Awful Bottling Session

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3 Dawg Night

Brewing to "save money."
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I've had a Cascade APA in the fermenter for three weeks, with a dry hops addition a week ago, and today was bottling day. This was my first time dry hopping, and I just dumped about an ounce of Cascade pellets into the fermenter last week. The hops soaked up the beer, but they just settled in a mat on top of the beer. Is that normal? I was expecting them to "flocculate" out and settle to the bottom. When I moved my fermeneter from my chamber to my workbench today to rack to my bottling bucket, that mat of hops decided to drop from the surface. I gave it 5-10 minutes to settle to the bottom, but I probably should have given it longer, because I ended up with a ton of hops in my bottling bucket. I figured that was OK, because any hops should settle to the bottom of the bottle like the yeast, right? The problem came with my bottling wand. The hops choked my wand so that It was just a trickle. It took forever to fill each bottle, and then it would completely stop after 4-6 bottles, so I had to take it apart to clear, re-sanitize, and continue filling. I spilled a lot of beer in the process, and I only ended up with 42 bottles. I think I'll try a nylon stocking over the end of my auto-siphon next time. Any other tips?

This was my first self-designed recipe, so I'm still super-excited to try it in 2-3 weeks. I'm just frustrated that I left a six-pack in the fermenter, bottling bucket, on the floor, etc.
 

AJinJacksonville

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Did you cold crash it before bottling? Were they hop pellets or leaf hops? Some who dry-hop will throw them in a mesh container or something that will keep a lot of particulate out. Some will throw in full hops or pellets. I've fished stuff off the top before bottling before with a sanitized spoon or small strainer. If it was chunks of pellets, sometimes the cold-crashing will encourage it to drop and sometimes it won't.
 

AJinJacksonville

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The stocking will help more than not, but cold crashing usually does the trick for me. If you use too tight of a weave or container such as a hop spider, there is the possibility of reducing the efficiency of the hops you're adding. Basically, you'll be cutting back on the hops reaching the beer (versus them being dumped freely). I don't use gelatin (because I am not one of those the absolutely must have clear beer)...usually just cold-crashing bottling or kegging does the trick.
 

_BullDog_

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Cold crashing will drop the hops to the bottom, then you can siphon off the top and leave the hops on the fermenter
 
OP
3 Dawg Night

3 Dawg Night

Brewing to "save money."
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If you use too tight of a weave or container such as a hop spider, there is the possibility of reducing the efficiency of the hops you're adding. Basically, you'll be cutting back on the hops reaching the beer (versus them being dumped freely).
Oh, I'll just be using the stocking on the end of my racking cane to filter out the hops before they reach my bottling bucket. I'll still be dumping freely.

Would cold crashing have caused that "mat" of hops to drop? Should I have given my fermenter a gentle nudge to help everything drop earlier? The mat really broke up and mixed into the beer as I moved it (rather gently) from my fermentation fridge to my work bench.
 

pc_trott

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Cold crashing will drop the hops to the bottom, then you can siphon off the top and leave the hops on the fermenter
I've had the same problem as the OP with dry hops not dropping out of suspension. I use a six-gallon carboy as the fermenting vessel, so a nylon bag isn't really an option. With regard to cold crashing, what is the best method if you don't have access to a refrigerator? And when would you start the cold crash, and for how long?
 

NoviceBrewer420

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I've had the same problem as the OP with dry hops not dropping out of suspension. I use a six-gallon carboy as the fermenting vessel, so a nylon bag isn't really an option. With regard to cold crashing, what is the best method if you don't have access to a refrigerator? And when would you start the cold crash, and for how long?
I usually put my fermenter in my 15 gallon kettle and fill it with ice then cool water. Works real well.
 
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