knot and cut the slack off. Once I rack the beer out of that carboy to keg or bottling bucket I tip it over and can usually snatch it with my fingers. I'm sure there's a million ways people do it...

I have one of those things for loose-leaf tea but it doesnt fit in the neck of my glass carboy, but I use that in my plastic buckets when I dry-hop.

kblankenship11 01-22-2013 04:57 PM

Leaf hops are going to be interesting to get out once they absorb beer... Maybe you'll have to cut the bag with a knife and shake some out the neck before it pulls out.

ETCS 01-22-2013 05:02 PM

I did kind of the same thing. Glass carboy + whole leaf hops + no cheese cloth = Clogged auto shiphon = big F'n mess. Wound up having to POUR the beer out of the carboy into a funnel lined with more cheese cloth.

Now, I dry hop in a keg. Much easier that way. Another option is to use pellet hops in the same fashion that you used the whole leaf hops.

Weizenheimer 01-22-2013 05:05 PM

Next time just toss in the hops no bag. But do use a sanitized hop bad tied over the end of your racking cane when you siphon. Same effect in the end without the trouble.

Chippo 01-22-2013 05:13 PM

I'm subscribing to this thread also...Newb here and the last batch I did was 2 ozs of pellets in a bag that I had to jam into the throat which took bout 10 minutes. After kegging and during clean up I spent 1 hour pulling the bag up thru the neck and had to used a closed end 1/2" wrench to dig out the hops from the bag I used...not a happy camper. The previous time to the above, I dry hopped loose in secondary and used the old lady's nylon knee high over the racking cane and had the cane clog up and not want to siphon. I give up on the nlyon over the cane and left quite a bit of brew in the secondary.
There's got to be a better way.........

Jon73 01-22-2013 05:18 PM

I had to tape a drywall screw to a dowel so I could screw it into the bag to get enough grab to yank the bag out an inch at a time, remove the hop debris, tug again, remove, etc etc etc. Never again. Buckets or dry hop in the keg from now on.

mjmalay 01-22-2013 05:27 PM

I wonder if a tea infuser would work for this? Seems like you could get one that would fit the diameter of the carboy and keep the hops contained. Might not be the best for getting the most flavor out of the hops but would save on the mess of not at least bagging the hops and the hassle of the bag not being small enough to fish it out. Just a thought!

half_whit 01-27-2013 04:02 PM

Oh god. The horror. THE HORROR!
Bottled that brew last night. Afterwords it took me a good 20-30 minutes to fish out resin-y leaves and marbles, spoonful by finger-full. It was hell. On the up-side, my fingers smell awesome and the time sacrifice was worth not getting all that crud clogging up my siphon. I guess as long as it ends up tasting good, I'll call that a win.

Horseballs 01-27-2013 06:26 PM

I just drop pellets into the carboy without a bag, rack the beer on top for four or five days and then cold crash for three or four days. The pellet gunk drops to the bottom and I can just rack cleanly off the sediment and get a clear beer. Cleanup is just a matter of spraying out the gunk at the end like usual.


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