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Old 11-22-2006, 03:21 PM   #1
Bobby_M
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Default Dry Hop Experiment - need guidance

I have a Redhook ESB clone sitting in primary (for 20 days now). I had originally planned to let this batch go for 3 weeks in primary and just bottle it because my only secondary vessel is tied up in the lagering fridge.

However, I just received my second better bottle and thought of trying an experiment. What do you guys think about racking say 4 gallons over to the better bottle and leaving that alone to clear for a week. I'd rack the last gallon or so to a different 2 gallon carboy and add a pinch of hops (and wait the same one week before bottling)

I have three specific questions in addition to any general feedback you might have.

1. Should I be concerned with the 1gallon headspace I'll end up with in both secondary vessels?

2. Will adding pellet hops directly to my secondary cause a hazing issue or will they settle out enough for a bottling session one week later?

3. Assuming 3/4cup or 5oz of priming sugar for the 5 gal batch, I want to confirm my measurements since I don't have an ounce-accurate scale. .75 divided by 5 is .15, but how to I measure that out using typical measureing spoons? It looks like 3/4 cup = 16 TBspns or 48 tspns but none of them are easily divisible by 5. Before I kill myself figuring it out, has anyone already done the work?

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Old 11-23-2006, 06:16 AM   #2
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It looks like 9.5 tsp per gallon is close enough for government work. it actually works out to 9.6 tsp.

FWIW, I had need to figure this out for DME the other day, and found it to be 3 cups (unpacked) per pound.

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Old 11-23-2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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First off, your beer is pretty forgiving and it probably won't matter what you choose to do. I like my IPA, bitters, ESBs, etc. with a little extra hops...so if it were me, I'd rack to secondary and throw in a ounce of pellets for a week before bottling. But I understand your idea to make a comparison, so you could also do that pretty easily. Throwing in a quarter ounce of pellets into your 1 gallon batch seems reasonable. But to answer your questions:
#1. less head space minimizes the contact with oxygen, and certainly less is better. Will this make any difference in what you propose, probably not.
#2. dry hops are usually added for around a week and shouldn't be too much of an issue if you take standard precautions. Try racking with a piece of cheesecloth wrapped around the end of your racking cane. (or if you have one of those auto-siphons, make sure to put the cap on the end of the tube when your rack to your bottling bucket.)
#3. Don't kill yourself getting super accurate with the priming sugar. If you go a little under/over it won't hurt. Now if you grossly overestimate the amount of priming sugar to add...watch out for them bottles!
All in all, relax and enjoy it. Drink a beer in the process and realize that making beer can be rocket science, but it definitely doesn't have to be!

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Old 11-24-2006, 12:39 AM   #4
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According to google, 3.4 US vup = 12 tablespoons. (Type convert 0.75 cups to tablespoons). As was previously said, it doesn't matter if you are a bit over or a bit under.

As far as head space is concerned, when you rack, you will release some CO2. As this is heavier than O2, it will lay on top of the beer and protect it. It may not be perfect, but I doubt you will have any problems.

-a.

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Old 11-24-2006, 01:45 PM   #5
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I've been told the pellets will settle out faster and clear bettter because they will compact on the bottom of the vessel, whereas whole or plugs will have the pettals floating on top, and the lupid glands near the bottom.
Some say whole/plugs will be bettter for dry hopping because the glands aren't damaged like with pellets, but that starts gettting into a diffrent discussion there.

If you have a CO2 bottle you could release some co2 into the bottle before and/or afftter racking into the larger carboy, rack into three 2 gallon carboys, or not worry about it. A week in secondary isn't really that long.

And for carbonation you could try the Cooper's Carbonation Drops. I've got a pumpkin ale that gave me a considerable ammount of trub. Quite a bit under 5 gallons for each batch, probably less than 5 gallons of beer from a 10 gallon batch. So I'm thinking it will be far easier to figure out how many drops to add then trying to measure out the beer without oxidizing and then measuring the sugar. Altho I could probably borrow a non-brewing friend's scale.

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