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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Does gelatin reduce dry hop aroma?
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default Does gelatin reduce dry hop aroma?

I did a search for "dry hop gelatin" and most of the posts had to do with people being unsure of the semantics of adding each. There were a couple posts that addressed my question, but some varied responses so I wanted to ask again and see what the latest thoughts are.

Does gelatin's clarifying effects also pull out aroma from dry hopping?

I'm asking because my last two hoppy beers (an APA with 21g Citra, and a IBA with 30g Amarillo/Centennial blend) lost almost all of their dry hop aroma after about 1-2 weeks. I use gelatin in most of my beers, mostly because I'm always running up on a deadline to get the beer in kegs. So with both of these beers the procedure was something like:

-Ferment for 5 days (I use 1968 so it's a quick ferment)
-When fermentation gets within 5-10 points of estimated FG, I added dry hops.
-Dry hopped for about 5 days
-Add gelatin on the 5th day and crash cool for 2 days
-Keg

When these beers went in the keg, they still had a bit of cloud to them - the yeast was gone so it was about as much as you'd expect from a dry hopped beer. But within a week they were crystal clear, and this is about the time I think to myself, "Damn, these beers are losing their hops FAST."

At first I just thought it was the usual decline in hoppiness over time, but I just recently began to wonder if gelatin was partly the culprit.

Has anybody noticed this correlation? Ever done a split batch where you dry hopped both kegs, but only used gelatin in one? Is 1-2 weeks really all I can expect to get from dry hops (when using the relatively small quantities I used in these beers)?

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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Not sure (I’ve only added gelatin once or twice), but it may just be your dry hopping technique. It takes time to extract hop aromatics, 5 days while fermenting (which scrubs out some of those aromatics) won’t give you a big hop aroma. You should also consider adding more hops, I just did 50 g each of Chinook and Citra in a 4% pale ale, tastes about right after one month on the hops. It is odd that you are getting enough hop aroma at first and then it is fading.

You might try keg hopping, wait until the beer ferments out, add the gelatin, crash cool, then add the bagged dry hops to the beer when you keg. Getting the yeast out of suspension before dry hopping also increases contact between the hops and the beer and gives you more aromatic. Or just skip the gelatin and keep doing what you are doing to see if it improves, 1968 has always dropped out for me completely after less than a week after the start of fermentation.

Good luck.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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100g in a pale ale! That's huge! I guess I'm not really a stickler for brewing to style but I feel like APA should have very small dry hop additions, if any at all. For IPAs I'm usually looking at a minimum of 50g.

It's just weird to me that it's some sort of logarithmic curve to dry hopping. I've left dry hops in an IPA for 2 weeks and was really impressed to crack open a bottle six months later and still have a very noticeable dry hop quality. Going off of this, I thought, "well, since I only want a mild bit of dry hop in this APA and IBA, these amounts for a shorter period of time should be fine."

I wonder if there's some sort of hump you have to cross when it comes to dry hop exposure - "after X amount of extraction has occured, you'll get much longer lasting dry hop aroma."

I'm thinking next time I make an APA I'll do a similar process but skip the gelatin and see what happens.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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I had always wanted to do a session ale with the hop profile of a DIPA, so it certainly isn't "to style" just a really light crisp beer with huge additions at flameout and for dry hop. I'm serving it on gravity cask for my birthday party, so it won't last long.

Maybe use the smaller amounts for longer, not sure if you used whole or pellet hops, but whole hops take longer to give up their character. Good luck.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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These are my observations from brewing a fair amount of late hopped pale ales and IPAs.

The amounts of gelatin usually mentioned in threads here are far too large. They will clear the beer very quickly, but they will also strip out a large portion of the aroma.

For my tastes, I have found that 1/8 tsp gelatin mixed with 1 cup of water and added to 40F beer does the job. There will be a small loss of aroma, but not all that much. Any larger amount of gelatin will rip the aroma away.

This is with my brewing techniques and my tastes. YMMV

I have also found that the massive dry hopping and double dry hopping done at room temperature in a Pliny clone will fade after about a week and a half to two weeks. Russian River does suggest that beers like Pliny be consumed young and quickly or the flavor will fade.

I have also found that you will get better hop aroma and flavor if you dry hop in a conditioning vessel off the yeast. In other words, transfer to a second carboy to get the most out of your hops. Again, YMMV.

Dry hopping at lower temperatures takes longer to get the same flavor and aroma, but it does seem to last longer. If you transfer off the yeast and cool condition the beer with dry hops at 40 F, expect to wait about 3 weeks to get the same flavor as 5-7 days at 70F. I have found no flavor fading with this method for up to a month.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Wait a couple extra days before starting to dry hop, and dry hop a couple days longer.

I dry hop my APA with about 28grams of hops(1oz). I dry hop from days 10-17 if I am in a rush, or if I'm not days 21-28. Then I keg an gelatin. I get great hop aroma. I'm thinking your adding your hops too early, and for not enough time.

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:02 PM   #7
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Yeah I just listend to the CYBI Lagunitas Maximus episode and the brewer mentioned how important it is to get the beer off the yeast before dry hopping. I've heard this before and I guess I let it slip out of my mind. I suspect this is definitely my problem.

I'm using gelatin to quickly clear the beer (usually a 1/2 tsp in a cup) of any remaining yeast. But since I use a super flocculant strain I can definitely go without the gelatin if I just be a little more patient. I'm just not a fan of multiple transfers.

Maybe I need to consider dry hopping in the keg, though I don't really want to cut the diptube. Can hop sacks sufficiently contain pellet hops?

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
Yeah I just listend to the CYBI Lagunitas Maximus episode and the brewer mentioned how important it is to get the beer off the yeast before dry hopping. I've heard this before and I guess I let it slip out of my mind. I suspect this is definitely my problem.

I'm using gelatin to quickly clear the beer (usually a 1/2 tsp in a cup) of any remaining yeast. But since I use a super flocculant strain I can definitely go without the gelatin if I just be a little more patient. I'm just not a fan of multiple transfers.

Maybe I need to consider dry hopping in the keg, though I don't really want to cut the diptube. Can hop sacks sufficiently contain pellet hops?
The "thicker" hops bags work great in a keg.

I've never used gelatin or other finings, aside from Whirlfloc in the kettle, so I don't understand why it's used routinely. My beer is perfectly clear, unless I use a strain like German Ale Yeast that takes longer to clear. But I think you're right- a flocculant strain (so4?) will take care of any yeast haze. A hops haze will sometimes be present in really hoppy beers, and chill haze can be prevented. If you're using finings just to reduce yeast haze, then I'd suggest just crash cooling and skipping the gelatin.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #9
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In my experience I get way more aroma if I dry hop clear beer. So if you use a highly flocculating strain, you should not have a problem, but if it is still cloudy at all it seems to lose most of the aroma when it clears in the bottle (keg in your case). I think the yeast (and/or proteins) settling strips a lot of aroma with or without gelatin. So a quick cold crash after fermentation completes and before dry-hopping seems to help me a lot.

I have used gelatin a few times but have never gone over the 1/2tsp in my 5.5gal batches and did not notice a significant change in aroma.

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:31 PM   #10
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Does anybody do this procedure:

-Ferment completely
-Crash cool to clear
-Allow to rise back to room temp
-Dry hop for X days, all in the same container?

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