Is Dry Hopping Sanitary? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
cee3's Avatar
Apr 2008
Brighton, MI
Posts: 75

I know I'm being paranoid, and it's quite a common practice, but doesn't throwing something unsanitized into our fermenting (or nearly finished fermenting) beer fly in the face of one of the first rules homebrewing?

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
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Well...some things to consider...If you are dry hopping from a sealed package, more than likely the pack is somewhat sterile.

At the point of dry hopping (in secondary) you are adding it to alcohol...alcohol kills germs....

Hops are one of the best antiseptics/preservatives known to man...they were added to preserve beer, not to spoil it...That pretty much means that you should be okay.

The first rule of homebrewing is RDWHAHB....Everything else flows from there.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
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Mirilis's Avatar
Feb 2008
Greenville, Ohio
Posts: 1,736
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Revvy is correct.. the alcohol will kill most things, thats why you add it to the secondary after most of the fermentation is complete. However if you still worry some you can sanitize the package ( assuming its plastic ) with a spray of StarSan prior to opening it and dumping into the secondary.

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:58 PM   #4
Brewing Clamper
Brewing Clamper's Avatar
Apr 2006
Union City, CA
Posts: 2,846
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RDWHAHB... I dry hop a lot and I've never had an issue...

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:59 PM   #5
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
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No worries....

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
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Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
No worries....

Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

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Old 09-24-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
Evets's Avatar
Jan 2006
Lancaster County, Pa.
Posts: 1,951
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I've never had a problem, but I worry about DH with home grown hops, for some reason.

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #8
The Blow Leprechaun
Jun 2008
Rockville, MD
Posts: 601
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I have only dry hopped once, and it was the only batch of mine to get an infection (a gusher infection it was).

I don't actually think the dry hopping caused it, but it has made me a little leery.

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Old 09-25-2008, 04:06 PM   #9
King of Cascade
Feb 2008
Posts: 657
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The plastic package may be sterile but the hops them self are not. They grow outside and have wild yeast and mold all over them. Most hops are frozen which kills some of the wild yeast and mold but in a low alcohol beer you may have an issue.

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