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Old 07-05-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Dry-hopping with whole hops...

Over the course of the spring I switched to using whole hops almost exclusively and am happy with the results (after finally figureing out how to deal with and adjust for wort absorption, etc).

But dry-hopping remains a tremendous PITA. I've tried with bags (near impossible to get in, just as hard to get out), no bags (still hard to get in, hard to keep out when siphoning), and haven'ty found a good strategy yet.

Yesterday, I sanitized a big funnel and stuck it in the carboy, then tried to shepherd the hops in with a variety of sanitized tools. It was not terribly successful.

What are some of the strategies people use for getting whole hops into and out of the carboy (and not in the bottling bucket)?

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Old 07-05-2006, 03:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
What are some of the strategies people use for getting whole hops into and out of the carboy (and not in the bottling bucket)?
In: I have only used hop plugs so far to dry-hop. They are pretty easy to deal with on the getting-in side of things. I have to chop them in half since the ones my LHBS sells are larger than the mouth of my carboy, but once they are cut in half, I just drop them straight in. Piece of cake.

Out: I haven't mastered this yet. I've tried putting a hop bag over the siphon stem on the INPUT side as well as the OUTPUT side. Neither of these things seemed to help much. Putting the bag over the output keeps the hops out of the beer in the bottling bucket, but I still have to deal with clogs on the INPUT side. Putting the bag on the input side didn't seem to help much too much. I usually get my siphon done, but it goes REALLY slow for the last gallon of beer as the beer tries to flow through a wad of hops, and I occasionally have to re-start the siphon after shaking the cane to unclog it.

I think I'll try putting my hop plugs into a bag the next time. SHould be easy going in and not clog my siphon as I rack to the bucket. I could care less if I have a hard time getting the swelled up bag back out of the carboy when I am done racking.

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Old 07-05-2006, 04:20 PM   #3
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I used my racking cane to go from secondary to bottling bucket. The cane has this black plastic cap on the bent end that allows the beer in but not the hops. That worked very well and was much easier than having to unclog to siphoning tube over and over when transfering from the primary to the secondary. I do not use a hop bag.
As for getting the loose hops out of the secondary, that was a PITA. I just had to keep sticking my fingers into the opening and pulling out clumps of hops. Then I just filled the carboy with some more water a few times and just washed out the remaing loose pieces.

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Old 07-05-2006, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneFloyd
I used my racking cane to go from secondary to bottling bucket. The cane has this black plastic cap on the bent end that allows the beer in but not the hops. That worked very well and was much easier than having to unclog to siphoning tube over and over when transfering from the primary to the secondary.
Even with the little cap on the cane, mine constantly gets clogged. (This is what I was referring to when I said mine gets clogged up.) Hardly anything gets past the cap, but I have to stop and shake the hell out of it to unclog the little spaces between the cap and the cane.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:44 PM   #5
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Here is what I do: I use multiple bags to hold smaller amount of hops. Sanatize bags and pre cut strings. Fill bags w/ enough hops to enter and exit carboy. I also add a few pieces of oak chips in bag and tie them with string. On my IPA's I have had 6 to 8 bags. Some will sit on top so After a few days I gently push bags down into beer with sanatized spoon to mix them up. Pull the bags up by strings when you are ready to transfer beer. You will spend a few bucks more on bags or some use old nylons. This method works for me cause I hate transfering and every few seconds having to re prime and shake out hop cloggage from racking cane. The biggest pain is to not let the strings get all mixed together so they come out easy.

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Old 07-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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Getting them in can be a pita. I just shove them in while wearing sanitized (sterile actually) gloves. This results in about a 1/4 oz ending up on the floor and all over the carboy. The real problem i have is when i siphon to my bottling bucket, my auto-siphon always gets like, one hop flake stuck in the tip, which creates ALOT of foaming action.
Ive recently bought some food grade stainless steel ball bearings as for i plan on using the old hops-in-a-bag-with-marbles trick.
I refuse to believe that the40-50 percent of hops that is not touching the beer contribute anything to the aroma, so i want mine to sink!

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Old 07-06-2006, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneaux
Here is what I do: I use multiple bags to hold smaller amount of hops.
I think I'll try this next. I have a pretty large supply of small cheesecloth bags. I may try putting marbles in there, too.
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Old 07-07-2006, 02:22 AM   #8
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I just shove them in and when I rack into the keg it is just one of the necessary evils to deal with. Next time I am going to try a stainless scrubby.

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Old 07-07-2006, 02:37 AM   #9
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With whole hops I've never had an issue when using a 'hop bag' tied over the end of my racking cane. 99.9% of them are floating, anyways, and it doesn't seem to clog up. Maybe I've been lucky so far.

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Old 07-07-2006, 02:42 AM   #10
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Are pellets not good for dry hopping... seems far to easy... your not a "real" brewer unless you make things terribly difficult for yourself

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