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Old 07-11-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
Gustav
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Default Wet Hopping

I want to try wet hopping my next batch. My home grown hops should be ready in a few weeks. How do I go about wet hopping? Do I just pick'em fresh and toss them in the fermenter? At what part of the fermentation?

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Old 07-11-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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I believe what you refer to is "dry hopping". If you rinse the hops with water, then dry them before using for dry hopping you'll ensure there's no pesticides or fertilizer of any type in your beer. Also, hops are naturally bacterially free due to their anti bacterial properties, but drying them before dry hopping with them will make their aroma stronger.

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Old 07-11-2010, 02:03 PM   #3
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Wet hopping does not have to be a substitution for dry hopping. I doubt you would even want to use them in place of dry hops given the increased amount of space they would take up in your fermenter. I believe that most brewers/breweries that wet hop use the freshly picked hops in place of bittering, flavor, or aroma hops during the boil. You will want to use somewhere between 4 and 6 times the amount of dried hops that the recipe would call for. (Hops are a bit more potent before drying, but the moisture in them also makes them weigh about 6 times as much as dried hops)

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Old 07-11-2010, 05:27 PM   #4
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+1 on what Daniel said, though IMO it's kind of a waste to wet hop for bittering; the big advantages are in the volatile flavor/aroma oils. On the other hand, if you grew them and have plenty, there's no reason not to go crazy (though if you're not measuring the AA% on your homegrown hops, that's another reason to go with commercial hops for bittering). I have heard some brewers say that overdoing it with the wet hops can get really grassy tasting, so that's something else to consider.

I've always used 4-5 times the amount as dry, which is in the same realm as Daniel's figure. I like doing a wide range of additions from 20 to 0 min (say, some at 20, 15, 10, 5, and flameout) to cover all the bases on the volatiles.

Note that some of the moisture in them is going to come out into the kettle; if you're particular about hitting gravities exactly, aim a point or two higher than usual the first time you wet hop, keep records, and adjust from there.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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So I geuss "wet hopping" or "fresh hopping" doesn't replace dry hopping but replaces the hopping in general. Maybe I'll try a smaller batch - my boil pot may runneth over otherwise.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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yea i think if you are going for a "fresh hop" or "harvest ale" you are mainly talking about wet cone additions in the boil kettle during the last 20 mins or so.

i don't think they would use them for bittering because it would probably be wasteful of the fresh flavor/aroma, and also because they won't know the aa%. i'm not sure if they dry-hop with wet cones, but i would guess that they do not.

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Old 07-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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When I was at Grand River Brewing we did a few casks that were wet-hopped. We used my own hops and I harvested several freezer bags full and put them in the freezer for a few days. The point of this was to kill off any pests. I don't use any chemicals on my hops so that was non-issue.

All we did was add about a handful of them to the cask prior to filling and with no other treatment. It's up for debate whether it added anything to the final product but it did make some beer geeks happy. On the other hand it made me unhappy when it came time to clean the casks upon their return.

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:15 AM   #8
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please dont put them in the fermenter, you will surely pick up wild yeast and end up with a saison. Have you ever had a wet hop or harvest ale? Its a different flavor and many don't particularly like them. I did one last year that I am not particularly happy with and am debating on if I should do one this year. I probably wouldnt bitter with wet hops either

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Old 07-14-2010, 01:59 PM   #9
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BS on contaminating your beer using fresh hops in the fermenter. I've done is several times and know dozens of others that have done it. You do not have to rinse them, sanitize them, etc

Just toss them in about 3-4 days before racking. The flavor is different, but that's why we do it.

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Old 08-05-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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what about using them in a hopback (it will hold about 8 oz of dry right now)

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