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Old 12-04-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
Mar 2009
Posts: 22
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I'm probably not using good judgment, but I want to try out a few new things at the same a time:

1) This is my second batch (after trying a couple not so great batches about 15 years ago).
2) I want to try dry hopping for the first time (because a buddy gave me some leaf hops from Oregon).
3) I want to try to cold crash the secondary.
4) I just bought myself a Tap-A-Draft system (as a favor to my wife for my birthday) and want to use it.

And on top of all that, because I was too excited and not really thinking, when I started brewing this batch (a winter warmer with a wyeast smack pac), I started the wyeast with boiled sugar water instead of DME (because I didn’t know what that was!).

Anyway, I left the primary alone from 11/1 till 11/21 (after a few consecutive hydro readings), then transferred to a secondary. It tasted really sweet… too sweet, but otherwise kind of nice.

Its now 12/04 and I'm not sure when to start the dry hop because I only want to have them in the secondary for a week, and whenever I swirl the secondary it starts bubbling again for a while.

So now I’m looking for some guidance…
1) When should I dry hop and for how long?
2) When should I cold crash and for how long?
3) How should I prime for the TAD bottles (and whatever is left over for glass bottles)?


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Old 12-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #2
May 2009
Los Angeles
Posts: 8,219
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1) I would wait until primary fermentation has finished...maybe a week to 10 days, then do the dry hops and leave them in for a week.

2) I usually cold crash for 2-3 days just before bottling, and prime and bottle it cold. It doesn't really matter "when" if you're already in secondary. Just whenever you think the beer is ready to be bottled.

3) I can't help you with this question, since I have no experience whatsoever with the tap-a-draft stuff.

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Old 12-04-2009, 05:46 PM   #3
phatuna's Avatar
Mar 2009
San Diego
Posts: 794
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Well, when you swirl the bucket and it bubbles a bit, that doesn't mean that it is continuing to ferment, it just means that Co2 is escaping your bucket. You should take another hydrometer reading or two. Two consecutive hydro readings over the course of a few days will let you know that it is done.

I would recommend dry hopping for 6 - 10 days and not much longer than that. So you would want to start that process 6-10 days prior to cold crashing. Then cold crash for a couple of days, then bottle.

Sorry that I cannot offer up anything on the TAD as I have no experience there.

Good luck!

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Old 12-04-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
Nov 2009
Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,827
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It's been fermenting for over a month. It's as done as it's gonna get. Take a gravity reading if you want to be sure but I 'm fairly certain it's done fermenting.

Add the dry hops and let those sit for 4-12 days. The time depends on the temp and how much extraction you want. Warm temps speed extraction. Your gonna get hop flavor but your also getting some vegetable flavor from the hops that most people don't like. Leave it too long and the vegetable flavor can get ugly.

After you feel like you've gotten what you want from the dry hops, cold crash or not. I really don't think you need to cold crash. It's been fermenting for a month and it's probably very well flocculated by now.

I know nothing about the tap a draft. I suspect you just follow the directions that came with it.

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