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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > What's the best way to dry hop???
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default What's the best way to dry hop???

Okay, so I'm relatively new to brewing (only 16 batches under my belt), and I've only dry-hopped about 4 of them. I originally tried dry hopping in carboys using hop bags, but it was a total pain in the ass to get them both in and out of the carboy. I have had relative success just throwing whole hops into the carboy and then racking the beer on top of them when transferring to secondary. Still, it is quite difficult to get all of the hops wet enough that they make full contact with the beer, as you can see in this picture:


I've thought about putting the hops in hop bags in a brew bucket and using that for secondary, but my brew buckets are plastic and I heard that you don't want to use plastic vessels for your secondary fermenter (although I don't know if this is true).

Anyone care to share how they've successfully dry hopped??? A picture or two would be awesome as well...
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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Here's what doesn't work, for me:

- Dry hopping loose pellets in a bucket or carboy: nightmare to siphon beer from, and much as people say they settle, they don't settle fast enough for me (2 weeks and still had two inches of floating hops at the bottom. Lost a lot of beer.

- Bagged leaf hops in bucket/carboy: This bag just didn't want to sink, so by itself this didn't get much contact.

From this, I'd suggest using a slightly weighted bag with whole hops, so you can pull it some time before you rack it out of the vessel, you can let it drain and any trub disturbance will be able to settle back down during that draining time, or a bit after.

One that worked for me was pellet hops in a fine mesh bag right in the serving keg, that works well. Didn't get a lot of flavor extraction, but it was noticeable.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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Dryhopping with:

Pellets
Toss into carboy or bucket without a bag. They will sink after 7-10 days. Even if they don't sink in time, simply siphon with a nylon mesh paint strainer bag wrapped around your auto-siphon to avoid any hop particulate uptake.

Whole Hops
Bag them and weigh down the bag with enough marbles or washers to suspend midway in the beer. Toss in a bucket since you won't be able to remove the bulging bag too easily through the narrow neck of a carboy. If this method discourages you, then you could mimic the above method I mentioned for pellet hops, but cleanup is worse.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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I dry hop in kegs and wrap the hops in cheesecloth, works great, easy to remove. Hell sometimes, I'll just leave the hops in the keg and force carb it with the hops still in it. Some people say not to leave the hops in that long...I say "screw the naysayers". My 2 cents anyway.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETCS View Post
I dry hop in kegs and wrap the hops in cheesecloth, works great, easy to remove. Hell sometimes, I'll just leave the hops in the keg and force carb it with the hops still in it. Some people say not to leave the hops in that long...I say "screw the naysayers". My 2 cents anyway.

Cheers
So you dry hop straight in the keg without any CO2 pressure on it? I thought about doing that, but someone said that without pressure, the keg would leak and the beer could get contaminated... Is this incorrect?
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Dryhopping with:

Pellets
Toss into carboy or bucket without a bag. They will sink after 7-10 days. Even if they don't sink in time, simply siphon with a nylon mesh paint strainer bag wrapped around your auto-siphon to avoid any hop particulate uptake.

Whole Hops
Bag them and weigh down the bag with enough marbles or washers to suspend midway in the beer. Toss in a bucket since you won't be able to remove the bulging bag too easily through the narrow neck of a carboy. If this method discourages you, then you could mimic the above method I mentioned for pellet hops, but cleanup is worse.
I'm thinking about doing the bucket method with whole hops, like you described. Have you ever noticed any oxidation problems from using a plastic bucket as your secondary fermenter?
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:40 AM   #7
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I'm thinking about doing the bucket method with whole hops, like you described. Have you ever noticed any oxidation problems from using a plastic bucket as your secondary fermenter?
Bigtime myth.

I've had a beer in a primary bucket for 6 weeks and no issues, one of my best.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych

Bigtime myth.

I've had a beer in a primary bucket for 6 weeks and no issues, one of my best.
Really??? That would make my life so much easier... What about oxygen in the headspace of the bucket that is present after transferring the beer into a bucket during secondary? Have you ever had a problem with oxidized beer?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Beer in secondary bucket = no bueno.
Wort/beer in primary bucket or carboy is just fine.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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I always use a plastic bucket for primary fermentation, and dry hop right in the bucket. In fact, I just opened a a bucket Pale Ale this morning after 7 days and threw in a few oz of Galaxy and Citra.

After another 7 days I will rack to a glass secondary for a week, cold crash for a few days and move to keg or bottles. (fairly quick timeline because its a Pale)
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