Dry Hop Question

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JWWard03

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Hi all. The IPA kit I'm using from Northern Brewery says to dry hop in the remaining hops with 7 days of fermentation left. It also says to move to a secondary, but consensus here says that a secondary is unneeded. Do I just put the hops directly into the primary fermenter and let it work for 5 more days? I'm assuming stirring is a no-no, but I could be wrong.
 

Nate R

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You are spot on.
And stirring is a HUGE no-no. Like don't do it. Just quickly drop the hops in- they will spread out over time no need to stir.

If you stir now you are introducing oxygen to your beer. That's bad at this stage.
 

renstyle

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What they said ;) :cool:

The key is to add the dry hops while with a few gravity points left, so any O2 that is introduced by the hop matter will get consumed by the yeast. Add with as little agitation as reasonably possible, and monitor the gravity until she's done.
 
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JWWard03

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I added the hops on Friday and it looks like this now. It smells really good, but the head isn't going down anymore. Is it going to stay there because of the hops or should I wait till that is gone before checking the gravity the first time. Also, do I throw away the portion that I use for the hydrometer measurement or can I dump it back in the bucket? Thanks.
 

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Nate R

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Never, ever, ever NEVER put the sample back in the bucket!!! This is a HUGE potential of introducing an infection!!!

Try a little sip of it, remember (or write down) what it smells like, what it tastes like. Or dump it down the sink
 

Konadog

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Some of it may still drop, some may stay on top. Cold crashing if possible would drop everything to the bottom. Just take your sample under the layer of hops and do not put the sample back into your fermentor! Drink it or dump it, but don't put it back.
 
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JWWard03

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Thanks. Is the best way to get the sample to use the tube from my siphon and plug the end with the thumb?
 

Konadog

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That, or they do make a wine thief that works well (same principal). Just be sure to sanitize anything you put into your beer at this point.
 

tony9i9i9i

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I read here not to bother with secondary, but have on the last few, I'm getting better attenuation and a higher ABV and clearer beer. I'm going to stick with it.

When I get a sink set up in the garage I'll have room to start a new brew when I transfer so will increase production as well.

Tony.
 

tony9i9i9i

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And for kits that want you to dry hop, I got this after the first one,
The first one botteling wasa nightmare, ruined a bottler, bits of hop got stuck in it and wouldn't come out, I had to poor the bottles through a tea strainer.


Tony.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I added the hops on Friday and it looks like this now.
That picture of the wide open bucket gives me the chills. Hopefully that beer is still actively fermenting, and will push out the oxygen introduced into the headspace. Once I realized how much just a little oxygen can ruin hoppy beers, I am very paranoid about exposing my beers to air. Buckets can make this tricky, but I would advocate you lift the lid as little as possible, quickly add your hops, then close up the fermenter.

I am very happy with my Fermonster fermenters. The clear sides make it very easy to check on the status of hops. I can also just pull out the stopper on the top and quickly add the dry hops. The spigot makes taking a gravity sample possible (though care needs to be taken to clean and sanitize the stopper, and to avoid sucking back air when taking a sample).
 
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JWWard03

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I checked the gravity last night and it is at 1.010 right now giving me a 6.7% ABV. Can I expect it to come down some more? I tasted a little of it and boy did it taste strong already with a solid bitterness. This will definitely be a sipping beer.
 
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JWWard03

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That picture of the wide open bucket gives me the chills. Hopefully that beer is still actively fermenting, and will push out the oxygen introduced into the headspace. Once I realized how much just a little oxygen can ruin hoppy beers, I am very paranoid about exposing my beers to air. Buckets can make this tricky, but I would advocate you lift the lid as little as possible, quickly add your hops, then close up the fermenter.

I am very happy with my Fermonster fermenters. The clear sides make it very easy to check on the status of hops. I can also just pull out the stopper on the top and quickly add the dry hops. The spigot makes taking a gravity sample possible (though care needs to be taken to clean and sanitize the stopper, and to avoid sucking back air when taking a sample).
I'm going to move it to my bottling bucket (5 gallon vs 6 1/2 gallon capacity) today and let it sit a couple days in there for the sediment to settle before bottling. Definitely not planning to get the full 5 gallons out of this one. This will likely be the last batch I ferment in that bucket since I now have a 6 1/2 gallon Big Mouth Bubbler from Northern Brewer. I like that one a lot more, but I brewed two batches within a few days of each other. Not something I'll be doing again. Thanks to everyone for the advice.
 

Knightshade

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I'm assuming your OG was in the 1.055'ish range? If so, yeah 1.010 sounds like it is done. Sounds like the beer is green (young), give it some time via conditioning, carbonation time and it will probably be different in a couple weeks.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I'm going to move it to my bottling bucket (5 gallon vs 6 1/2 gallon capacity) today and let it sit a couple days in there for the sediment to settle before bottling.
I am not sure how you could do this without significantly oxidizing your beer. This sounds like a terrible idea to me.
 
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JWWard03

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Doesn't using a siphon reduce the oxidation possibility? That's all I use to transfer.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Doesn't using a siphon reduce the oxidation possibility? That's all I use to transfer.
The beer will be sitting for days absorbing oxygen from the layer of air above the beer. In a closed fermenter, the fermentation will flush out all the air from the headspace once fermentation begins. In a bottling bucket there will be very little CO2 released from the beer. This can be okay during the 15-30 minutes of a standard bottling process, but not for days. If you need your beer to clear more, leave it in the fermenter.

Cold side oxidation (after fermentation is done) is a killer for hoppy beers. It significantly reduces hop flavors and aroma and add dull-caramel/cardboard flavors.
 

NSMikeD

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fwiw, I have gone to a refractometer, I use a syringe that's been sanitized to draw the beer with minimal exposure. I also use small shot plastic shot glasses to draw wort (and cool to room temp) during brew days. It may not be a precise as using a hydrometer but close enough while minimizing the chance of infection and cuts down in waste (I brew small batches so lost beer is a crime for me).
 
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JWWard03

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I bottled last night and there was just too much floating around and a really thick yeast cake on the bottom. I lost around a gallon of usable beer. I think next time I'll move it to secondary before adding the dry hops just to see if it will help with the sediment. I know it increases the amount of possible oxygen, but I'm careful and will use a clear container so I don't have to crack the lid as much to check on it. I think it's going to taste great after a couple weeks of bottle conditioning. It ended up right at 7%.
 

tony9i9i9i

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As I said before, get yourself a dry hopper filter (I dry hopped without one, once!), drop it in a bucket of sanitiser, take it out drop the hops in that, then place it in your beer 5 days to a week before you go to secondary, syphon your beer to secondary, take the hopper filter out of the empty bucket clean it, rinse it, sanitise it and put it away until you need it again.

Tony.
 

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