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Old 09-06-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
Neskin
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Default Dry hopping and then bottling

Hey,

New to the forum here. Just after some advice about dry hopping. I have a Coopers IPA kit in primary currently going through a very active fermentation. I want to try dry hopping this kit for two weeks, I have some cascade pellet hops and a hop bag, But I eventually want to bottle it. I only have my keg that came with the starter kit just wondering if I need to add priming sugar to the secondary and seal the keg or just wait until I bottle it to add the priming sugar?

Sorry if this has been posted before but I couldn't find a straight answer to this question and don't want to ruin this brew.

Thanks,
Adam

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Old 09-06-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
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2 weeks is a long time to leave the dry hops in. 5 to 7 days is plenty, i personally never go more than 5 with 3 or 4 being my average.

you want to add your priming sugar immediately before bottling. if you add it to secondary, the yeast will gobble up the sugar while it's sitting in secondary and there won't be anything left to carbonate your bottles.

finally, you should look into the "secondary vs. primary only" debate. many here, including myself, are of the opinion that secondaries aren't necessary (and in some cases are even harmful). 99% of my beers are primary only. i dry hop in primary.

you twice wrote that you have a "keg" - is it a true keg, made of metal and can hold pressure, or are referring to a plastic bucket?

welcome to HBT, and to the hobby!

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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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I'll echo everything Sweetcell said. Many commercial craft breweries are now saying they get all the good stuff out of a dry hop in only 3 days. And the general consensus is that at two weeks you'll get a lot of cut-grass character.

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Old 09-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neskin View Post
I have a Coopers IPA kit
you may be asking yourself "but the kit says to dry hop for 2 weeks, and to use a secondary, and X and Y"... the fact is that kits don't always have the best instructions. sometimes those instructions haven't been updated in years. sometimes the instructions place emphasis on speed or ease of use, instead of on quality of beer.

so feel free to stick to the instructions, but the HBT hivemind will help you make better beer
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. When I say keg i mean plastic keg that can be pressurised. Its the only thing I have other than my primary fermenter which I just used for mixing the priming sugar and bottling last time.

When you say dry hop during primary - do you mean straight away or when fermentation has stopped? Mine has been in primary for about ten days now.

As to the kits, Im all in favour of throwing out the instructions. I have done a few before and they have came out pretty average. So I decided to try dry hopping this one while I can get some more equipment to start from scratch (partial, not ready for full mash yet) Want to try and make a sierra nevada or Punk IPA type beer first. Any suggestions for a beginner Partial recipe?

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Old 09-06-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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dry-hop after primary has completed and activity has died down. ideally you want some or even most of the yeast to have dropped (flocc'ed) out. hop oils will stick to the yeast and fall out with them, so if you dry hop to early (i.e while the yeast is still active and churning about) they'll pull out some of your hop oils.

if you're doing your primary in the plastic keg, then dry-hop in there too. after 4-5 days, cold-crash the beer: either put it in a fridge if you have one, otherwise put the keg in an ice bath and replace the ice as often as you can. cooling the beer helps yeast and hops drop to the bottom of the fermenter (that will happen naturally but this will speed it up). if you don't have one, i'd encourage you to get an auto-siphon. put a fine-mesh hop bag over the end to act as a filter, this will ensure that you don't such up any stray hop particles that might not have sunk to the bottom yet. boom - you've just racked clear beer to your bottling bucket.

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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
When I say keg i mean plastic keg that can be pressurised. Its the only thing I have other than my primary fermenter which I just used for mixing the priming sugar and bottling last time.
Never heard of this, can you post a picture or link? Most people use a bottling bucket, which is a plastic bucket with a plastic spigot. It usually has a snap-on lid, but it isn't designed to take the kind of pressure a fully carbonated beer has. You put your priming sugar in the (empty) bottling bucket and transfer your finished beer to the bucket, careful to avoid getting too much trub - that's the yeast and other gunk at the bottom of your fermentor. Then use the spigot and (usually) a bottling wand to fill the bottles with beer that has enough sugar to carbonate it in 1-3 weeks. You wouldn't normally leave the beer in the bottling bucket for more than an hour or two.

Dry hopping in primary is done after fermentation has completed. Your instructions probably direct you to remove the beer from the primary fermentor as soon as it's at a stable gravity, which can be as short as a couple of days. I won't get into the reasons they say this, but suffice to say it's old information. Many of us are now practicing a "long primary" technique. This is where you basically don't touch the beer at all for 2-4 weeks after the start of fermentation (I personally use a three week schedule) by which time fermentation is pretty certainly complete. The advantages are that you're not continually opening the fermentor to take gravity readings, exposing your beer to oxygen and possible contamination; the yeast has a chance to clean up certain off-flavors that are produced early in fermentation; the trub settles and compacts more. So working on my three week schedule, I put the dry hops in after the second week, 5-7 days before I'm going to bottle it.
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Stop using so much caramel malt. Your beer will thank you.
(yes, Carapils is a caramel malt...so is Special B)

FERMENTING

BOTTLED
pujwI HIq Mild Ale
KPA Khitomer Pale Ale

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Haha, by keg i mean barrel. Thanks for the advice. So on sunday Im going to add the hops in the hop bag and leave it for 5 - 7 days then bottle.

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Old 09-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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don't forget to add sanitized marbles or some other heavy object to make the hop bag sink. otherwise it'll just float on the surface and the contact with the beer will be minimal.

better yet: throw the hops directly into the beer, without the bag. when it comes time to rack (transfer) the beer to your bottling bucket, put the hop bag over the end of your racking cane/auto-siphone/tube so that it prevents the hops from getting sucked in. if you cold crash, most of the hops will be sitting at the bottom of the barrel anyways. then you just need to rack off the top. see my previous reply for more on the same.

since we're on the subject: how do you get your beer from the barrel into your bottling bucket?

__________________
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
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The last time I was using the barrel as a bottling bucket, so I just used an auto syphon to transfer it across. But as I was considering a secondary stage this time I was going to use the barrel for that as I didn't want to transfer it to that then clean out my fermenter and then transfer it back in to that. But now that I am just adding the hops to primary I will probably just use the barrel to bottle my beer. It sounds like the hops would do better with out the bag so I will try that this time.

How much hops would you recommend, I currently only have 100g cascade but it sounds like that might be too much.

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