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Old 02-05-2014, 11:03 AM   #1
bigken462
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Default How long can I dry hop w/o causing a problem?

I have a Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale that I have been brewing for a few weeks. I’m dry hopping and after reading several threads, It’s my understanding that you should not dry hop longer than 14 days.

That particular day falls smack in the middle of my work weekend, so I thought about going ahead and doing it today or Thursday, however there is still airlock activity. I don’t have a problem letting it go longer, but I don’t know what to do about the hops. Should I sanitize a coat hanger and fish them out?

Recipe:

Brewed full boil on 01/18/14

Original Gravity: 1.050

6.6lbs Briess Pilsen Light Malt Extract

16ounces Weyermann Cara Hell

6aau Warrior – Bittering

1 ounce Cascade – Flavor

Racked 5 gallons to secondary on 01-25-14

2 ounces Cascade Dry hop in secondary

Gravity then was 1.016

Fermentation has continued slowly, but constant. Small ring of bubbles. Nothing exciting. Hop bag will rise and fall etc.

Sorry I don’t have a gravity reading as I’m still at work. I’m just trying to plan my next couple of off days utilizing the little free time I have. I can take a gravity reading when I get home in a few hours, but I can’t imagine it being too much different that the one I took on the 25th. I’m mainly worried about the hops causing a problem if I let them stay in longer than the 14 days that people seem to stress about not doing. I would be happy letting it go till my next off days – Mon or Tuesday if I can safely do that.

If I need to, I can snatch a sample and record a gravity reading in a few hours when I get home.

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Old 02-05-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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The small amount of bubbles may be nothing more than outgassing of CO2 and your ferment could be over. Only your hydrometer reading you take when you get home will tell you for sure. If the gravity hasn't changed you can bottle at any time now but if it is going down, you have to wait. I've left hops in the fermenter for 2 weeks waiting for the gravity to quit changing as I hopped when I was at the expected FG and then found the gravity was still changing. I had one of them last evening and the hop aroma was really good with no grassiness.

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Old 02-05-2014, 11:31 PM   #3
Beer4Thought
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I have heard that 2 weeks is the magic number as far as Dry Hopping. However, I have left hops in for as long as a month and had no ill effects (Life got in the way).

As far as the bubbling. I don't tend to trust that for the reason RM-MN mentioned. Gravity readings will let you know for sure if it is done.

Personally, I would just leave the hops in. Fishing them out seems like it would be more work than necessary. It will probably have little effect on the overall quality of your brew.

Cheers

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Old 02-07-2014, 12:52 AM   #4
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You brewed 1/18, it is now 2/6, that's 19 days, and you are nearing 2 weeks of dry hopping. I'd say you probably racked and dry hopped too early, and the beer might not have been finished when you transferred.

However, don't worry, it will still be beer, and the dry hops will not give you a problem. I normally leave dry hops in for 12 to 14 days, occasionally longer and have never noticed a problem. I once left Citra hops in for 4 months (don't ask why), and it turned out to be a great beer.

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Old 02-07-2014, 01:02 AM   #5
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Just bottle it when you can, you will be fine. I try to go 5-7 days but within 14 max, give or take a couple days. I have to work with Mother Nature and I don't make the rules.

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Old 02-07-2014, 04:23 AM   #6
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Looking at my schedule, I decided to go ahead and bottle tonight. Thanks to a meeting Monday, my only single off night till next Friday will be Tuesday. Uggg.

As for this batch, the gravity had only changed by a cpl points so I figured it was as done as it was going to get. ABV was 5.2 which is about right.

I decided to move forward and get this out of the way, but I learned some valuable lessons in doing so. It's has been one of those ****ty nights that I knew good and well that I should have just poured a beer and enjoyed some TV.

Last night while buckling my lil nephew into his car seat I somehow twisted my back causing a bad spasm. I don't ordinary have back problems - thankfully, but it felt like someone hit me with a bat.

This morning, I got up and started my first AG BIAB. My back was sore and stiff but I kept hoping with some activity it might subside. The day progressed well, but by the end of cleanup I was feeling it big time. For whatever reason, I got lazy and just decided to use my Ale Pale for fermenting this time. More of less just didn't want to fool around moving the glass carboy from the garage to the house. I was cold, wet, tired and sore. Call me lazy. lol Soon though it occurred to me that I now just used the only bottling bucket I have. Crap sake, what was I thinking. lol

Before long it was time to go pick up my lil buddy and as always he was fast asleep by the time we got home which mean carrying a cpl cinder blocks worth of 5 year old into the house. It was all I could do to get him inside. I cooked us some supper, did dishes, worked on homework, and watched a Disney movie all while feeling the warmth of the heating pad. But that dang 5 gallon carboy sitting on the counter where I had moved it in preps for bottling kept nagging at me. Mainly, I wanted it out of my kitchen and out of my way.

Thankfully by now, I have fine tuned my bottling process to where I can zip through 5 gallons of bottles and be done. But now I was forced to use a racking cane and filling wand since my bottling bucket was filled with fresh beer. My whole familiar process was out the window and would be needing to change what used to be a smooth task.

Reluctantly, I grabbed two cases of bottles and washed them by hand and siphoned off the beer into a five gallon Lowes bucket. Since I was using the racking cane, I had to change my layout from what I'm used to doing.

I decided to just use my oven door as a tray and sit the bottles off to the side when they were full. No sooner than I started to get the tubing primed the dang racking cane flipped out of the bucket and caught about 5 bottles pulling them off the counter to the floor. Yeah I cursed - a bunch. Glass shattering, beer spilling, I hobbled barefooted to the closet and grabbed the broom, mop and shop vac and started to clean up glass and briefly thought about the vodka in my freezer and how good a cpl shots would be, but I pushed on. How I kept from lacerating my bare feet is beyond me!

Once I got the kitchen back in order, I cleaned up the racking cane and tried to prime my tubing again but fought with air the whole time. Somewhere, I dunno, but the dang tube had big air pockets causing bubbling; suppose it could have been from the top of the tubing, I dunno, didn't care, just wanted it finished!

To secured the racking cane, I grabbed a clamp and tried to clamp the racking cane to the side of the bucket and cracked the dang plastic.......but I pressed on. Maybe I'll have two shots of Vodka I thought lol. So I slung suds for the next 30 minutes, overfilling about every other one, cussing myself for attempting to bottle these when I'm tired and sore. The fun had done left the house!

I got everything capped, and had to rinse and wash every single bottle of the sticky crap that I caused from overfilling. I was not looking forward to cleaning the mess up and briefly thought about just putting all the dirty buckets, carboy and everything else on the back porch and clean it up tomorrow, but the thought of having to contend with it then was just as bad. Perhaps I'll just turn up the bottle of Vodka and drink it all at once. lol

So I've learned that yeah, it's good to be able to improvise when needed, but it's not smart to dive into something if the proper attitude is not there. I'll not break my routine again and by next Friday there will be a new Ale Pale ready to bottle up a SNPA that will be due.

I left the Vodka alone, but I am enjoying a home brewed Light House!

Good night peeps, a Ambien and my bed awaits me!

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