Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > GVH Drying Method
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
sweetcell
Swollen Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sweetcell's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 4,157
Liked 681 Times on 504 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zrule View Post
sticky?
seconded. best thread on drying i've come across.

thank you, dan.
__________________
.
What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
sweetcell is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
GVH_Dan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GVH_Dan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 919
Liked 160 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Thanks, I've spent A LOT of my time the last few years on drying and drying methods for hops and a few other herbs that are occasionally used for brewing. It always makes me cringe when I see a post by someone who is absolutely certain they can dry their hops in a paper bag or in a solar oven. They spent all this time and effort to grow these beautiful hops and now they are going to ruin them by letting them rot or baking them.

I'm working on several new drying variations and equipment, some of which may someday be applicable to the home grower. If everything works out, I'll share it this fall.

__________________
GVH_Dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
GVH_Dan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GVH_Dan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 919
Liked 160 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
That all sounds perfectly logical to me. I made three frames that hold large window screens, which each can hold about three pounds of cones without them layering. I stack them across a pair of saw horses with two 20" box fans perched on milk crates below, cover the top layer with screening, surround the stack with random pieces of plywood, and let 'er rip. I run the fans at high speed for the first 24 hours, then drop down to medium speed, where dry cones will dance a bit but not violently, and I can usually get the moisture content below 20% in 48 hours.


Cheers!
Hops spread out with plenty of air contact....check
Hops have air blown across them...check
Hops out of the sun and in a cool, dry place...check

Looks good to me. 1 suggestion, this year try hanging the fans above the hops to blow down on them. They will probably shake less as the fan will push them into the screen. Just be careful of them blowing around toward the end if the airflow is too much.
__________________
GVH_Dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 05:28 PM   #14
Weezy
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Weezy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,238
Liked 176 Times on 133 Posts
Likes Given: 112

Default

Forgive my ignorance, but why must the hops be dried at all? As a homegrower/homebrewer, couldn't I just pick them, vacuum pack then, and freeze them immediately? What is drying doing for us? Is the drying for preservation? Just preservation? How long would undried and immediately frozen hops last? Or is that just a non-starter?

thanks for the informative post!

__________________
On Tap: Crossover beer, Sour Elderberry Stout
Aging: pale sour solera, yeast bay lambic, dregs lambic
Weezy is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #15
BBBF
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,098
Liked 50 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
Step 5: When am I done?

As previously mentioned, you want to get well under 20% moisture content…meaning you want the hops to get to 1/4th to 1/5th of the original weight. Then you are free to package them up and pop them in your freezer for later use.

Following this method, you should be able to get down to 20% moisture content in 24 hours. One of the indicators is that the cone starts to open up like a pine cone that has fallen to the ground. They will also feel brittle with some of the bracts (leaves) easily falling away. If you snap them in half, the strig (stem) will still feel a moist when pressed to your lips, though.

Now bring them in the house or put them in a dehumidified tent. Depending on the size of the dehumidifier and the amount of moisture to be removed, the remaining time could be 1 hour to 2 days. When they are dry, the strig should still be a little supple but not moist. A few of the outer bracts may fall away but the whole cone shouldn’t shatter. If they are falling apart and turning to dust, you’ve hit 6% or less and way over dried.

To prevent overdrying, either check often or use a dehumidifier that you can set an RH setpoint of 45%. At 50%, the hops will equalize out to around 8.3% moisture content. This way they won’t overdry on you too quickly.
What kind of issues are there with over drying? I dry my hops with dehydrators, set to the lowest setting (95 degrees, I think). Works great, but I leave for work and by the time I get home, they are dryer than I'd like.

They fall apart more easily, but the beer is good and they still smell great when I'm cleaning out the freezer for the next harvest. I imagine I might be losing some lupulin because they fall apart more easily, but they're homegrown and the AA is a guestimate already and I'm adjusting from previous batches.
__________________
BBBF is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #16
GVH_Dan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GVH_Dan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 919
Liked 160 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Obviously, you could use them as a wet hop and not dry them at all. By freezing them, you are trying to preserve all the "wet hop" characteristics.

The primary reason for drying is for preservation. If you just freeze them wet, the shelf life is probably going to be 3 months or less before there is observable degradation of the oils and alphas. If you could freeze them by dropping them in liquid nitrogen, you would probably do better but most people don't have access to that. If you do follow this method, throw them in the kettle frozen. All the lupulin glands will have burst in the freezing process and if you let it thaw you may loose oils and alphas.

Also remember a wet hop weighs 4 to 5 times that of a dry hop.

Properly dried and vacuum packed, you can easily go a year before any degradation occurs. if they are vacuum flushed and in UV proof packaging...now you are talking 18 months or more. They are still good after that, they just won't have the same alpha and oil levels as at the start.

There are/may be some secondary benefits to drying, too. For example, a lot of people complain that wet hop beers taste "grassy", well a lot of that comes from an oil called Farnesene. Farnesene has a pretty low boiling point so a lot of it evaporates during the drying process.

Going really deep into it, there are other compounds present in hops that either evaporate or oxidize during the drying process. Our chemist would be a better person to talk about this but there are some sulfur based compounds the cones produce to, we believe, ward off pests. During the drying process, these may oxidize into compounds that don't effect the final flavor of the beer. Otherwise we've heard brewer's complain their beer tastes like "burnt rubber".

Two of my partners are spending a lot of time working with members of the ASBC Hop Council examining some of these compounds and determining how to retain and/or get rid of a lot of them in the drying process. Actually, one of my partners is in Czechoslovakia right now meeting with the EU Hop Research Council in Zatec to discuss this issue and explain our drying research.

OK, that was a pretty long answer...drying is primarily for preservation but also gets rid of the "wet hop" flavor that many do not care for. There's the short answer.

__________________
GVH_Dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 06:10 PM   #17
GVH_Dan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GVH_Dan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 919
Liked 160 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBF View Post
What kind of issues are there with over drying? I dry my hops with dehydrators, set to the lowest setting (95 degrees, I think). Works great, but I leave for work and by the time I get home, they are dryer than I'd like.

They fall apart more easily, but the beer is good and they still smell great when I'm cleaning out the freezer for the next harvest. I imagine I might be losing some lupulin because they fall apart more easily, but they're homegrown and the AA is a guestimate already and I'm adjusting from previous batches.
"Falling apart" is the main problem. Below 6% the bracts (leaves) fall off and there is nothing to hold the luplin in. What I find is the bracts have all blown away, the lupulin is a golden powder on the floor and whatever is left in the dryer is too brittle to scoop up.

In the commercial world, once the lupulin hits the floor the game is over. We can't sweep it up and throw it into the cones. In the homegrower world...well that's up to you.

If you overdry, there is also a good chance the luplin packet will split and out goes the oils and alpha. Now you have hop dust with a lot less of the good stuff.


To bring together this question and the last one, its probably better to under-dry and freeze than over dry or not dry at all. Get the hops down to 20%, which is easy, and then freeze them. They should be able to last a year until the next harvest is ready.
__________________
GVH_Dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 06:14 PM   #18
sweetcell
Swollen Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sweetcell's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 4,157
Liked 681 Times on 504 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
drying methods for hops and a few other herbs
DO GO ON...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBF View Post
What kind of issues are there with over drying? (...) I imagine I might be losing some lupulin because they fall apart more easily
those lupulin glands contain more than just AA. they contain essential oils that make huge contributions to the aroma and flavor of the hops, and these are easily cooked off... so you're loosing them.

the idea behind drying hops is to balance getting them dry enough so you can preserve them, while not drying them more than you have to and loosing all the good stuff.
__________________
.
What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
sweetcell is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #19
GVH_Dan
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GVH_Dan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 919
Liked 160 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
DO GO ON...
Nooo...I'm talking nettles, Mugwort, Heather Tips, Lavender, etc.

Even though I get a lot of phone calls from "Medicinal Herb" growers looking for drying advice, at this point I have nothing to offer them. As soon as someone talks about "sweating" their hop cones, I just hang up.

Though if anyone knows of a definitive, scientific source for information on drying any type of herb or "herb", please send me a PM. I would be interested. I can build apparatus that can control to any temperature, humidity and/or windspeed but that doesn't mean I know the optimal drying procedure for lavender, nettles or anything else.
__________________
GVH_Dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #20
Chromebrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Katy, Texas
Posts: 148
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezy View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but why must the hops be dried at all? As a homegrower/homebrewer, couldn't I just pick them, vacuum pack then, and freeze them immediately? What is drying doing for us? Is the drying for preservation? Just preservation? How long would undried and immediately frozen hops last? Or is that just a non-starter?

thanks for the informative post!
Great question. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
__________________
Chromebrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
drying IC Dillonks1 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 20 01-09-2012 07:56 PM
Best method for drying out a barleywine bjohnson29 Fermentation & Yeast 11 12-12-2011 12:11 PM
Hop drying Wino24 Hops Growing 6 08-23-2010 04:33 AM
Hop Drying? OrCoastBrew Hops Growing 3 05-08-2010 05:57 PM
Hop Drying cstrandb Hops Growing 7 09-23-2009 12:35 PM