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Old 11-14-2009, 03:41 AM   #1
Aug 2006
Delmar NY
Posts: 255
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I've looked at the threads on dry hopping, but I'm trying to keep things sterile and not add alot of extra solid. I'm interested in adding aroma and not necessarily more bitterness. Some of the threads talk about boiling the hops or hop pellets in a smal amount of weak wort, but that would extract more bitterness and boil off the aroma. What happens if you soak hop pellets in something neutral like vodka, then strain it? That would seem to be more like an addition at flameout. Does anyone do this?
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:55 AM   #2
rsmith179's Avatar
Feb 2009
Cleveland, OH
Posts: 934
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People have been dry hopping for years without many problems dry hopping. Contamination is not an issue due to the alcohol in your beer. If you don't want to have all of those loose hops in the secondary, you can use a strainer bag and a big washer to sink it to the bottom to submerge the hops.

In regards to your actual question, I really can't say if that would work or not. I'm sure that the essential oils in the hops will be disolved in the vodka, but I can't say it will work as well as dry hopping.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #3
Bob's Avatar
Nov 2007
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
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If you want to dry-hop, you have to deal with solids. Hops are solid.

Worrying about sterility is needless worry. As RSmith rightly points out, not only is beer a fairly inhospitable place for any contaminant you're likely to inoculate with hops, brewers have been dry-hopping with loose cones for 150 years and with pellets for as long as there have been pellets. If you're that worried, steep the pellets in 180+F water for at least 10 minutes, maintaining the heat at or above 180F.

Your vodka technique won't really extract the oils and fatty acids you impart by letting bits of hops flowers soak in beer. You'll be adding more alcohol, but precious little in terms of flavor and aroma. Hops extraction is a much more complicated process. And even if you could perform carbon-dioxide extraction, blind-taste panel data suggest that the flavors and aromas imparted by hops extract are inferior to those imparted by old-fashioned chucking hops into beer.

Just add the dry-hops and don't worry about it. Let it be part of the magic! Science is important to brewing, but part of it is magical; just ride on that. You'll be happier.

And hoppier.

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St Croix, US Virgin Islands

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