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-   -   Temp in range. What about time? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/temp-range-what-about-time-189077/)

winvarin 08-02-2010 04:13 AM

Temp in range. What about time?
 
I've been cruising on this thread for a bit and have a quick question. I understand there are different methods for drying hops and what I've seen indicates food dehydrators are OK if you have one capable of low temp dehydration.

I got a dehydrator as a gift that has a low temp (95F) setting. That seems to be the recommended setting for dehydrator usage. But I had a couple of other questions:

1. Time - How long do I dry the cones on this setting?
2. Multiple harvests? - I am harvesting from a second year cascade bine. I noticed the first cones about a week ago. I now have several cones (in multiples of 10s). But all seem to be developing at different rates. Do I wait until everything is ready to harvest, or do I use the squeeze test and harvest and dry as they mature?
3. Best storage? I am thinking about investing in a vacuum sealer. Is that necessary or can I double-wrap them in freezer bags that I have just pressed all the air out of? That of course would go into the freezer for LT storage.

Suthrncomfrt1884 08-02-2010 01:03 PM

I'm not sure about your dehydration times... I just dry mine in paper bags and it works fine.

As for your harvests... Personally, I just wait until everything is ready. You may have a couple that aren't quite ready yet, and a few that are turning brown, but a majority of the hops will be perfect.

As for storage, I use a foodsaver and would never go back to when I didn't have one. It's perfect for storing EVERYTHING. I never have to throw out old ingredients or use them in a batch they're not meant to go in. I'm not worried about the shelf life of my hops. I highly suggest buying one. I found mine for $60 and that's not a lot so spend for peace of mind knowing all of your stuff is still good to use 6 months to a year down the road.

winvarin 08-02-2010 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 (Post 2193779)
I'm not sure about your dehydration times... I just dry mine in paper bags and it works fine.

As for your harvests... Personally, I just wait until everything is ready. You may have a couple that aren't quite ready yet, and a few that are turning brown, but a majority of the hops will be perfect.

As for storage, I use a foodsaver and would never go back to when I didn't have one. It's perfect for storing EVERYTHING. I never have to throw out old ingredients or use them in a batch they're not meant to go in. I'm not worried about the shelf life of my hops. I highly suggest buying one. I found mine for $60 and that's not a lot so spend for peace of mind knowing all of your stuff is still good to use 6 months to a year down the road.


I bought one on line last night. Should be here by the end of the week :mug:

Randar 08-02-2010 07:58 PM

Well, I have a fancy shmancy stackable food dehydrator with up to about 8 tiers. With 14 plants it is woefully inadequate! I dry at 95 or 100 degrees and last round IIRC it was about 18 hours start to finish. You may want to rotate trays around too so you don't get hot=spots and over-dry some parts and not others.

I am going to have to strap together some sort of oast this year. I have space heaters and fans and plenty of plywood and scrap lumber lying around, so I just have to get 'er done one weekend here before harvest season.

I might even wire up the Love controller to control the heater to try to keep things in-range. Actually, that sounds perfect! :-)




Oh, and ditto on the foodsaver storage. Some people use mason jars, but I like to ensure I suck all that oxygen out of there before I throw them in the freezer.

Suthrncomfrt1884 08-02-2010 09:13 PM

A good tip I heard somewhere about building a hop dryer...

Use an old dresser you find at a garage sale for cheap and cut holes in the bottom of each drawer. In the very bottom drawer...setup a heat lamp and the heat will rise through the drawers and dry everything in a few days.

Randar 08-02-2010 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 (Post 2194819)
A good tip I heard somewhere about building a hop dryer...

Use an old dresser you find at a garage sale for cheap and cut holes in the bottom of each drawer. In the very bottom drawer...setup a heat lamp and the heat will rise through the drawers and dry everything in a few days.


99% sure I can build something out of furring strips and extra lumber I have lying around that is not only cheaper, but more effective. Only thing I would have to buy is the screen material.

I have heard that too about the dresser, but you would probably scorch the bottom drawer in that setup without some better airflow or you would really have to sparsely populate the layers to encourage convection. Convection on its own is fine, but if you obstruct the flow, it loses effectiveness, IMO.

winvarin 08-02-2010 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randar (Post 2194623)
Well, I have a fancy shmancy stackable food dehydrator with up to about 8 tiers. With 14 plants it is woefully inadequate! I dry at 95 or 100 degrees and last round IIRC it was about 18 hours start to finish. You may want to rotate trays around too so you don't get hot=spots and over-dry some parts and not others.

I have 5 total plants. My 2 cascades are in their second year and look to have about 30 cones between them at the moment.

The other 3 are on the back patio and in their first year. Tried them as potted plants climbing up the covered back patio. That worked really great until the OK summer went from high 80s to low 100s and scorched them. I wasn't expecting great things out of them this year but had dared to dream after a mild spring and early summer saw them make some huge growth.

From what I see of the cascades, it looks like everything will fit on the 4 trays I have. How long did you dry an individual group?. Let's say everything I have will fit on 4 trays. How long should I be looking for it to take to dry those 4 all at once?

Suthrncomfrt1884 08-02-2010 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randar (Post 2194835)
99% sure I can build something out of furring strips and extra lumber I have lying around that is not only cheaper, but more effective. Only thing I would have to buy is the screen material.

I have heard that too about the dresser, but you would probably scorch the bottom drawer in that setup without some better airflow or you would really have to sparsely populate the layers to encourage convection. Convection on its own is fine, but if you obstruct the flow, it loses effectiveness, IMO.

I would think sticking a cheap fan in the bottom drawer and not using it for hops would do the trick.


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