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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Drying hops (how much to dry them?)
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default Drying hops (how much to dry them?)

Harvest season is right around the corner and I have a question about drying hops. Last year was my first year growing/harvesting and I put them in a food dehumidifier and let them go until completely dry and brittle. I now know that that is no good. They can't be *completely* dry. But the question is, how much is enough? Is there some percentage weight loss that people go on? How do I know when they're just right?

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Old 07-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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Refer to the "sticky" thread in this forum called "hop dry picture tutorial". Later along in the thread there is some good information about how much drying is a good target. The short answer is 10% moisture which, if one assumes a starting moisture content of 80%, equates to a reduction in the initial (fresh picked, also refered to as "wet") weight by 75 to 80%. I.e., the final weight of the hops is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5 of the initial weight.

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Old 07-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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fwiw, if you over-dry hops they tend to fall apart and scatter the good stuff. I dry my cones to 20% of original weight, then vac-bag them and put them in the deep freeze...

Cheers!

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Old 07-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Great guys. Thanks so much for the info.

Do you think the ones I dried completely are worthless?

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Old 07-11-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
Great guys. Thanks so much for the info.

Do you think the ones I dried completely are worthless?

I have over dried my hops using the same method. Just like when I've malted my own grain, the sweet spot seems to happen while I'm asleep or at work. It's better to not over dry, but doing so doesn't completely ruin them. They still smell great. They still bitter. Maybe I lost something, but I can always add a little more hops to the next batch.

Unless you're dehydrator is running at a temp. Mine is adjustable and I keep it at the lowest setting.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Mine doesn't have any adjustments, so I guess I'll have to standby and weight them looking for the 20% weight. Kind of a pain, but I guess that's all I can do.

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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This year will be my first crop so I am not speaking from experience, but from what I have read in here you may want to just skip the dehydrator and put them on some screens over a fan in your garage or wherever. I'm thinking with this method it would be pretty hard to over dry them and you could just check them every day after work and pack them once they get in the range.
But like I said, I haven't done it yet. I also thought I knew everything there was to raising kids and then I had some

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Old 07-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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Using the fan method works well. What I do is tape a bunch of filters together with hops in between after weighing the hops. I then weight the hops + filters and dry. Each day I weigh the hops + filters and when the weight has dropped by 80% of the hop weight, into the sealed, air tight bags and then freezer they go. Just do this out of sunlight so you don't get off flavors and aromas. Light is okay, direct sunlight is bad.

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Old 07-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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Mine doesn't have any adjustments, so I guess I'll have to standby and weight them looking for the 20% weight. Kind of a pain, but I guess that's all I can do.
Well, that doesn't mean they aren't good. You heated them at a higher temp, which I'm sure has some effect vs. the lower temp. I still wouldn't toss them out.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Well, that doesn't mean they aren't good. You heated them at a higher temp, which I'm sure has some effect vs. the lower temp. I still wouldn't toss them out.
Do you think I should up the dosage then?
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