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pretzelb 12-07-2009 06:21 PM

Dry hop questions
 
I started a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone recipe and the instructions from AHS say to move to a secondary after a week and add the final hops. I've read the threads on using a secondary and having read all the posts on the topic, I prefer to not use one (for now). But I was thinking that this might be a good reason. So my questions are:
  1. Is it a good practice to rack to secondary when a recipe calls for adding hops after a week or so?
  2. Would it be a good idea to use a hop sack? I think not due to wanting to keep things sanitary.

Yooper 12-07-2009 06:25 PM

I like to dry hop a week before bottling, so if the secondary is going to be for longer, I don't add the hops until a week before bottling (or kegging) day.

You can use a hops sack if you want. Just sanitize it first. I don't, but sometimes racking can be a pain if you've got a ton of leaf hops. Sometimes it's easy for me to just sanitize a big mesh bag on bottling day and cover the racking cane so you don't "suck up" the hops as I rack to the bottling bucket.

I don't secondary very many beers any more, so I've changed my procedure a little. I primary in big buckets, and about a week before bottling, I just dry hop right in the primary.

mrtrav 12-07-2009 06:25 PM

1) It isn't necessary, but it is good practice

2) I always use a hop sack, and have never had an infection. *knocks on wood*. This goes for the brewpub I work at as well. I find that it is easier to rack out of secondary when the hops are in the sack.

pretzelb 12-07-2009 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by YooperBrew (Post 1724521)
I like to dry hop a week before bottling, so if the secondary is going to be for longer, I don't add the hops until a week before bottling (or kegging) day.

That brings up an interesting point. In the few recipes I've done, the instructions seem to suggest fermenting for only 2 weeks. Yet, for me 3 seems safer since I can sometimes see activity after 2. In this case, I might want to keep it in the primary for 2 weeks then rack to secondary with the hops.

I didn't mention it but I'm also using pellets which is why I was thinking a sack would be nice to keep out debris. Now that I think about it, the one I have is fairly large though. I might want to get a smaller one. My primary/secondary are BetterBottles and it might be hard to remove them after I'm done.

barleynhops 12-07-2009 08:25 PM

I wouldn't disturb the fermentation until you're sure it is complete. The suggestion might be two weeks, but it always depends on gravity, temperature, type of yeast and amount of yeast pitched. The best way to ensure it's done is to take a gravity reading.

If you're dry hopping with pellets, then I would definitely recommend using a sack. they are kind of a pain to get out, but the pellets turn into a hop sludge that is difficult to rack off of.


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