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Old 07-16-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
Bitzybrew
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Default Dry Hopping in my primary fermenter

I know I should probably wait till the wort/beer has been in the primary for a couple of weeks before I dry hop it, but I'd like to have my IPA as a summer beer. So I thought I'd do the following....

Since on day 7 (friday) I still saw some airlock activity I'd wait till till sunday to dry hop with whole leaf hops i.e. I'd put 2 ounces of hops in a muslin bag with a stainless steel bolt attached to it so the hops can stay submerged in the wort/beer.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Old 07-16-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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How long are you planning to keep the dry hops in the beer? 3 days? 5 days? 1 week?

I always suggest not bottling or kegging a beer for at least 3 weeks after you brew it, so I would let the beer sit for at least 3 weeks minus dry hop time first, then add the hops for how many ever days you want, and then bottle or keg.

edit: the idea with the hop bag and stainless bolt for weight is fine. Just make sure they are clean and sanitized first.

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Old 07-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
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If you dry hop while the beer is still producing co2, then the co2 is going to drive off all those nice hop aromas that you are hoping to trap in the beer. They are going to go right out the airlock. That's why we recommend dryhopping in primary for the last week of your month primary.......Or racking to a secondary after two weeks, and dryhopping there. But either way, brewings is a time instensive process that we really don't have any control over, we're not in charge, the yeast are, and they have their own timeframe.

We can't arbitrarily decide that a beer is ready for the next stage, just because we want it done by a certain date time, in order to do that we need to plan ahead, and leave enough time for the yeast to do it's thing. I plan 8 weeks out for my beers, a month in primary and a month to hopefully bottle condition and carb. But if it's not, then it's not, and I need to wait longer...If that's the case then I go buy beer.

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Old 07-16-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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I agree that 9 days in primary is too soon to add the dry hops. Give it another week to 10 days and then add them for a week and then cold crash/transfer to bottle or keg.

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Old 07-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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I asked the owner of my local home brew shop and he said he's dry hopped after a week of the wort being in the primary and also waited longer to dry hop and didn't see a significant difference. I'll probably put the hops in on Sunday and check the aroma of the beer about a week. I don't mind the beer being cloudy.

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Old 07-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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This assumes that you have oxygenated your wort before pitched the proper amount of healthy yeast and then properly controlled your fermentation temps.

7-9 day is probably perfect but it depends on the ferment.

I wait until the ferment has slowed down to a crawl and then add the dry hops to the primary. This is usually around the 7-9 day mark. Sometimes even sooner. With the WLP007 it can be 5 days. Then I leave the dry hops in for 1-2 weeks and then go straight to the keg.

As you can see, I'm in disagreement with folks like Revvy who believe that you should ferment for a full month. It's my experience that the typical ale ferment takes 1-2 weeks. Occasionally, I have one that takes 3 weeks but that is rare. IMHO once you reach the target finishing gravity AND the yeast has fully floculated, it's time to keg. I see no benefit from extended time in the fermenter. No damage but also no benefit.

Once again:

This assumes that you have oxygenated your wort before pitched the proper amount of healthy yeast and then properly controlled your fermentation temps.

Without that all bets are off!

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Old 07-16-2010, 06:46 PM   #7
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I used Safale US-05 yeast and have had a steady fermentation since I pitched it. It started fermenting / bubbling within 8 hours of my pitching it. On day 7 it was still bubbling often enough that I decided to wait a couple more days. I'll probably have a very high electricity bill at the end of july cuz I kept my window AC at 70 and kept it running most of the day. If it was turned off I first put a timer on it to shut off about 30minutes after I left my apartment and then had a fan blowing at the fermenter to keep it cool. Also, if I was going to be out of my apartment for an extended period of time I put my AC on a timer so it would be on most of the time I wasn't home.

I assume the steady fermentation and good aromas coming off the airlock are a good sign of a good fermentation.

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Old 07-16-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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I think 7 days for an IPA if you had good fermentation is fine, if you FG is close to where you think it should be, I would go ahead and dry hop for another 7 days and keg/bottle it then. I generally cold crash it for 3 days and keg it up. total of 17 days before it hits the keg/bottle.

I used to be a 1 month in primary guy to until I realized the fermentation is done much sooner than that and the conditioning can happen in the bottle while waiting for it to ferment. Nothing like fresh beer! (not to be confused with green beer).

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Old 07-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #9
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I think it's debatable, Firestone Walker's brew master talked of a process on BN radio where they dry hopped in the last quarter of the fermentation then did a short secondary immediately after.

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Old 06-19-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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I used to always rack to secondary and DH loose, but now im hearing guys on BN talk about how it prob does more bad than good due to oxidation concerns. What im wondering is if I DH in the primary and then gently rouse the fermentor every 2 days to maximize hop contact time with the solution, would it be bad to be stirring up the yeast cake on the bottom and all the hops that had carried over from my brewday (i didnt use muslins and my whirlpool failed me so theres a good amount of green mixed in with that yeast cake), or b/c i have so much at the bottom of the primary I should rack and DH instead?

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