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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Advice on Secondary Fermentation & Dry Hopping
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:34 PM   #1
Mooseman
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Default Advice on Secondary Fermentation & Dry Hopping

This looks like a great site, got a novice level question:

I'm fairly new to this activity, I've made about eight batches of relatively decent ales and stouts over the past 5 years. When buying supplies for a batch of Pale Ale the other day the idea of dry hopping some leftover hops came up.

I took a verbal beat down from the store clerk because I wasn't familiar with secondary fermentation and when exactly to add the extra hops, and how.

I've heard/found that dry hopping can be done at the time you add the yeast. I've also been told that you must do secondary fermenting to dry hop....

I'd be very interested in input on basic techniques for secondary fermentation and also any do's and don't when dry hopping. Can dry hopping be done without secondary fermenting? Pros and Cons, etc.

Thank you in advance for your time and information,

Mooseman

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:15 AM   #2
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Dry hopping can be done in the secondary (it is where I think most people do it). Hops are typically free of bacteria, but putting them into beer that has already fermented, and therefore contains alcohol, provides an extra layer of protection.

The only downside is that you want to make sure they stay out of your finished beer by moving your beer carefully to your bottling bucket or keg. Some people will put a sanitized nylon stocking over their racking cane to act as a hop filter. Very helpful if you are using pellet hops.

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Old 01-21-2008, 09:45 PM   #3
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1. its 'secondary' not 'secondary fermentation' fermentation needs to finish in Primary before you ever rack it.

2. dry hopping in secondary is a good approach. I've not done it myself, but you just need to sanitize the bag you're putting hops in, and any weights you plan to use (plain glass marbles are popular). the hops themselves are actually a preservative and should not infect the beer with anything.

I usually see people dry hop for a week. also some hops are very 'grassy' when dry hopped, but that will mellow out after a few weeks.

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Old 01-21-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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I love dryhopped beer- so I do it fairly often. You do not want to dryhop when you pitch the yeast. The reason is because the vigorous fermentation will blow off the hops aroma along with the co2 produced. You can dryhop at the END of primary, though. After the fermentation is done (about a week or 10 days), you can add the hops to the fermenter. I usually go a week or so, and then taste it. If it tastes good, then I rack. If it needs a little more, I'll add some more hops. Usually it's good, though! I usually dry hop in the carboy, after I rack from the primary, though. Racking is a bit of a pain as it is, and it seems to me that it would be even more difficult to rack off the trub in the primary, and avoid all the hops junk too.

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Old 01-21-2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseman
I've heard/found that dry hopping can be done at the time you add the yeast.
You do not want to dry hop at the same time you add the yeast. Fermentation will drive off the hop aroma you are trying to achieve by dry hopping. Wait until fermentation is over (after the krausen falls) to add the dry hops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseman
I've also been told that you must do secondary fermenting to dry hop....
Dry hops can be added to the primary fermenter after fermentation is over, or added to the secondary. Either way is OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseman
I'd be very interested in input on basic techniques for secondary fermentation and also any do's and don't when dry hopping. Can dry hopping be done without secondary fermenting? Pros and Cons, etc.
Here is some info on the beer brewing process that contains information on secondaries and dry hopping.

Here is more info on fermentation in particular as well as dry hopping.
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for sharing your information.

It seems that using pelletized hops may not be the way to go for dry hoping...?

Do most brewers use whole hops and bag them in the secondary? It would seem that pellet hops would create more sediment in the secondary.

Beerthoven,

Thanks for the links, I'll study up, I certainly need it. I think I'll just finish up this batch without the dry hopping, and try it on the next batch.

Thanks again,

Mooseman

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Old 01-22-2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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I've used leaf hops and pellet hops about equally. In fact, the pale ale I'm going to dry hop will be a mix of hops types because that's what I was able to find. I don't bag them at all- I just toss them in. Then I use a sanitized mesh bag over my racking cane when I rack. In the keg, though, I have used a hops bag, but in the next one I'll use a big metal "tea ball" for the dryhopping in the keg. That's only because I don't want to clog up my dip tube with pieces of hops.

It seems to me that the pellet hops disintegrate into sludge anyway, and the leaf hops seem to absorb quite a bit of beer. So, it's a toss up to me.

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Old 01-22-2008, 09:21 PM   #8
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I use pellet hops for dry hopping very often, and it's not that big of a deal. Just be a little more careful with your racking cane when the time comes.


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Old 04-07-2008, 02:04 PM   #9
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I've just used the tea nall I bought from Northern Brewer. Seems like it doens't seal properly. I've got a ton of hop sludge in the keg. (I put the ball in the keg, not secondary). Not sure what to do with it now.

Should I just take the ball out after the 2 weeks of dry hopping time and get sludge for the first 5 pints or so, or

rack out of this keg into another? I would have to use a racking cane, pressureized transfer would move the sludge too. I dont have a cut out diptube.

Thanks,

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Old 10-14-2009, 12:37 AM   #10
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I'll be dry hopping with whatever I can get my hands on tomorrow into the secondary. And since I have a spare carboy i'll transfer off the spent hops in about a week

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