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Old 05-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
Jumbo82
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Default Dry hopping in conical advice

Right now I have 10 gallons of http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/pliny-bastid-21229/ sitting in my Fermenator. I brewed it 7 days ago and since fermenation has ceased, I'm ready to add the whole leaf hops I purchased from Freshops.

I have never dry hopped in a conical before and am on the fence about whether or not to use a bag. I have a large reusable mesh bag that I could soak in sanitizer and weigh down with marbles. The recipe calls for three hop additions at two week intervals, so if I attach a string to the bag I could empty it out and re-hop with it. Or I could just toss the whole leaf hops in without a bag knowing that they will settle down to the bottom of the conical and not interfere come bottling day.

Since I'll be adding 20+ ounces of hops over the next few weeks, I'm a bit concerned either way. With the bag, I don't like the idea of hauling it out several times (7.5 oz of leaf hops each time) and risking oxidation plus losing a ton of beer. But if I make three hop additions for 2 weeks each without removing the hops, I risk grassy off flavors from prolonged dry hopping. I could make the hop additions at 1 week intervals instead, or just make two hop additions instead of three.

So that's why I'm on the fence. Does anybody else who dry hops in a conical have any advice? This is a big and expensive brew to make, so I'd rather not screw up the dry hopping. Thanks in advance for any feedback.



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Old 05-04-2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Purge with co2 each time and you won't have to worry much about oxidation.

I'd use a bag. Just soak it in sanitizer and let it drip dry for a little while before using.

I don't know why it needs 3 dry hop additions over six weeks. That seems like an expensive ordeal to me.

My buddy and I just made an 18 gallon batch of IPA. We were going to dry hop it, but on brew day we used a hopback with almost 20 oz of various homegrown and storebought hops. It gave it a wonderful, bold, pleasant hop aroma. We decided we didn't need dry hopping.

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Old 05-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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Easiest would be to use a different bag each addition. Now....about getting all that beer out of the hops, I am not sure.

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll use the bag and likely scale it back to two hop additions. Purging with CO2 is a good idea. Whatever beer I lose is the price I pay, I guess. Now I wonder if all these dry hops would have any bittering value in a future brew... i suppose i'm not the first brewer to contemplate this. Off to the 'search' function again! HBT, I think I love you...

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #6
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Personally I would wait to start dryhopping. Pliny is a relativley large beer, it needs a little time. I would wait at least another 2-3 weeks before dryhopping.

As for the complicated dry hop schedule, a lot of breweries do this. In fact, at the Southern California Homebrew Festival over the weekend both Peter Zien (Alesmith) and Mitch Steele (Stone)discussed this topic during their speeches. One reason being that it gives some complexity to the flavor and aroma. Another reason is to mitigate the absence of a hop in case of a shortage. If you can't get one type of hop, you can manage using a small amount of a substitue without affecting the entire character of the beer.

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Old 05-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #7
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Use the bag. That way if you want to harvest, no problems.

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Old 05-05-2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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I like just one bag and hop it all at one time



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