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Old 09-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Dry Hop Mess-Up

Took my first shot at dry hopping yesterday and I'm having some doubts based on an error on my part.

I was distracted while racking and forgot I had hops for dry hopping, so I didn't throw the hops in first and rack on top of them like I had planned. So I threw the whole leaf Citra on top of the brew and shook the carboy relatively vigorously in order to get all of the hops wet enough to sink. I also added 2 oz of oak chips after boiling them for about a minute.

Now I'm worried that shaking right after racking was a terrible idea and that by doing so I allowed too much oxidation. 8 hours later the hops were still floating on top, and the brew looked darker. So here are my questions:

1. Did I likely over-oxidize the brew by shaking it? The darker color worries me, but it could also be from the oak chips.
2. Is it bad that after 8 hours the hops are still floating? I know it won't hurt, I just really wanted to get that dry hop flavor. Will I get it if they float? And might they still stink after a while?
3. Do I need to worry about the oak chips infecting the beer?

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm just another nervous rookie!

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Old 09-13-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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1) doubt it
2) nope, yes, nope
3) prob not

gotta let those jitters go man, they will destroy you.

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Old 09-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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Whole leaf hops float. There's no way around it unless you put them in a grain bag or something and weight them down. I just let them float and get plenty of hoppy goodness. As for the oak chips, I've never used them, but if you boiled them you shouldn't have to worry about infection. The oxidation issue, well, it probably didn't help things any but I doubt it hurt things enough to make a huge difference. If you plan to drinkt the beer pretty quickly I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 09-13-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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Never shake a fermented batch of beer. The hops will soak up water on their own, I've never tried to submerge hops when dry hopping but they're always soaking wet one week later when I bottle.

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Old 09-13-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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This is definitely a big case of Relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew. Shaking the beer will knock a ton of CO2 out of solution. Any oxygen that happened to get into your fermenter was pushed out from all the CO2, so no oxidation worries. Floating whole hops are perfectly fine.

Just relax, and have a homebrew. Wait a week, then rack your beer to bottling bucket or keg, and have another homebrew. Everything will be fine.

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Old 09-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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Great, thank you guys for a quick and helpful response! I'm not letting myself freak out; definitely relaxing and enjoying many homebrews. Just want to learn as much as possible and keep improving with each batch. Thanks again!

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Old 09-13-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottland View Post
Shaking the beer will knock a ton of CO2 out of solution. Any oxygen that happened to get into your fermenter was pushed out from all the CO2, so no oxidation worries.
I'm not trying to incite panic here, but I disagree with that statement. He probably introduced oxygen into the beer while shaking the carboy especially if it was done so vigorously. I wouldn't be surprised if the beer develops oxidation over time and I'd suggest drinking this batch in relatively short order, lest you end up with some nasty beer.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
I'm not trying to incite panic here, but I disagree with that statement. He probably introduced oxygen into the beer while shaking the carboy especially if it was done so vigorously. I wouldn't be surprised if the beer develops oxidation over time and I'd suggest drinking this batch in relatively short order, lest you end up with some nasty beer.
+1 - I've oxidized a beer with a lot less intensity
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
I'm not trying to incite panic here, but I disagree with that statement. He probably introduced oxygen into the beer while shaking the carboy especially if it was done so vigorously. I wouldn't be surprised if the beer develops oxidation over time and I'd suggest drinking this batch in relatively short order, lest you end up with some nasty beer.
I think it depends if he was shaking or swirling. I will sometimes swirl my dry hopped beers to rouse the hops. But yes, if he shook the carboy up and down, it did probably introduce some oxygen. The one thing he didn't mention is where he is with fermentation. If the beer hasn't reached final gravity, I wouldn't worry about the oxygen pickup, as the yeast will scrub that out. If the beer has reached final gravity, then yes, it's probably going to be a little oxygenated.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billn3 View Post
1. Did I likely over-oxidize the brew by shaking it?
Pretty sure he was shaking it...
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