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Old 11-29-2011, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Dry Hopping in a Keg

I'm getting ready to transfer a 5-gallon IPA out of primary and into two 3-gallon corny kegs. After doing some reading on dry hopping, I am planning on using pellet hops in a stainless tea ball dropped right into my serving keg and keeping it in there as long as is necessary, perhaps even after I tap the keg.

My questions are these:
- Can I simultaneously chill the beer, force carbonate it, and dry hop?
- Does it work to dry hop at, say, 36 degrees or should it only be done at much warmer temps?
- Does carbonation affect dry hopping?
- Should I dry hop in the keg for some amount of time prior to refrigerating and force carbonating?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jesse



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Old 11-29-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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If you dry hop at room temp then you want to do this for 1-2 weeks max depending on the amount of hops used and the desired effect. If you are going more than 1 oz for dry hopping you might not want to use the ss tea ball because the hops will swell up tight in this small space.

I use sanitized panty hose to hold my dry hops in a keg weighing down this with a few glass beads from Dollar Tree. At the other end I tie dental floss (unflavored) so it can stick out of the keg top and still seal. If this is added to the keg while cold conditioning you can leave the hop bag in for a very long time to sustain the flavor you desire.



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Old 11-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
- Can I simultaneously chill the beer, force carbonate it, and dry hop?
Yes, but not well. The problem is that chemical reactions proceed much MUCH more slowly at lower temperatures, and getting hop oils - which are what cause hop aroma - into solution is a chemical reaction. Chilled beer will take forever to dryhop.

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Does it work to dry hop at, say, 36 degrees or should it only be done at much warmer temps?
Like I say above - yes, but it will take months.

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Does carbonation affect dry hopping?
Carbonation in a GLASS affects the perception of hop aroma, because it carries the aroma out of solution to your nose. So, once served, highly carbonated beer will seem hoppier than its still counterpart. Simply putting the beer under positive CO2 pressure will not greatly affect the dryhopping process.

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Should I dry hop in the keg for some amount of time prior to refrigerating and force carbonating?
You can. I usually dry hop with one or two ounces for a week or so, but I do that in the fermenter. The issue with dryhopping in the keg is that it introduces a lot of particulate matter into the package that can either show up in your glass when you pour, or else clog your lines. You can use a hop bag as a physical barrier, but that probably won't do a perfect job and, in any event, can still get sucked into your dip tube and block the flow of beer.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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You can. I usually dry hop with one or two ounces for a week or so, but I do that in the fermenter. The issue with dryhopping in the keg is that it introduces a lot of particulate matter into the package that can either show up in your glass when you pour, or else clog your lines. You can use a hop bag as a physical barrier, but that probably won't do a perfect job and, in any event, can still get sucked into your dip tube and block the flow of beer.
I exclusively dry hop in the keg, and never have clogged lines or plugged dip tubes. Simple zip-tie the bag up high enough on the dip tube so the hop sack (mesh bag for me) doesn't reach the bottom. This lets the hops permeate the beer in the keg, then drip out once beer level is below the hop bag. It takes my kegs a matter of 1-2 days to display more hop aroma, and a week to level out. After several weeks the beer is significantly better and smoother overall. Kyle
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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I have been dry hopping in kegs exclusively for several years. I have used bags, balls, nylons and have settled on what I think is the cheapest, easiest and most elegant approach which is the Surescreen: Search results for: 'surescreen' : Northern Brewer
Simply, it is a stainless steel mesh tube that fits over the pickup tube of the Corney Keg. It has the advantage over other techniques (balls, Bags, or Nylons) that it allows for 100% contact with the hops. Other techniques contain the hops and thus reduce the potential for flavor transfer. The Surescreen allows for an almost unlimited quantity of dry hops as well. I have used over a pound in a DIPA.

As far as carbonation, it is possible to both force and do Cask Conditioning. I prefer the natural carbonation because the beer is both carbonating and Dry Hopping simultaneously. Additionally, the yeast activity of natural carbonation has the additional benefit of scrubbing out the Oxygen contained within the Dry Hop addition. I have found that my Cask Conditioned beers that treated in the manner have a much longer shelf life and better long term hop flavor.

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:26 AM   #6
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Just finished drinking my first dry-hopped brew, and I didn't get the hop aroma I was looking for. I dry hopped in my keg and I believe the tea ball I used was much too small so the hop pellets were crammed in there too tight.

This time, I'm planning on dry hopping in the primary instead of the keg (no good reason for this; just want to try something different). I found a gigantic tea ball that I'm going to use.

image-3695945899.jpg

My question is this: the mesh in this tea ball is not as fine as the one I used in my last beer. It may very well be fine enough, but if it is not, will any hop particles that escape simply settle out to the bottom of the fermenter? Is this anything that I should be concerned about?

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jmadway View Post
Just finished drinking my first dry-hopped brew, and I didn't get the hop aroma I was looking for. I dry hopped in my keg and I believe the tea ball I used was much too small so the hop pellets were crammed in there too tight.

This time, I'm planning on dry hopping in the primary instead of the keg (no good reason for this; just want to try something different). I found a gigantic tea ball that I'm going to use.

Attachment 40613

My question is this: the mesh in this tea ball is not as fine as the one I used in my last beer. It may very well be fine enough, but if it is not, will any hop particles that escape simply settle out to the bottom of the fermenter? Is this anything that I should be concerned about?

A couple of things,
Read this from Vinnie of Russian River: http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k98/dstar26t/makingbetterhoppybeer.jpg

You said "I believe the tea ball I used was much too small so the hop pellets were crammed in there too tight." That is why the Surescreen (at $8) works so well. The whole hops are free in the entire keg, all five gallons have 100% contact, unrestricted by bags, balls and unlimited on how much hops you can add. Want to dry hop with four ounces?, no problem. Want to dry hop with a pound of hops?, still no problem.

My August, 2011 IPA that pulled down a 1st in a competition against 66 other IPAs', had 5-1/2 ounces of dry hop. Try to put that in any tea ball. The judges said I won because my beer had the best hop aroma and flavor and I get that by using a bunch of hops in the dry-hop addition, in the keg, with a Surescreen.

Putting the hops in primary will be counter productive. The yeast in suspension will attach to the hops and settle the flavor to the bottom. Better to rack to secondary, when the beer is clear and give the hops a chance to get into suspension without getting absorbed by the yeast.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Calpyro,

Does leaving the hops in the beer the entire time lead to the feared "grassy" taste? Thank you!!!

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Old 12-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #9
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Calpyro,

Does leaving the hops in the beer the entire time lead to the feared "grassy" taste? Thank you!!!
Yes, after a couple of weeks it does impart a grassy taste.

However, I chill my dry-hopping keg and transfer the beer to another CO2 purged and sanitized keg for dispensing.

In the final keg, I finalize the carbonation level and serve.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by calpyro View Post
Yes, after a couple of weeks it does impart a grassy taste.

However, I chill my dry-hopping keg and transfer the beer to another CO2 purged and sanitized keg for dispensing.

In the final keg, I finalize the carbonation level and serve.
Oh that makes sense. I may have to try this then. I have always (with one exception) done the hops inside a bag in the keg for 7 - 10 days then I remove it and serve. I never really get the aroma I am striving for. Although I must say that I typically only add 1 ounce or so. Perhaps I need to not only do the free range hop method you describe, but also increase the amount. Thanks again!!!


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