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Old 02-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default Is 1 gal. headspace in secondary an issue if dryhopping?

I have been fermenting 4 gallons of IIPA in a 6 gallon primary carboy for about 8 days now at a gradual increase of 62-67 F. In another 10 days or so, I wish to transfer this volume to a 5 gallon secondary carboy, but I am worried about oxygenation.

The beer was fermented with a WLP001 starter yet it is still quite cloudy with an active krausen. There is a lot of residual yeast and floaties in this beer, which I don't believe careful racking along with cold crashing will completely quell. I want to be able to see straight through this beer when it's poured and was also considering gelatin in the bottling bucket.

So in summation, I was planning on racking the beer onto 3.5 oz. whole leaf dryhops for 7 days, which will take up some headspace in the secondary. Is this safe?

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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IMO, leave it in primary. Let it sit. When the yeast have dropped out, add the dry hops, 1 day before bottling add gelatin. You'll have an amazingly clear beer.

Dry hops will most likely add haze to your beer, defeating the point of your secondary.

Also, that is a lot of headspace. I did that for a year with no problems. Then I brewed a rye pale ale, got signed up to work on 8 short films in 2 months, didn't get a chance to bottle it. The beer became so oxidized it was completely undrinkable. If you're making 4 gallon batches get a 5 gallon fermenter, with a 3 and a 1 gallon secondary.

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Old 02-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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+1 to harry. You could rack it to secondary but you have to have some way of purging the co2 out. I would just DH in primary.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Is 1 gal. head space in secondary an issue if dry hopping?

Not in my experience... though I rarely use a secondary these days...

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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in my experience it doesn't matter if you are dry hopping or not, you want to reduce the surface area of the beer exposed to air...

I rarely secondary anymore also, but when I did leave some head space on accident the beer did get some oxidation.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrymanback92 View Post
Dry hops will most likely add haze to your beer, defeating the point of your secondary.
I have been getting somewhat clear beers in the primary, but they are always like a 3.75 out of 5.0 in terms of clarity. Even when using a ton of hops, which I always do, hop oil haze is not an issue for my beers. Rather, the issue is a bit of yeast carryover into the bottles despite giving it time and racking carefully. I want to be able to pour a bottle into my glass without having to worry about too much yeast sediment interfering with the beyond crystal clear clarity.

I have not had a problem with headspace in the primary, so I'm not worried about using a 6 gallon primary even to ferment 2.5 gallons of wort. I know it's completely different to compare 4 gallons in a 6 gallon primary to 4 gallons in a 5 gallon secondary. But I figured the slight extra headspace in the secondary this time around would be taken up by the massive dryhop. I'm using about an oz. dryhops per gallon of beer. And I always bottle without fail in about 3.5 to 4 weeks from the original brewdate.

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you would have to have some way of purging the co2 out.
You mean purging more C02 "into" the secondary? There's a thick blanket of C02 atop the beer right now protecting it. C02 is heavier than 02. I figure if I rack carefully onto 3.5 oz. leaf dryhops, there should be little headspace, if any, left in the 5 gallon secondary. Those leaf hops swell up quite a bit.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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Do you keg your beer? If so, a shot of Co2 into the secondary, before racking, will eliminate the oxygen uptake. There are several ways to dry hop, but ideally, I'd recommend going to the secondary even if you don't have access to Co2. Yes, there will be some uptake, but if you rack gently onto the hops, there will likely be some Co2 forced out of solution by the hops and the simple act of racking, and that Co2 should protect the surface of your beer.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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Do you keg your beer? If so, a shot of Co2 into the secondary, before racking, will eliminate the oxygen uptake.
No, I bottle.

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There are several ways to dry hop, but ideally, I'd recommend going to the secondary even if you don't have access to Co2. Yes, there will be some uptake, but it you rack gently onto the hops, there will likely be some Co2 forced out of solution by the hops and the simple act of racking, and that Co2 should protect the surface of your beer.
Thanks for the alternate viewpoint and explanation. Still looking for others to give advice, whether encouraging or not, because I am still on the fence about this myself.

I am fully aware that 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon secondary is a no-no, but I thought in my particular case (4 gallons in a 5 gallon secondary with careful racking and a ton of leaf dryhops) might be acceptable.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
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Yeah we have done it many times with no oxidation issues. I wouldnt recommend it, but ill keep doing it when needed until it gives me a problem.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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Well regardless, if yeast carryover is what you've deemed to be the cause of haze in your glass gelatin will be a highly effective solution.

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