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Old 12-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Dry hopping side effect or early timing?

I have a question related to dry hopping and secondary "fermentation". Last month I brewed up a big English style IPA. I started the fermentation on November 21st and it had an original gravity of 1.081. I was using wyeast 1968 and with it's poor attenuation capabilities, the expected final gravity was 1.023. It was rather high, but I though it would be ok to finish sweeter to balance the 75IBU this beer expected to finish with.

After a long and tedious fermentation, I ended up racking to secondary on December 12. At transfer, I visually inspected the beer. The yeast had dropped nicely. The krausen had settled as well. For all intensive purposes, the beer looked pretty quiet. For my sanity's benefit, I took a gravity ready and it ended up at 1.020 which I was very excited about. I took a decision and went along to transfer to secondary. If it was going to attenuate further, it wouldn't attenuate by more than a few more points. So I did the transfer and added the dry hops. After nearly a week in the secondary, this is what I saw in my fermentor.

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l1...nd_krausen.jpg

I just couldn't believe it, a second krausen. I'm not experienced with dry hopping so I was wondering if this is normal behavior when you dry hop? I'm kinda worried that I wasted the hops since with all this activity, a lot of the volatile chemicals would escape. Has anybody seen this before when dry hopping? By most accounts, I've heard the hops are suppose to gently settle down at the bottom after a couple days but I've got half sitting in the bottom and the other half sitting on top in a hop "cake".

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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i've never dry hopped so i don't know if thats normal or not but it looks like fermentation kicked in again for some reason. its posable that the wart stratified on you and you didn't get a complete fermentation and the racking mixed things up and the yeast woke up again.

im sure someone with more experience will give you a better diagnosis.

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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Looks to me like the dry hops may just be assisting in forcing CO2 out of solution. You'll know for sure when you measure the FG. Either way, don't worry. It looks normal, and your IPA should be awesome...

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
looks like fermentation kicked in again for some reason.
That's exactly what it looks like, I totally agree with you. But the gravity readings I had were already beyond the normal attenuation of the yeast I used. I don't even think I got a krausen like this in the primary fermentation.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:59 PM   #5
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just because the SG was below the expected value doesn't mean that fermentation was done. thats why people check multiple times over the course of a week or so. only once 3 readings are exactly the same is fermentation is declared over.

how did you oxygenate your wort? did you shake the yeast during fermentation?

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Old 12-18-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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I oxygenated the wort first by splashing it into the fermentor from the kettle. And then I frothed it good with a spoon for another couple minutes before pitching. I did not shake the yeast during fermentation.

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Old 12-18-2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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I was planning on dry hopping for a week and then bottle. That would put the expected bottling date tomorrow. Should I bottle as planned or should I wait for this krausen to drop? I'm just worried I'll get too much grassy flavor if I leave in with the hops too long.

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithion View Post
I oxygenated the wort first by splashing it into the fermentor from the kettle. And then I frothed it good with a spoon for another couple minutes before pitching. I did not shake the yeast during fermentation.
it sounds like you oxygenated enough. not oxygenating enough can cause a slow fermentation. next time pour the wort back and forth a few times. then shake the primary till your arms get tired, rest, then shake it some more. personally i use a fish take aerator and air stone with an inline air filter for 30 minutes.

shaking every day or so is a good idea. it disturbs the yeast and gets them off the bottom of the fermenter and increases fermentation.


but really all of this is assuming you didn't get a good fermentation. haven't seen any real evidence of that.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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wait till all signs of fermentation are done before bottling. if you bottle and fermentation is still going on some of your bottles will explode. wait a month at least.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
but really all of this is assuming you didn't get a good fermentation. haven't seen any real evidence of that.
Yeah, the yeast brought it down from 1.080 to 1.020. I call that pretty decent.

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wait till all signs of fermentation are done before bottling. if you bottle and fermentation is still going on some of your bottles will explode. wait a month at least.
So it's ok to leave the hops in there that long?
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