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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Dry Hopping & Sanitation
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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I may print that out and frame it!

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Old 08-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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By the time you dry-hop, beer is fairly infection-proof. It's 4-10% alcohol, hoppy, slightly acidic and relatively devoid of anything edible.
Not trying to argue, but the only infection I ever had was when adding a cinammon stick to a pumpkin ale after it had finished fermenting and the yeast had dropped. Large white sheets of what appeared to be a lacto infection appeared a few days later. So while it may be less common, I don't think its safe to assume the beer is protected from injection just because alcohol is present. If that were true, santizing racking equipment/vessels would also be of little importance.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #13
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I said it was fairly infection-proof, not absolutely infection-proof. I've had a few batches that have brought the difference into focus for me and for the plants I watered with those batches. If your beer was done fermenting, it probably wasn't lacto; most lacto wouldn't be able to survive in that amount of alcohol or find much to eat. Molds, brett and wild yeasts are more likely culprits, as they are generally hop, acid and alcohol-tolerant and good at eating saccharomyces' leftovers. I'd feel comfortable putting packaged foods straight into secondary; with fresh hops or fruits, I would pasteurize or vodka-ize to be safe.

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. I was pretty sure the hops were not the cause of my infection/wild yeast issue. I just drank some of that beer and its pretty sour but still kind of drinkable. It looked like the hops were still floating but it turned muddy looking. I'm still looking for a thread that accurately describes infections and lacto. I've heard from some that lacto won't take until alcohol is present and the opposite from others. In the meantime I've got a decent wit bier and red ale carbonating in bottles. If those recipes turn out well maybe I'll post them. I'll be dry hopping another IPA in a week with an ounce of citra. Gonna try a four day dry hop. Should I increase the amount or add another hop variety?

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:46 PM   #15
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I have a pale ale that is on day 7 of dry hopping with a mix of Willamette and Cascade that I taste tested last night and was really disappointed to taste a hint of sour whereas before I added the dry hops it was great no hint of off flavors. This is the second time I have tried adding the dry hops before the completion of fermentation at 1020ish on a 1010-1009 fg beer in the primary, the theory being some of the low level churning action of the end stages of fermentation will help with flavor extraction from the hops and the co2 release from the finish of fermentation will ward off oxidation. The first beer I tried this pre-completion dry hopping technique on came out great. This one though has developed sourness and my gut feeling is that it has something to do with the addition of the dry hops, at least it coincides with the dry hop addition. A small amount of the dry hops were from last years harvest of my own home grown Cascade hops so maybe that factors in although I don't know why home grown hops would be "dirtier" than commercially grown hops. Right now I am starting to consider what a previous poster said about wild yeasts and bacteria growing on plants/fruit/hops/etc. Nonetheless I am so bummed that this is occurring with my pale ale right now. It's either the dry hops or some other coincidence of events. BTW I work in the medical field and I am a fanatic about cleanliness and sanitation. Just my .02 but I am thinking that wild yeasts and bacteria growing on hops could possibly infect your beer, especially if added before fermentation is complete. I wish I had the huevos or the luck to add stuff to my beer right off the vine with dirty hands and not get an infection. Sounds like most interesting man in the world type stuff.

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #16
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I suppose if you want to be absolutely sure you can soak in vodka..
I can't imagine doing this. Would you dump the whole swollen mass, including the vodka into the wort?
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #17
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I can't imagine doing this. Would you dump the whole swollen mass, including the vodka into the wort?
Hell yes! Where's your sense of adventure?
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:27 PM   #18
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Who wouldn't buy a bottle of Absolut Humulus?

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #19
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I wish I had the huevos or the luck to add stuff to my beer right off the vine with dirty hands and not get an infection. Sounds like most interesting man in the world type stuff.
I dry hop in the keg and often times do this in my fridge. The reduced temp is also helping prevent spoilage on my beer, but it does reduce the extraction of those wonderful aroma compounds.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #20
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Who wouldn't buy a bottle of Absolut Humulus?
Never been a fan of Absolut, but a hop infused vodka? Now ya got me thinkin'! Hmmmmmmm.....
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