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Dry Hop Shelf Life

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hopdawg

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I read in a post which implied that the shelf life of a dry hopped beer is reduced. Is this a fact? Even for bottled? Who long does she have doc?
 

TheTower

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I actually would like to know this as well. I know the you don't want to leave your beer in secondary for extended periods, you'll start pulling vegetal flavors out of the flowers. But after it's bottled?
 

rsmith179

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Ditto. I have heard/read somewhere that dry hopping will release some compounds that will result in quicker oxidation in beers, somewhat lowering their shelf life. When boiling hops, those compounds are forced out of the beer so those same oxidizing effects are not found when boiling hops. This would be an interesting discussion for the brewing science forum.
 

conpewter

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I was under the impression that dry hopping doesn't affect the shelf-life, but instead you will loose some of that hop aroma over time. So you should dry-hop to coincide with when the beer will be at it's peak. So if you dryhop (7 days to a week in secondary/keg) then you should probably drink the beer within 3 months or so, I believe after that you'll start having the hop flavor drop off, but I'm sure it will still be tasty.

This was a very good podcast about dry-hopping.
The Brewing Network.com - Shows and Podcasts: Brew Strong
 

pjj2ba

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+1 on the loss of aroma over time. The beer will keep fine otherwise. I've got an IPA in the keg now that I force carbed instead of my usual natural carbonation to test wether the lack of a bunch of yeast in the bottom of the keg results in the aroma hanging around longer (ie, the yeast might be breaking down the aroma compound)
 

ohiobrewtus

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From my experience, conpewter is correct. Dry hopping doesn't appear to have an impact on the shelf life of a beer, but hop flavor and aroma will fade with time.
 

TheTower

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That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I knew the beer would mellow in the bottles, but as I'm doing my first dry-hop in a week, I really wanted to hear that my beer wouldn't degenerate negatively after a few months. Thanks!
 

Matt Up North

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If you are going to spend the money for the aroma, then you want the aroma vibrant! Drink it faster so that the aroma doesn't go away. The beer will still be beer, but without the beautiful smell of hops.
 

conpewter

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If you are going to spend the money for the aroma, then you want the aroma vibrant! Drink it faster so that the aroma doesn't go away. The beer will still be beer, but without the beautiful smell of hops.
Make sure to match when you dryhop to when the brew's flavor will peak. Don't dryhop after 2-3 weeks, drop in a keg and start drinking, you'll do a disservice to the beer. I as well as others find that the brew typically will get better and better. If you think it is best at 3 months, then you may want to age that in the keg for 2 months then dryhop for a week, carb and drink. That way both the brew and the hop aroma are at their best at the same time.

*sometimes I am too impatient to follow my own advice...
 

Matt Up North

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Very true Conpewter. Definately make sure that you are making a beer that tastes good and that you are dryhopping at the correct time for the beer. It is also best to do a lot, and I mean a lot, of homework and trials. So make 5 gallons this week, then 5 gallons the week after and then 5 gallons the week after. Dry hop them all at week 4 and you will get a good idea of when that beer is ready for that dry hopping. Then be sure to taste, taste, taste. Get a panel of people together in order to make sure it is unbiased. Do multiple flights too.

:)
 

moti_mo

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IPAs were created specifically because including high amounts of hops and high alcohol content both help to extend the shelf life of the beer so they could survive the long trip from Britain to India in the days of Britain's colonial rule - hence their name. Hops have some natural antiseptic qualities that help to avoid spoilage, so there should be absolutely no problem with dry-hopping reducing the shelf life of a beer. And yes, the DH aroma dissipates continually over the course of time...so drink that IPA in your keg now!
 
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