Adding Hops in Secondary

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gdenmark

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So I have already worked through various kits and I am now moving onto more intermediate extract brewing. My next batch is going to be an IPA and I want to add hops into the secondary fermenter. What is the process exactly for doing this? Do I just put up them in the fermenter and then take them out once I bottle? I have tried to read up on the process, but cannot get quite the clear answer I was hoping for. Thanks for the help guys.
 
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gdenmark

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I also have another question that I could just add on to this. I do not have a lot of experience with secondary fermentation, and was wondering is there anyway to just leave this in primary fermentation but still had the dry hops during the fermentation. If so when should I add them, and again what is the actual process that should be taken while adding the hops. Thanks again.
 

Golddiggie

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Toss them into the primary when you're about a week away from bottling (make sure it's going to be bottled in a week, or so) with a confirmed FG and it tastes right. Add the hops, then sample/taste after about 5 days until it has the hop flavor you're looking for. Some people dry hop for a week, some two... I've not done it YET, but I'm thinking about it for a coming brew...

I wouldn't move to another vessel just to dry hop...
 
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gdenmark

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When I add the dry hops, do I just simply drop them into the fermenter? Then what do I do when I bottle? Also everyone always says to take a sample of the beer, taste it, take readings, etc... How am I supposed to do that without letting too much oxygen get into the vessel and possibly causing contamination.
 

Golddiggie

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When I add the dry hops, do I just simply drop them into the fermenter?
Yes... Some people put them into a small bag, with a weight to get them to drop down in. You can do that if you want, or just put them in the fermenter and let them do their magic.

Then what do I do when I bottle?
Ummmmm, rack to the bottling bucket as normal and bottle it up. If you use pellet hops, once they're in the trub you'll be fine. Some people put a filter on the end of the racking cane/auto-siphon to stop hop bits from moving over. You'll need to experiment to get a method that works best for you.

Also everyone always says to take a sample of the beer, taste it, take readings, etc... How am I supposed to do that without letting too much oxygen get into the vessel and possibly causing contamination.
Get either a beer thief or wine thief from the LHBS, or one of the online vendors. I have a glass one, so it takes a few pulls to get enough for a hydrometer reading/taste sample... Just sanitize everything that will touch the wort, and make sure you cap/cover the fermenter once you've pulled the sample. I prefer carboy's and corny's here since the opening is smaller and there's less chance (I feel) of things falling into the brew. Again, figure out what works best/well for you and go with it.
 
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gdenmark

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Awesome! Thank you so much for the advice. Everyone always talked about taking readings and samples when it was in the fermentor and I figured there was some type of tool to be able to do this. Thank you for the advice, I will let you know how the IPA comes along.
 

wulfsburg

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I throw my hop pellets in a small sock and throw in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks. I have done this twice, turned out fine.
 

wolverinebrewer

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Toss them into the primary when you're about a week away from bottling (make sure it's going to be bottled in a week, or so) with a confirmed FG and it tastes right. Add the hops, then sample/taste after about 5 days until it has the hop flavor you're looking for. Some people dry hop for a week, some two... I've not done it YET, but I'm thinking about it for a coming brew...

I wouldn't move to another vessel just to dry hop...
First off, I want to say I dry hop in primary.
But....I just read the March issue of Zymurgy and in there Gordon Strong says to not dry-hop in primary because yeast can cling to the hops and absorb aroma. He didn't say much else about it. Now, is this old school thinking or is there some legitamacy to this, or something that really does not makes a difference. I'm a 1 year HBT follower and 14 batch brewer but I'm still learning and interested in learning what works best. If it really doesn't matter to the outcome of my brews, then I'll just forget about what I read.
 

Golddiggie

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I would think that as long as you gave the brew enough time to let the yeast flocculate down, the amount still in suspension wouldn't be enough to impact the hop aroma... I've not dry hopped YET, but I'm thinking of doing it with my coming brew. It will be on the yeast for 2-4 weeks (most likely 3-4), with planned whole hop dry hopping planned for 1 week before bottling it up. I'm not looking for a ton of hop aroma, so I'm thinking of going with 1/2oz to 1oz of whole hops (Fuggles)...
 

dcp27

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First off, I want to say I dry hop in primary.
But....I just read the March issue of Zymurgy and in there Gordon Strong says to not dry-hop in primary because yeast can cling to the hops and absorb aroma. He didn't say much else about it. Now, is this old school thinking or is there some legitamacy to this, or something that really does not makes a difference. I'm a 1 year HBT follower and 14 batch brewer but I'm still learning and interested in learning what works best. If it really doesn't matter to the outcome of my brews, then I'll just forget about what I read.
I never understood that claim. Being in a secondary doesnt reduce the amount of yeast in suspension compared to that in primary. I think they just say it so you don't do it too early before the yeast has flocc'd. If you wait at least 2 weeks before dry hopping, it doesn't matter where you add it.
 

Golddiggie

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So, dcp27, if I do it after 3 weeks in primary, things should be kosher, yes? I was planning on letting my brew run a full month on the yeast anyway... So I could do it at either week 3 or 4, letting it go another full week with the hops before racking and bottling...
 

wolverinebrewer

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I never understood that claim. Being in a secondary doesnt reduce the amount of yeast in suspension compared to that in primary. I think they just say it so you don't do it too early before the yeast has flocc'd. If you wait at least 2 weeks before dry hopping, it doesn't matter where you add it.
I would have liked a longer explaination from the magazine but I think I'll just keep doing it like I have been....dry-hopping in the later stage of a month long primary ferment.
It was just interesting to read that since it conflicted with what I've been reading here.
 

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