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Old 06-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default dry hop in primary or secondary

My first batch of beer is currently fermenting in my ferm chamber but im wondering about my dry hopping.

I had bought a kit with a secondary because I had planned on dryhopping my beers in it but it seems to be common around here for ppl saying skip it..

My beer is a pale ale..OG is 1.052 so I know it doesn't need to age because the OG isn't high.

So what do u guys think? Rack to secondary in about a week and dry hop or leave it in the primary for 3 weeks and dry hop the last week?


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Old 06-26-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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Conditioning (aging) your beer is the best thing that I have learned about brewing great beer. I go one month in fermenters, and try to go one month on CO2 before drinking.

It is so much better than drinking green beer.

Always dry hop, add fruit, or roasted nuts in the secondary. If you add anything with vigorous fermentation all the flavors will go out the air lock. Go about three or so days in primary, all action will mellow out, THEN rack to secondary and add whatever. The longer it is in there the better, so as soon as fermentation settles down, add.

Some brewers don't use secondaries, just let the vigorous fermentation subside, then add fruit, nuts, dry hops to the Primary if you don't use a secondary.

If you have cheese cloth, make a hop bag and drop it in. That way you don't have hops floating everywhere, when it is time to rack to bottles.

Oh, I am impressed, I have been brewing 8 years, I don't have a fermentation chamber. I'm jealous.

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Either one. I prefer a five gallon secondary for no particular reason. The bandwagon right now is to skip it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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+1 on Stuntman's recommendation to bag the pellet hops. Also consider wrapping your siphon in a cheesecloth or bag when racking to bottling to prevent floaties...Or just use leaf hops for dry hopping.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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I use hop socks after FG is reached,& the beer has had a week to clean up,& settle out to a slight haze. Hop oils cling to the settling yeast cells,not just go out the airlock with the co2. I'm using a secondary for the 1st time. But only because I wanted to age it on bourbon soaked oak chips for a week or so.
At three to five days,only initial fermentation is done,it still takes some time to get down to FG. Yeast is still active,even though they're not going spastic.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:40 AM   #6
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Everyone is pretty spot on with comments. Remember that a lot of topics (such as primary vs secondary debate) ultimately depend on the brewers preference, as there is truly no right or wrong way to do it.

When I dry hop, I put my pellet hops in my sanitized better bottle and rack my primary on top of the hop bed. When bottling time rolls around, I use my hop bag/cheese cloth and place it around my siphon. I find that this is easier then adding the hops to the bag and trying to fit it in the fermentor. It also reduces the change for any infection from nasties being in the cloth.

In the end, do whatever works best for you.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:44 AM   #7
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I couldn't say which is better since I haven't done a side by side but I do dry hop in the secondary so I have less crap to stir up when I lift it out of my fermentation chest.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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So far, I've only dry hopped in primary. Mostly because I don't secondary unless there's a burning need to. IMO, dry hopping isn't one of them. I got solid results with dry hopping in primary the first time, so I plan on doing it again with a coming batch. I plan on letting the brew sit on the yeast for a solid 3-4 weeks before adding the whole hops to it (1.5oz of EKG). I'll let it sit there for about a week, then bottle/keg it up.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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The debate goes on secondary vs no secondary. I use a secondary and think it gives me a better final product. I will continue to do so until I have a frig that I can cold crash in. So now off the soap box. If you use a primary only, do not add the dry hops until the active fermentation is well past or you will loose much of your aroma to the C02 comming out of the air lock.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thehopguy View Post
Rack to secondary in about a week and dry hop or leave it in the primary for 3 weeks and dry hop the last week?
The later works great and is much easier. If you are going to move it to secondary, at least check your hydro reading to be sure it has stabilized rather than going by an arbitrary time of 1 week.

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