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Old 01-11-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
NewBrew75
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Default Dryhopping and sanitation

I underdtand dry hopping is a common practice in brewing, although I have not done it yet. If I use whole leaf hops or grow my own, how do I make sure that the hops that I put in with the secondary is not going to contaminate my beer in some way?

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Old 01-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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I've heard some people put the hops in a saucer of some kind, and pour in a very small amount of boiling/very hot water and cover it-- the high temp would kill the baddies. In this case you'd pitch the water too since it'd have extracted some of the hoppy goodness.

But yes, if you use whole leaf hops, you should sanitize them some way if you are using them to dry hop.

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Old 01-11-2009, 04:52 PM   #3
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I think it's more important to make sure your hop bag is sterile than the hops themselves. Everything that I have read (Palmer & Daniels) tells me that there is no need to sterilize your hops before dry-hopping, considering you add them at the right time. According to Ray Daniels, by allowing the beer to ferment long enough, there should be enough alchohol in the beer to kill any nasties that might be on the hops. He also states that this has been scientifically proven.

Personally I like to let my beer ferment 2 weeks in the primary, then dry hop 2 more weeks in the Secondary

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Old 01-11-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
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On the recent dry hopping episode of "Brew Strong" the general consensus was that using pellet hops was a better choice due to the pelletization process which they go through. This involves high heat and it is believed that most of the nasties are killed or at least reduced during that time. They also stated that, in there opinion, using homegrown hops or wet hops are generally best used as late boil aroma additions. Take it for what its worth....

I have always used pellets for dry hopping simply for the ease of getting them into a carboy, I don't use a bag either I just pour them in and let them settle out. If you're using something different such as a bucket that wouldn't be as much of a concern.

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Old 01-11-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=surfbrewer;1057466]On the recent dry hopping episode of "Brew Strong" the general consensus was that using pellet hops was a better choice due to the pelletization process which they go through. This involves high heat and it is believed that most of the nasties are killed or at least reduced during that time. They also stated that, in there opinion, using homegrown hops or wet hops are generally best used as late boil aroma additions. Take it for what its worth....

QUOTE]

I'm guessing that home grown hops were suggested for best use as late boil aroma hops because it's hard to tell what their acid ratings are?

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Old 01-11-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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You're over complicating things...

If you are dryhopping in secondary....and if you let fermentation finish before you racked..you are dryhopping into Alcohol.....so you don't need to worry about it...

This is from a BYO article on Dry Hopping that I posed in another thread .

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The secondary fermenter is generally considered the best place for dry hopping for a couple of reasons. First, the beer has already mostly fermented so, as mentioned above, the alcohol and low pH helps to ward off any bacteria on the un-sanitized hops.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:31 AM   #7
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Yes, one reaseon was the unknown alpha acid and the other reason was to put them in the last couple of minutes of boil to kill any nasties that may be present, such as wild yeasts, insects, etc.

As for dry-hopping into an alcoholic environment, I agree that it will take care of most problems. Although, I don't think that it would be out of the question for you to get an infection even after the presence of alcohol. Therefore, I think that it is prudent to use pellet hops or to take precautions when using fresh or leaf hops, IMO. I don't claim to be an expert on dry-hopping I am just passing on the advice of others that have a proven track record.

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Old 01-12-2009, 10:38 PM   #8
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I've dry-hopped with both pellets and whole flower and have never had a problem. I don't take any measures to sanitize the hops and most breweries don't either because you are throwing into an alcoholic environment and hops naturally have strong antiseptic qualities themselves.

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