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Old 02-27-2008, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default Drying/Dehydrating Hops

As I haven't started growing hops yet and there are still many months to come, I am trying to figure out the best way to dehydrate hops now or at least start researching. I have a vacuum sealer so that part is taken care of.

Food dehydrators seems to be the quickest and more consistent way to do it but they are tiny! Alton Brown, has a killer show called "Good Eats" on Food Network, had a show on Jerky and had a homemade dehydrator by using a big box fan and air filters and strapping those to the fan letting it run for awhile to dry out the jerky.

At the current moment I am looking at 6 rhizomes but looking to maybe get 4 more (if space and 2 other styles become available).

What do people currently use and what might be the best method for me in my case?

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Old 02-27-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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I used a food dehydrator last year for 9 oz of hops, and it worked OK. If you're planting rhizomes this year, if they put out any cones at all that would work just fine.

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Old 02-27-2008, 01:34 PM   #3
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Some people use dehumidifiers. Let the dry air from the dehum blow over the hops. Probably do it a closet to decrease the overall humidity. You are in Georgia and humidity is really high during the harvest. I am in MD so our humidity will be high at harvest as well. I have a small brewing cellar room that I will put a small fan and dehumidifier and let her rip. I will lay the hops on old screens I have lying around. My luck will have an Atlantic hurricane blow through while I am trying to dry them. Charlie

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Old 02-27-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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I'm also thinking that putting them near the output of your central AC would be good. AC's dehumidify also (which is really what a standalone dehumidifier is only it doesn't vent the output air outside).

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Old 02-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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I just take the screen door off of the entryway and set it on two saw horses in the garage. I spread the hops out and use a fan to circulate the air. The garage is uninsulated & gets up to 100-110F most days during the season. 48 hours seems to do the trick, so I can space out the harvest.

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Old 02-27-2008, 06:59 PM   #6
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How ever you dry them, remember to keep them away from sun light as soon as you pick them. Otherwise they can become sun-struck (skunky) within 15 minutes or so.

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Old 02-27-2008, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I just take the screen door off of the entryway and set it on two saw horses in the garage. I spread the hops out and use a fan to circulate the air. The garage is uninsulated & gets up to 100-110F most days during the season. 48 hours seems to do the trick, so I can space out the harvest.
+1

That's exactly what I do as well. Vacuum pack the dry hops and load up the screen again for another drying session.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:38 PM   #8
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cefmel, that's just not right. The hop oils only turn skunky after they've been isomerized (i.e. boiled) If that were true, most of the hop crop we get would smell like skunks in heat.

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Old 02-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ
If you're planting rhizomes this year, if they put out any cones at all that would work just fine.
Wait- first year hops some times don't get cones?

Has anyone ever purged the bag with Co2 before vacuum sealing? Maybe its not necessary but I bet people have at least thought about it.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oguss0311
Has anyone ever purged the bag with Co2 before vacuum sealing? Maybe its not necessary but I bet people have at least thought about it.
If you're not sure if your vacuum sealer gets a decent vacuum in the bag it probably isn't a bad idea. Otherwise I doubt it's really necessary and more than likely just a waste of CO2.
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