Airlock bubbling after I pulled out dry hop bag

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jimmyjames78

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Hello all,

New here, so please go easy on me. This story involves my first attempt at a dry hop.

The wort/beer was in the primary for about 6 days, then I racked it into a secondary for 10 days. Visible bubbling had stopped and the surface of the beer was more or less clear.

I put 1 oz of Summit pellets in a bag (that I had pushed around in a bowl full of sanitizer and let sit for a good 5 minutes) and dropped it into my secondary (glass carboy). After a few days, the beer surrounding the bag foamed up a little bit, but nothing seemed to out of whack. The airlock did not begin to bubble again.

After about 6 days, I popped the airlock to pull the bag out. Surprisingly (to me, though not to any of you guys, I'm sure), the hops had really swollen. So much so that getting the bag out of the top of the carboy was quite difficult. After several attempts I was finally able to pull the bag out of the top with quite a bit of force. This ended up sort of wringing out the hops and a lot of liquid from the hop bag went back down into beer.

The next day the airlock started bubbling again. Not vigorously, but maybe once every 3 or 4 minutes. Surprised (I had expected to bottle within the next few days), I pulled the cover off the carboy and found a thin but irregular sort of green/yellow clumpy film on the top of the beer (see pic below).

Worried, I started looking around this forum. I found a few threads that said that CO2 during dry hopping was normal, but for my situation it didn't start until after I had pulled the hops out. I thought it might be an infection, but it seemed like if it was going to get infected, it would have happened when I put the hops in, not out.

It's been 3 days now, and the film hasn't changed that much (if anything there is less of it now), but it does look like it is sort of now hanging down into the beer. Any advice for a noob?

TL;DR: I dry hopped my beer and when I pulled out the hops the airlock started bubbling and there has been this gross stuff on the top for 72 hours. When do I worry?

Photo1(4).jpg
 

twistr25

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Likely when you pulled the bag out, you disturbed the beer and it is just off-gassing. Especially, if when pulling out the bag, the extra water splashed a little. I'd imagine the film is just residue from the hops. Those look a little chunky to be yeast rafts, but some of the hop material could have gotten out and is now floating there.
 

duboman

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You don''t worry at all, what you are seeing and experiencing is totally normal. The "stuff" on the top is just floating hop debris and the bubbling is just off gas from the process. Since you already removed the hops you are essentially done. If you can cold crash the beer then do so and it wall force all suspended material to drop, clear the beer and then you can bottle. If not, then let the beer sit a few days to drop naturally and then bottle.

Now, for the future brews: 6 days is not a long enough time for primary fermentation and you did not state that you verified FG prior to transferring to the secondary. If you did not, you need to. This is crucial as you never want to remove the beer off the yeast until FG has been met and verified to two consistent readings over three days. Second, once you verify this and transfer you really want to add the hops in such a way that you are ready to bottle once dry hop is complete as the yummyness of the hops degrades pretty quickly so you want to package as soon as it's done. Most people will dry hop anywhere from 5-14 days. During this time the beer will also clear.

When you rack to the bottling bucket place a sanitized hop bag over your racking cane to filter out the sediment and you don't get it in your bottling bucket.

In addition, you are bound to get replies here about not even having to use a secondary and there is great debate over this. Do a search and you will find tons of threads addressing this. There is no right or wrong, it is what works best for the brewer and their individual set up:)
 

Revvy

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You opened the bung, you reseated the bung...you disturbed the integrity of the vessel. And airlock is a vent, not a fermentation gauge, when you do something, like move the fermenter or change things you let air in or let co2 out.

All it means is...


Your airlock is bubbling....

Nothing else.
 
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Another note for the future:

You don't need to sanitize hops before adding them. Hops themselves have antibacterial qualities and will not infect your beer as long as you don't let them sit out in the open for hours. Just open the bag and dump them in.
 
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jimmyjames78

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Thanks all. That sounds reassuring. I can actually tell you that I know some of the hops floated out of the bag during the dry hop, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. And I had heard that hops were pretty resistant to bacteria (Happy IPA day!, btw) so I didn't sanitize the hops themselves, just the bag.

With regard to all of your other very valid concerns and insights duboman, thank you for those as well. This is only my 4th batch ever. I started off with a very simplified system of steps given to me by my local homebrew supply store (rack into secondary no more than 7 days after pitching, don't use a bottling bucket, keep in secondary from between 14-20 days), and have been trying to get more and more "into it" if you will, with every batch. The simplified system of steps (they will help you augment them depending on the recipe ) has produced some very good beer so far, but I recognize that I want to learn more so that I can confidently add, subtract, or change the process. I tried to measure OG and FG during my last batch, but I kept getting really whacky measurements and ended up breaking my hydrometer (which I think maybe was faulty to begin with. I got 1.1 both before pitching and after a week of very vigorous fermentation.) I'm currently thinking about investing in a refractrometer. I try to learn something new with every batch. And inevitably do. Like the subject of this thread.

Putting a sanitized hop bag over the racking cane is pure brilliance.
 

jbaysurfer

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Thanks all. That sounds reassuring. I can actually tell you that I know some of the hops floated out of the bag during the dry hop, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. And I had heard that hops were pretty resistant to bacteria (Happy IPA day!, btw) so I didn't sanitize the hops themselves, just the bag.

With regard to all of your other very valid concerns and insights duboman, thank you for those as well. This is only my 4th batch ever. I started off with a very simplified system of steps given to me by my local homebrew supply store (rack into secondary no more than 7 days after pitching, don't use a bottling bucket, keep in secondary from between 14-20 days), and have been trying to get more and more "into it" if you will, with every batch. The simplified system of steps (they will help you augment them depending on the recipe ) has produced some very good beer so far, but I recognize that I want to learn more so that I can confidently add, subtract, or change the process. I tried to measure OG and FG during my last batch, but I kept getting really whacky measurements and ended up breaking my hydrometer (which I think maybe was faulty to begin with. I got 1.1 both before pitching and after a week of very vigorous fermentation.) I'm currently thinking about investing in a refractrometer. I try to learn something new with every batch. And inevitably do. Like the subject of this thread.

Putting a sanitized hop bag over the racking cane is pure brilliance.
I mostly only do that if there's considerable whole hope debris in the fermenter. For the pellet hop dryhopping I just let them settle out and carefully rack off the top. Works just as well. Cold crashing clears your beer better then any filter ever will too. (IMO)
 

StoutattheDevil

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The only variable you have to worry about in dry hopping is the bag itself. If it sits out in an open area it can pick up a lot of different things, including bacteria that you don't want in your beer. If you notice a film that covers the entire top of your secondary that is sort of lacy and smells vegetal, them you have an issue. Otherwise, dry Hop on my friend!
 

Yooper

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Generally, you want to dryhop right before bottling. Instead of adding the hops, and then taking them out and letting the beer sit, next time do the reverse. Let the beer sit until finished. About a week before bottling, add the dryhops. Instead of removing the bag of hops (I don't use a bag, but it's ok to use one), rack the beer into the bottling bucket and bottle it.

Dryhopping seems to give the best aroma and flavor when it's done immediately before bottling.
 

rlynne

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I tried to measure OG and FG during my last batch, but I kept getting really whacky measurements and ended up breaking my hydrometer (which I think maybe was faulty to begin with. I got 1.1 both before pitching and after a week of very vigorous fermentation.) I'm currently thinking about investing in a refractrometer. I try to learn something new with every batch. And inevitably do. Like the subject of this thread.

Putting a sanitized hop bag over the racking cane is pure brilliance.
Do you mean your OG was 1.01 and not 1.1?

If it was 1.01 it's because you didn't stir your wort enough before measuring, this is very common mistake for partial boils :)
 

adamjackson

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You opened the bung, you reseated the bung...you disturbed the integrity of the vessel. And airlock is a vent, not a fermentation gauge, when you do something, like move the fermenter or change things you let air in or let co2 out.

All it means is...


Your airlock is bubbling....

Nothing else.

Revvy is right. Take any completed fermentated beer and jossle the carboy around, it'll bubble like crazy for a few hours after that. It's just bubbles...not anything really

No FG reading...no absolute sureness you're all done
 
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