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Old 12-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
FensterBos
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Default First Attempt at Dry Hopping

I will be attempting my first dry-hopping in a secondary this weekend. Just to make sure that I won't be screwing anything up, do I need to take any necessary precautions when adding the hop pellets to my secondary? Do I just throw them in there or should I add them to a sanitized grain bag first?
Also, how necessary is it that I get a Better Bottle/Glass Carboy for the secondary? I wouldn't mind saving the $20 and just using an Ale Pail.
Thanks!

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Old 12-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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If you keg, I'd dry hop in the keg, placing the hops in a suspended 1-gallon paint strainer bag. That's the easiest solution. If you dry hop in secondary, whether to bag the hops or let them float freely is a matter of preference. The hops themselves do not need to be sanitized. They are not prone to carrying a large microbial load, and the alcohol in the beer will kill off most things that may be there upon contact. Infections from dry hopping are extremely rare.

How long are you going to secondary for? If it's a week, a bucket will be fine. Much longer than that, and you'll want a PET or glass carboy.

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Old 12-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hey Fenster,

I have only dry hopped twice, the first time using hop pellets and in all honesty, they broke up and turned to mush so when I do it again I will just use a sanitized hop bag (my hbs carries em). The second time i dry hopped it was for my pumpkin ale and i used cinnamon. Through the sticks in the bag with 3 sanitized marbles and it worked like a charm and wasnt even hard to get out.

As for the bottles, I personally use Glass for 1st and 2nd as I like to see what im working with but in honesty, I doubt it will have any adverse effected (too noticeable at least) if you stick with your buckets.

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Old 12-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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You could use a grain bag for pellets but you may lose most of them once they soften up. You should be able to siphon them off when racking, at least that is what I have done.
If you were using whole leaf hops then you would probably want to use a grain bag(leaf is very hard to clean out of a carboy). Put a bunch of sterilized marbles in the bag for weight, attach to some strong fishing line then you can suspend the bag right in the middle of the beer!

Use the pail! it is much easier to put the hops in and take the beer out then in a carboy plus you don't have to worry about the light/oxidation issue with the pail!

Good luck!

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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I just chuck the pellets into the secondary. I spray the outside of the bag with sanitizer solution and use sanitized scissors to cut the bag. May be a bit paranoid, but oh well.

The pellets will expand and form a nice inch bright green mush ontop of your beer. If ever you think your beer has gotten a nasty infection, this will be it!

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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If you pitch them directly in, you will want to cold crash it before syphoning to bottle. Personally, If I'm using pellets I use a paint strainer bag. It's far finer than a grain bag and contains the large majority of the pellets as they turn to mush. This is by far the easiest process I've found.

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:54 PM   #7
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If I made a bag out of cheese cloth would that work as well?

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
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Personally, I dry hop directly in the primary nowadays. I ferment for 2 weeks or so, throw in the pellets, wait a week, cold crash for 2 days and transfer. It works perfectly and I never have had hops particles in any of my beers. Just a suggestion.

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FensterBos View Post
If I made a bag out of cheese cloth would that work as well?
Cheese cloth is similar to grain bags. Paint strainer bags are far fine. Use a paint strainer bag or just throw them in without a bag and cold crash it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, I don't know if cold crashing is an option since I do not have the space/ability to insert the primary in a 35 F environment for up to a week (or two days as suggested here). I could put the primary outside for the day, but once nighttime comes around the beer would be subject to freezing.

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