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Old 01-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default Secondary and dry hopping - when and what order?

I know that current wisdom says that you don't need to employ a secondary fermenter, but they usually include a caveat such as "unless you're dry hopping or using fruit to flavor the beer."

My question is, what do they mean? In what order? Do you rack from the primary to an empty carboy (secondary fermenter), then add the hops/fruit? Given that the advice is not to dry hop for more than 7 days, how do you then cold crash and clarify (with gelatin), a process which itself usually takes 4 days? Do you throw in the hops, then 3 days later start the cold crash? If I just added hops a few days ago, will the cold crash/gelatin combo still be able to clear the beer?

Or do you add the dry hops to the primary (after fermentation has died down), wait the 7 days, then rack to a clean, empty carboy (secondary), after which you can take your time aging/clarifying the beer (because it's no longer in contact with the dry hops)?

The bottom line is, I don't want to dry hop for too long (the 7 day max), but I still want to end up with crystal clear beer using cold crashing and gelatin. What's the proper order to do things here?

Do I add the hops to the primary, wait 7 days, then rack to secondary, leaving the hops behind? Or do I rack the beer to secondary (off the yeast/trub), dry hop for 7 days, then ... what? Rack again and age? Bottle/keg?

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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You normally want to dryhop immediately before packaging, regardless of the vessel you're using.

I dryhop usually right in the primary- about 5 days before I plan to bottle or keg, I add the hops.

Wait until the beer is clear, and if you rack to a clearing vessel as normal, don't add the hops until about a week before packaging. That gives the freshest hops aroma and flavor.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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wait until fermentation has stopped (2 to 3 weeks) check gravity to ensure its done. add hops to a sanitized carboy and rack your beer on top of them and cap with an air lock. i dont use gelatin i prefer whirlfloc, but after 1 week in a secondary my beer has always been clear enough for me. if you want to cold crash do it at the end of your dry hop

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
You normally want to dryhop immediately before packaging, regardless of the vessel you're using.

I dryhop usually right in the primary- about 5 days before I plan to bottle or keg, I add the hops.

Wait until the beer is clear, and if you rack to a clearing vessel as normal, don't add the hops until about a week before packaging. That gives the freshest hops aroma and flavor.
or ^^^^ she is the brew goddess after all
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, that clears things up a little. A couple of follow-up questions: Can I cold-crash, then dry hop? Does dry hopping lose its efficacy if done in cold beer instead of room-temperature beer? And finally, if I've cold crashed for several days and finally achieved a clear beer, will dry hopping cloud it up again? Or will it have minimal effect on the clarity at that point?

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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ferment > cold crash > rack to secondary and dry hop > bottle
or
ferment > cold crash and dry hop in primary > bottle

either way you need to make sure its done fermenting before hop so as to not lose those wonderful aromas do to gassing off

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