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Old 09-14-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
IndyPABrewGuy
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Default Dry Hopping Questions

I'm planning on brewing an IIPA this weekend. The hop bill as of now is friggin' crazy, and definately needs cut back (176 IBUs, even for me, that's a bit ridiculous), but that's not the issue. Here's the plan so far

2 oz Chinook 60 min
1 oz Simcoe 40 min
1 oz Amarillo 40 minutes
1 oz Chinook 20 min
1 oz Cascade 20 min
1oz Chinook 10 min
1 oz Cascade 10 min
1 oz Chinook 0 min
1 oz Cascade 0 min

Above all pellet

Then I"m planning on dry hopping with 1 oz each (whole) of Amarillo, Cascade, and Chinook for probably 4 to 6 days. This is where I'm unsure of a few things.

1) Since this is a big beer (OG ~ 1.080), it will do it justice to let it in secondary for 4 to 6 weeks, potentially even longer (any thoughts appreciated). So when do I dry hop? Do I A) Dry hop at the beginning, then remove the hop bag and THEN let it sit, B) Dry hop for the last 6 days, or C) Stagger my additions (Amarillo for the first week, add Chinook in the 3rd week, add Cascade in the 5th week, bottle when it hits 6 weeks)?

2) As for "technique" in dry hopping, is it better to use a hop bag, or not? Intuition tells me that if the leaf hops are put into the vessel free then there will be more contact with the beer, therefore allowing more oils to be taken up by the brew. I know that the hop bag will probably be easier to remove (tied to a string as I saw in an earlier post) if I were to dry hop early, but is it worth it to sacrafice flavor?

I thank you all for your advice in advance. This is my first venture into dry hopping, and its been a long time coming. I"ve been pumped to do this for a while.

Oh, and has anyone used a hopback while transferring? I'm thinking about making one and was looking for some thoughts on whether or not its worth it if I'm planning on dry hopping.

Cheers,

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Old 09-14-2007, 12:42 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with 176 IBU's if you ask me, but then again I'm a hophead.

As for dry hopping I can't speak to using whole leaf. I've only used pellets. I don't use a bag of any kind when I dry hop. I've found that if they sit for 7 days or so they'll all settle out to the bottom if you shake the carboy slightly once a day, then I just rack right off the top of the hop cake.

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Old 09-14-2007, 01:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus
Nothing wrong with 176 IBU's if you ask me, but then again I'm a hophead.

As for dry hopping I can't speak to using whole leaf. I've only used pellets. I don't use a bag of any kind when I dry hop. I've found that if they sit for 7 days or so they'll all settle out to the bottom if you shake the carboy slightly once a day, then I just rack right off the top of the hop cake.
So you honestly think that 176'll be fine? Is there a commercial beer that's that hopped that I may have tried, or even something close that I can get a better idea of how "hoppy" that'll be. I think the highest IBU I've had (off the top of my head) was around 115 or so. I really don't know.

As for dry hopping with pellet hops, is that a better technique? Also, when you "rack off the hop cake after 7 days", this is right after you transfer to secondary? So it looks like this:

Primary, 10 to 14 days
Secondary, 7 days (dry hopped) then rack to another carboy to let clear for a few more weeks.

Thanks,
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyPABrewGuy
So you honestly think that 176'll be fine? Is there a commercial beer that's that hopped that I may have tried, or even something close that I can get a better idea of how "hoppy" that'll be. I think the highest IBU I've had (off the top of my head) was around 115 or so. I really don't know.

As for dry hopping with pellet hops, is that a better technique? Also, when you "rack off the hop cake after 7 days", this is right after you transfer to secondary? So it looks like this:

Primary, 10 to 14 days
Secondary, 7 days (dry hopped) then rack to another carboy to let clear for a few more weeks.

Thanks,
It's all a matter of taste and what you like. I, personally, like beer with a lot of hop bitterness. Be prepared though, because if you leave the IBU's that high you may very well be the only one drinking it - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As for technique, you've got it exactly right. When I dry hop in secondary I leave the hops in for anywhere from 10-14 days, then I rack it again to a tertiary and let it clear for another 2 weeks or so before bottling.

I've only done this about a half dozen times, so I'm sure that someone else will chime in who has much more experience in this area than I do.
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyPABrewGuy
So you honestly think that 176'll be fine? Is there a commercial beer that's that hopped that I may have tried, or even something close that I can get a better idea of how "hoppy" that'll be. I think the highest IBU I've had (off the top of my head) was around 115 or so. I really don't know.

As for dry hopping with pellet hops, is that a better technique? Also, when you "rack off the hop cake after 7 days", this is right after you transfer to secondary? So it looks like this:

Primary, 10 to 14 days
Secondary, 7 days (dry hopped) then rack to another carboy to let clear for a few more weeks.

Thanks,
176 or higher doesn't really matter cause you get to a point where the additional IBUs are not perceptible and IIRC, it's well below that level. From my pov, you can achieve the same basic hop smack with a load less hops.. but it's your recipe.

Personally I pref whole for dry hopping but pellets work just fine if you give the the time. With pellets I pref to bag them to make it easier to remove debris and weight the bag so it stays in the beer. Fwiw, you don't need a tertiary just because you dry hopped.

Another thing to consider is that lots of folks like their IPAs and DIPAs a bit on the fresh/green side....myself included.
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
Fwiw, you don't need a tertiary just because you dry hopped.
Agreed. Tertiary is not a necessity, just something that I've found produced a clearer beer from my experience.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brewt00l
176 or higher doesn't really matter cause you get to a point where the additional IBUs are not perceptible and IIRC, it's well below that level. From my pov, you can achieve the same basic hop smack with a load less hops.. but it's your recipe.

Personally I pref whole for dry hopping but pellets work just fine if you give the the time. With pellets I pref to bag them to make it easier to remove debris and weight the bag so it stays in the beer. Fwiw, you don't need a tertiary just because you dry hopped.

Another thing to consider is that lots of folks like their IPAs and DIPAs a bit on the fresh/green side....myself included.
So where is this "cutoff line"? I was actually planning on cutting back a bit, and if I can get a number to shoot for that'd really help. Plus, them I'm not wasting hops. If I can achieve the same taste by using 4 ounces less, I think that's pretty significant.

I do want to dry hop with whole hops. Do you still use a bag for them and DH for for a weekish?

As for the "fresh/green side", that'll keep the extreme bitterness and hop aroma, well, just that, extreme. the more I let it sit in secondary, the more it will mellow. Am I right on this. So, in essence, I should only leave this in secondary as I would with any other "normal" beer. So 10 to 14 in primary, dry hop for one week, then leave in clearling for 2 weeks, then bottle. And if I want to age some of them, do it in the bottle?

Sounds like a plan.

Thanks to both of you and Cheers,
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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I found this on beertravelers.com:

Quote:
"The maximum IBU level in a beer is somewhat dependent on composition of the beer. A higher alcohol, higher gravity beer can have more IBU than a beer at 5% alcohol. A 5% beer will max out at 120 ppm iso-alpha acids, which corresponds to about 80 IBU. It is physically impossible to have more IBU than that in a 5% beer. As alcohol and unfermented carbohydrate in the beer increases, so does the ability of the beer to carry more IBU. Our hop research expert feels that the claim that some barley wines have over 100 IBU is probably valid."
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #9
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Dry hopping length for me depends on several factors: the form and variety used, the effect I am going for and the overall recipe. Aroma/dry hopping adds "nose" and can change perception of the hoppiness but doesn't effect the actual IBUs.

The cut off depends a lot on the recipe (ABV & unfermented carb content effect the beer's IBU capacity in the first place) but many sources put 100~110 as a practical level where most folks cap out on perception. Course, hop flavor is another thing factor. If you look at a lot of popular ipa recipes you can see the approach to hopping from three points; bitterness, flavor and aroma. Your flavor additions will effect IBUs so the IBU number really isn't the be all end all in your recipe.

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Old 09-14-2007, 02:29 PM   #10
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If you’re dry hopping with whole leaf in a carboy, my experience tells me that it’s going to be a bitch stuffing a hop bag through the neck (and getting it back out again)…especially if you are going to weigh down the bag with some sanitized marbles, to keep the bag from floating the entire time. That’s why when I dry hop, I just do so in a fermenting bucket.

As for timing? I would give the secondary time to clear and then add the dry hops for the last 7days.

Do you happen to keg? If you’re looking for continuous flavor / aroma, dry hopping in the serving keg works pretty darn good.

If not, and I were in you shoes, here’s what I would do:

Rack from primary to secondary and let condition for 3 weeks.
Rack from secondary to a fermenting bucket and add dry hops in a hop bag, with something to weigh it down for 7 days.
Rack to bottling bucket or keg.

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