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Old 09-03-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Reusing dry hops in the next batch for bittering

Hello!
I know this gets discussed, I know it falls down to 'better brewers than I do so successfully' and 'why take the chance when home brew is so labour intensive and hops are relatively cheap' and 'I prefer to analyse my theoretical IBU's with honest accuracy ensuring what I hope is consistency thank you very much!' but for me, it comes down to not liking waste.

I work 14-17us gal batches and recently dry hopped a pale ale with 1/2lb each of citra and cascade pellets once transferred to secondary. After bottling using a bottling bucket it was relatively easy to see the sludge so I decided to freeze it in a big ice cream tub.

Today on brew day I tossed it all in at the start of the boil and when calculating the IBU's halved all the AA's etc percentages. The frozen block smelt good where it had softened and a taste with a finger tasted ok too.

This batch is getting 4oz amerillo at 30 minutes, 4oz at flame out and 8oz dry hop. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 09-03-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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Oh and malt bill.

65% wheat
20% pale 2 row
10% carapils/dextrine
2.5% flaked wheat
2.5% dark chocolate malt

stick of cinnamon at flame out. Mauribrew Weiss yeast (first time using it, going to pitch warm, 85F or so, hear it is fairly neutral)

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Old 09-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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Oh and beersmith places it around 41 IBU's

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Old 09-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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You dry-hopped a full pound into your pale ale?

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
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Yup. Friends are all enamoured with these brewdog beers which have started distributing in the supermarkets more and more here. They do a beer called 'punk' which must be 65 IBU, all malt, all aroma, balanced bittering. They also do a beer called 'hardcore' which I see written up at 150 IBU. The pale ale is a stab at something like that, 90% marris otter, some caramel malts and a bunch of American hops.

Despite the marketing they use and the 'drama' they try to promote within the microbrewing industry here in the UK they make all right beers, you could do worse when trying to pick up a couple of bottles of something from a typical supermarket. They usually do what I like to do as a home brewer, basic malt profile, massive hop punch or balanced malt profile, balanced hops, or complex malt bill, insane hopping, either way they are characterful.

I think the owner was a home brewer who went professional and cut all the distribution issues out by gradually buying up old pubs and creating their own distribution chain as they could afford to. Also they are sponsoring a friends craft ale festival next year.

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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Also I went cheap on the bittering, 4oz challenger at first wort hop. Pretty much everything else was in the hop stand and the dry hop. Bear in mind this was a 15 gal batch.

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Old 09-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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I do recycle my hops as I call it when dry hopping. I typically just freeze it to use as a bittering on something, but I have found out a couple of things regarding this. Firstly, I only use whole leaf when dry hopping so I cannot vouch for pellets on this. I have found that up to a 5 day dry hop will still produce nearly all the bittering as when unused and about half the amount of aroma will still remain, allowing it to be used as a later addition as well. After about 7-10 days dry hop, it will retain about 75% bittering, but nearly nothing more. After 14 days dry hop it will still bitter, but with a very muted bitterness. It is not unpleasant or anything, but has little impact beyond vegetive bitterness.
Hope this may be helpful.

Good luck

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Old 09-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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Thank you for that information, it is intuitive stuff but your first hand experience makes it very valuable. I don't mind dry hopping fresh hops but get concerned about the contact/floating so I tend to use pellet.

I don't find it a problem when bottling as I transfer to secondary when dry hopping so have no trub, just a thin yeast ring to worry about and I transfer from secondary to a bottling bucket using a siphon with a nylon bag over it meaning only occasionally do a couple of seeds make it over to the bottling bucket. The tap on my bucket sits 3/4" high meaning any other sediment/debris drops out during bottling, and if I want, I can fill a couple of 'dirty' sample bottles with a jug afterwards, which I usually save for testing the conditioning process.

If I did use fresh, I'd likely blitz them in a food processor.

The pellets drop out and form a slurry/sludge which is easily avoided with a racking cane and easily collected by swirling a little boiled water around the fermenter and pouring it out. I didn't bother, but you could take the step of letting it drop out again before pouring off the excess water to compact it for storage. When I was defrosting the lump I noticed it had separated, it wouldn't have been hard to lost much material to simply have taken off the top ice layer if bothered.

My dry hops were in the beer for 6 days, contained PLENTY of aroma still though I used them only for bittering. As I gain experience I might try to be adventurous, splitting for an aroma addition, not sure about a finishing one though!

This beer though. I used 1 sachet of yeast marked up for 15-20L of brew in a 50L batch. I figured underpitching, good wheat beer esters. krausen has dropped though after only 2 days and airlock activity has stopped. Today I roused the yeast and obviously put some air into the beer in the process. I'll keep an eye on it, but might be repitching this one.

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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I did this once, when the brew cycles meshed and it turned out just fine. I think I just assumed only half the bitterness for the "used" hops.

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