How long for hop pellets to settle in secondary
I have dry hopped before by putting my hop pellets in a weighted down muslin bag in my secondary. Last week I decided to just dump them (2 OZ of Columbus) in and let them float, not wanting any grassy flavor I bottled after 6 days. My guess is that only 1/4 of the hops settled to the bottom and the rest was still floating, which got sucked up into my siphon but most was filtered out with the sanitized muslin bag on the oulet end of the siphon.
My questions... how many days might it take for all of the hops to settle to the bottom? and would I get off flavors due to too much time in the brew? I would think racking would be much cleaner if the hops were at the bottom with the yeast.
A side note, I think I got a much better hop taste/aroma dropping them in as opposed to a weighted bag, my guess is they get too compacted when they expand in the bag, and arent as exposed as when they float on top.
First off, one suggestion, is pantyhose. There are a brewers dry hopping friend. I typically get knee highs either from my local dollar store or from my local pharmacy. Usually the box has a set of 4, which works for 4 batches of dryhopping. I dip the knee highs in my sanitized bucket, then add a stainless steel nut or three and add the hop pellets to that. Tie off the pantyhose, and drop into the secondary utilizing the bung to hold the knee high in suspension. With that said....
"My questions... how many days might it take for all of the hops to settle to the bottom?'
a: I believe it might take some time for the hops to fall to the bottom. My guess a month or so. I don't think this will be a problem, it'll just make for a hoppier nose.
and would I get off flavors due to too much time in the brew? I would think racking would be much cleaner if the hops were at the bottom with the yeast."
a: I don't think you'll get to many off flavors, if you do that batch might be considered to astringent due to the hops, but I really am not sure how much this would affect your batch.
I think what you did will be ok, the batch won't be ruined, but that you may want to rack off into another secondary in a week or so, and get your beer off your dry hops and let it set for a week or so prior to bottling/kegging.
Hope this helps.
The one time I tried dryhopping with pellets, I had a sludgy mess that kept clogging up the siphon hose. It was quite frustrating, and I've not used pellet hops since - but if I did, I would certainly use a fine mesh bag. They didn't settle out in 10 days, they may if left to sit longer but you can get grassy type flavors from dry hops if left too long. I use whole hops now, and I did get a grassy taste from a batch I dryhopped for 2 weeks. The taste faded with aging, but so did the hop aroma.
Now I rack into secondary, wait a week and add dry hops (whole flowers, no bag) for 5-7 days and then bottle immediately. The whole hops stay afloat and don't seem to interfere with the racking process, and I've been very satisfied with the flavor and aroma I get by doing this. YMMV of course.
I don't seem to have problems with just tossing hop pellets in and having them settle by a week. From time to time, I do *lightly* rock the carboy back and forth to make sure the top part soaks and starts wanting to drop. Then, within a week....if there still are some hops, I'll stick the whole carboy in the fridge, so everything is settled and compacted within 24 hours. I do this for all my pale ales. If I'm dry hopping a stout, I tend to not cold crash (since clarity is not as important). I'd also warn against dry hopping for too long. Before I heard that there actually is a limit for how long you dry hop....I did try to condition an Imperial Stout with quite a few dry hops. It didn't make the stout astringent when I cracked it, so much as an unexpected smokey taste. But in this instance, I'm talking about a few months.
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