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Old 08-31-2012, 03:15 PM   #71
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I did this and the outside of the hops got really dry and crumbly before the center was even close to dry. Maybe I did not have enough air flow... temp was 128*
Too much heat...too little airflow.

Heat is applied to lower the relative humidity. This helps drive moisture out of the hop cone because the air has the capacity to hold more water. The big boys do it so they can dry their entire days harvest fast enough to be ready for the next days harvest to come in.

Temperatures above 100F drive out your oils and other flavors. Temperatures above 140F degrades the alpha acids that give you bitterness. So they bring in massive amounts of air, heat it up to increase its desire for moisture and then pass them over the hops.

In your case, you added heat but there wasn't enough air movement so you just cooked the hops.

Why wasn't there enough air movement? A fan's airflow is dictated by the speed of the blade, shape of the blade and the pressure drop imparted on it. Speed and shape are decided by the manufacturer. Pressure drop depends on how much stuff you are trying to push the air through.

The box fan you used can probably do 2,000 CFM without anything in its way. (0 pressure drop). Put one of those 50 cent furnace filters (Just a mesh of fibers that you can see through) and the air flow drops to about 800 CFM. Put a second and the air flow drops to 350 CFM. Throw some hops in there and your airflow is negligible. Use a high quality filter and air flow is zero. Without airflow, the water can't be swept away.

By far, the best and least expensive method is to lay them out about 1 cone deep in a dry area on a screen. If you want to speed it up, blow air across them. If you really want to speed it up, put a dehumidifier in the space to drop the humidity level.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #72
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So I just dried some hops I got from a friend. I used a food dehydrator in shorter durations to try not to overdue it.
When I turned it on the 2nd time there was a great exodus of aphids. Now if I had air dried them would the bugs have left or just stuck around? I'm sure it was the heat of the dehydrator that drove them out. Personally I'm not to concerned because the hops will eventually go in a boil, but I would think some people would be more squeamish about bugs in there beers.

Anyone have any comments or ideas or had this problem before?

And of course I know one could take steps to prevent aphids from infesting the bush in the first place.. that's probably the best plan.

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #73
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Ha...once the cone starts to dry, the bugs understand that their home/source of food is no longer and they will take off. In your case, you are right that the quick change of air flow and heat drove them out. Either way, they would have walked off on their own. Something to think about when you are selecting a location to do your drying.

This reminds me of a funny story of mine. Early on in our hop farming experience, we would dry the hops at a facility several miles from the farm. So we would pick the hops and put them in ventilated shipping crates that could drop into the oast. The crates were 4 foot long, so they stacked beautifully in the back of my minivan. So we would load up 4 foot by 8 feet up to 4 feet high of hops and away I would go. I would crank the A/C to start the drying process and keep them from spoiling. Well, that process also alerted the critters that change was afoot and they abandoned ship...into my minivan. This was a Saturday.

Sunday morning I load my wife, mother-in-law and 3 daughters into the hopmobile and head off to church. Halfway down the road, I hear blood curdling screams from the back seat. A big old spider has dropped down from the ceiling and is hanging at eye level between two of the girls. That's when everyone starts glancing around. There were spiders, stinkbugs and countless other creepy crawlies in every crevice of that van. While everyone went in for the Sunday morning sermon, I got a myself a can of raid and made a homemade bug bomb, waited 10 minutes, vacuumed up all the corpses, hit it with some air freshener and headed back to pick them up with a bug free van.

When we replaced that vehicle, SWMBO's first words as we drove off the lot were, "You will never, ever put hops in this."

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:29 AM   #74
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Hilarious!

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:56 AM   #75
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hilarious!
+1 :-)
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:02 AM   #76
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Jesus Christ what is with all the half page posts????

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #77
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Jesus Christ what is with all the half page posts????
You paying for your internet connection by the kilobyte?
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #78
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Thanks for posting!

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #79
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Do any of you guys grow grains, or does it take up too much space? I hear you can recycle yeasts.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:47 PM   #80
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Growing malting quality barley and then malting it takes a fair amount of space and is more of a challenge than growing hops...but yes, many do it. You will find posts about it in this section.

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