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Old 08-21-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
Stout Man
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Default Drying out hops

I'm having a hard time drying out my hops.

I harvested my Zeus hops last week and air dried them for 3 days along with a blow dryer. They felt light as a feather and super crispy. I figured it was ok to seal them, wrong. I opened them up the other day and got a smell that was nothing like how hops should smell. They felt moist as well, this really confused me.

I put my mt. hood in the oven at 170 degrees for a couple hours. This didn't dry them out all the way and darkened them. Smell was off as well.

It seems I can't win.

Does anyone have an effective way to dry out hops, including the stem/spine?



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Old 08-21-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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Usually you'll want to dry without heat, although a little might not hurt. Use a fan with the hops on a screen to get them as dry as you can for a couple/few days. Build an air tight box with a suspended screen in the middle of it like a tray to put your hops on. In the bottom of the box, lay out a layer of 'damp rid'. Be sure the hops don't touch the granular moisture absorber. They should be cracker dry after a couple days in this drying box. Put them in Tupperware and freeze them.



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Old 08-21-2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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Take a box fan and some new furnace filters. Lay the fan down and place a filter on the suction side, spread your hops on it in a single layer. Place another filter on it. wrap a couple bungee cords around the filters and fan. Set upright and turn on the fan. they should be dry in a day or so. You can stack as many layers of filters and hops as you want as long as you are getting airflow through them. Bonus- your house smells like hops while drying!

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Old 08-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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I wish I lived in a hop growing area to try another method that I've been thinking of. The principle works on the fact that water boils(evaporates) at lower temps when placed in a vacuum. Place the hops in an air tight container and hook a vacuum pump to it. In theory you could put the container in the freezer to maintain low temps and the vacuum would remove the moisture very quickly. I would use a vacuum pump that is made for sucking down an AC system prior to refill. These produce about 30" of vacuum and can dry out an AC system in about 30-45 min.

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Old 08-22-2008, 01:40 AM   #5
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Some attics this time of the year are hot enough to
air dry them on paper plates. I just did a little cascade,
and it was done in 3 days with everycone flaking to dust!

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:43 AM   #6
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I just laid them all out on a window screen in the garage with a fan gently blowing the air around and they dried out in 48 hours. If they don't smell like hops when dry, you picked too early.

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Old 08-22-2008, 03:53 AM   #7
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when i picked the hops they were chunchy, not wet, and i got lupulin powder on my hands no problem. the spines broke as well.

i took a couple samples a few weeks ago before i picked all of the cones. those sample cones are totally dry/crumbling and smell great.

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Old 08-22-2008, 01:40 PM   #8
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Air circulation is the key to hop drying. The temperature shouldn't be over 140F, but lots of air movement is a must. The big driers blow warm air up through bins.

I use the patio door screen on a couple sawhorses in my garage along with a small fan.

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:42 PM   #9
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All I do is lay the hops out on screens for a few days in an air conditioned environment. The low humidity allows the cones to dry without a fan.

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Old 08-23-2008, 02:51 AM   #10
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I got a new setup using a big fan blowing through the screen. after 24hrs the zeus hops are much better.

i'm still confused how the chinook hops can feel so dry, but after being sealed for a day they feel moist. all i can figure is that water from the spine spread out to the rest of the hop.

i've been checking the humidity and its been high for the past few weeks. right now its 82%. even my cigar humidor hasn't needed the humidifier for the past week. this might account for something. if only i lived in arizona where you need 2 humidifiers going in a room to get it up to 35%.



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