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Old 06-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #51
BigRob
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Jan 2011
Toronto, Ontario
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Just a note for those with the cheap-o dehydrators you can rig a regular old dimmer switch to the heating coil and then calibrate it yourself with a sharpie and a thermometer. Couple holes and mounted through the case and you've got some temp control on the cheap.

 
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #52
Balrog30
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Jun 2010
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7

There's quite a wealth of information in this thread. Just thought I'd add a couple points from my own non-hop related experience.

I visited an herb farm near London, Ontario last year that had converted from Tobacco farming to herbs. They used a converted Tobacco Kiln to dry their herbs, but the most important change they made to the Kiln was to lower the temperature. I imagine their principles apply to Hops as well. When I asked about using a cheap home dehydrator to dry herbs, they said if there's no temperature control then its probably too hot. You're better off to air-dry without heat and take a long time than use too much heat. In culinary herbs, you lose a lot of flavour if you dry too hot.

As for target moisture, I'm a big hay producer myself. Our target moisture is below 13%. Anything above 16% has a high risk of mold growth. On the farm we use an acid-based preservative to prevent mold growth in the hay, so I imagine the moisture threshold for hops would be greatly affected by its pH. The more acid it is, the higher moisture it would need to be for bacterial growth. Its a big leap from hay to hops, I know... but you're still just drying plants, right?

 
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #53
junkyard brewer
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Dec 2007
South Bend, Indiana
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This hop drying idea with the pillow case and dryer...

anyone care to elaborate on that? Now that its time to harvest my hops, im terrified im going to over dry them. Is there a way to dry them to much?
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:34 PM   #54
GVH_Dan
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This is a copy from a post I put in a different thread, but relevant to the question you just asked.

It is possible to overdry hops but not easy unless you are using heat or in a desert. When they overdry, the bracts will fall off and the lupulin will fall out. If you are using heat, you may also dry out all the oils and aromas, leaving you with tasteless stigs.

Basically, every non living thing absorbs and desorbs moisture from the air at a rate that is controlled by the relative humidity of the air. For every Equilibrium Relative Humidity (of the air) there is a corresponding Equilibrium Moisture Content (of the hops in this case). If the Relative Humidity goes up, the item absorbs more moisture until it comes back to equilibrium. This is true for hops.

If you check my pictures, I believe I have an isothrem for hops posted. It basically shows that you can dry to less than 15% moisture content regardless of the air conditions. Assuming you are going to freeze them or use them right away, that is probably sufficient. If you are a commercial grower, you want to get to 8 to 10% moisture content, which means 50% RH or less. "Too dry" is somewhere less than 5%.

To hit 5%, you need very dry air for a long time. Or, you put it in a space that is really warm, which lowers the relative humidity, and poof...you have a pile of bracts and yellow dust. In that case, I just saw a thread where someone used the lupulin as a rub on his spare ribs. You can try that.

 
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:23 PM   #55
ken11
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Jul 2011
cherry valley, ma
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nice w/ the filter fabric:

 
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #56
skankin_brews
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Feb 2012
Belmont, NC
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That is the Alton Brown technique for drying meat for jerky

 
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:44 AM   #57
DoctorHops
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Dec 2009
Cedar Crest, NM
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Yes, in college, Alton Brown too dried ...er hops.

 
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:53 AM   #58
Bamsdealer
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Apr 2012
Collegeville, Pa
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very cool. I use a similar setup when drying jerky.

 
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:38 AM   #59
zwaldo
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May 2012
New Albany, Indiana
Posts: 5

Saw the same technique used by elton Brown on his cooking show to do beef jerky.

 
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:23 AM   #60
SouthtownsBrewing2011
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Feb 2012
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan
This is a copy from a post I put in a different thread, but relevant to the question you just asked.

It is possible to overdry hops but not easy unless you are using heat or in a desert. When they overdry, the bracts will fall off and the lupulin will fall out. If you are using heat, you may also dry out all the oils and aromas, leaving you with tasteless stigs.

Basically, every non living thing absorbs and desorbs moisture from the air at a rate that is controlled by the relative humidity of the air. For every Equilibrium Relative Humidity (of the air) there is a corresponding Equilibrium Moisture Content (of the hops in this case). If the Relative Humidity goes up, the item absorbs more moisture until it comes back to equilibrium. This is true for hops.

If you check my pictures, I believe I have an isothrem for hops posted. It basically shows that you can dry to less than 15% moisture content regardless of the air conditions. Assuming you are going to freeze them or use them right away, that is probably sufficient. If you are a commercial grower, you want to get to 8 to 10% moisture content, which means 50% RH or less. "Too dry" is somewhere less than 5%.

To hit 5%, you need very dry air for a long time. Or, you put it in a space that is really warm, which lowers the relative humidity, and poof...you have a pile of bracts and yellow dust. In that case, I just saw a thread where someone used the lupulin as a rub on his spare ribs. You can try that.
I planted 5 different types this year. I know that next year will be pretty good but when i harvest them in the summer and dry... Here is the big question AMOUNT? If i normally use 1 oz of cascade pellets how much do i use of my dried fresh stuff?

 
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