Dry Hopping Advice

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Homercidal

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I want to dry hop my IPA and I wondered whether I should try to find some whole leaf hops, or use pellets. If pellets are fine, then how would you suggest I add them? Just dump in? Some kind of bag?

With a strainer bag, I'm worried about getting enough contact between beer and hops.
 

HenryHill

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I use really stretchable grain socks with leaf and a Sanke ball, tied and pitched into the keg.

SS tea balls are supposed to trap pellets, but if you pack it full, you may not get full saturation to the center. They are too small for leaf, IMO.
 

sirsloop

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I would use a nylon hop sock... with something heavy in the sock... like a couple marbles or a piece of SS that you can sanitize. I use a plunger out of an old faucet...lol...
 

rjhockey

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I'm with my fellow ohioan, I just rack off the cake, and toss in an ounce of LEAF hops, didn't fair to well the last time I used pellets vowed never to do it again, since its the same price for either at LHBS.
 
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I'd like to get some leaf hops at the local LHBS, but I don't have one nearby. I'm not driving 1/5 hours to get them. If I can find some online I guess I could order some. I just wondered if using a bag or something to put the pellets in the secondary was practical.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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Homercidal, I just racked an APA to secondary and threw in the hop pellets. I'll let you know how it turned out in a few days when I bottle.

One thing I never understand though, is why does everyone have such a hard time getting a stuck siphon when dry hopping?
 

Superdave

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I was talking to a brewer about this the other day. He suggested sanitizing a plain nylon stocking (like pantyhose), putting the hops (pellets) in that, and suspending it in the beer. His reasoning is you can kind of dip it like a tea bag, and remove the hops when the aroma/flavor is to your liking. He was the master brewer at a local microbrewery for many years.
 

sirsloop

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yeah... just dumping the hops is a mess. It clogs up your sutosiphon and generally makes a huge mess. The weighted hop sock is the easiest cleanup...
 

HenryHill

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BuzzCraft

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Pellets work fine for me in the secondary, whether free or in a sanitized bag. If free, they sink to the bottom and I've had no problem siphoning...I personally think you getter a better effect with them free.

I've not used whole hops personally, but have used plugs in the secondary (without a bag)....I found it a collosal PITA to try to keep those bits out of the siphon. The net effect wasn't so bad, as most of the bits settled to the bottom of the bottling bucket and not too much ended up in the finished product, save for the last coupla bottles.

I once put a hop bag over the end of the racking cane to keep hop leaves out, but the effect of the beer straining through the bag caused it to give off enough CO2 that it would build up at the top of the racking cane and repeatedly stop the siphon. I won't be doing that again!
 

SgtPepper

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I do the same as sirsloop, using a small nylon grain bag weighted down with sanitized marbles. Pellets work fine this way. Tie the bag and drop it in the secondary the last 7 days. Works great for me.
 

Ample

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I secondary in a cornie, and I used a trick I learned here on the site.

tie a piece of floss to the hop bag (or in my case metal "tea ball"), and then seal the top of the cornie as usual. You'll still get a pretty good seal, and you won't have to fish out the "tea ball" when you're done.

I put that in for a week, and it definitely perked up the nose of my pale ale.

:mug:
 

Wild Duk

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What kind of hops,,,leaf or pellet, do you use in your "tea ball". and how much can you fit in there... I'm gonna try it and need some advise.
 

Medo

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ahoy hoy,
The trick Ive found, that works for me anyways, is cold crashing before going to the keg or bottling carboy. I throw in pellets, let them do their thing for a week or 2, then toss the carboy into the fridge for a couple 3 days till its about 32-34 degrees, and that pesky pellet slop becomes a nice solid soil at the bottom, along with the yeast and anything else. As long as your cafeful when you rack to your keg or to the bottlling carboy, you wont even give those hops as second thought. And they do absorb juice, but not like those sponge whole hops. And I like whole hops too, mostly for prewort hopping, and any time in the boil, long as I compensate for what they will drink up.
My 2 cents worth, FYI
A great day to all.....
 
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Homercidal

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What I meant was that if using pellets didn't turn out to be an easy option I could shop online. Of those 4 links, only Freshops gave me the option of ordering cascade or centennial whole leaf hops by the oz. Hopsdirect was by the pound only, northcountry didn't seem to have an online shopping page, and the last one only had Fuggles as whole leaf.
 

conpewter

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I'll probably use the hop sack and floss idea. Barring that I'll just use fishing line and a paperclip to attach the line to the keg lid (using a hard drive magnet on the outside of the lid).
 

roylee

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As I read this it seems some just put the hops bag in the cornie. My question is doesn't that plug the out tube? I tried the floss deal and couldn't get a decent seal and would rather let a bag of leaves float if it wouldn't plug things up.
 

Wild Duk

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Some cornies have a little nub on the inside of the lid. Get yourself a stainless hoseclamp, attach it to the nub, and use dental floss or fishing string to tie the sack to the clamp. Sink the hop sack about 1/2 down the keg... Maybe use a weight in the bag to help it sink...
 

conpewter

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Also you may want to remove the hops after 7-10 days to keep from getting grassy flavors, that's why you don't want to just throw the sack in the keg.
 

bearduncle

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The only brew that I've ever had explode was the last time I tried dry hopping. All the surviving bottles were super gushers. Any chance that the whole hops I used were unsanitary??

I reasoned that the lupulin would have killed off any wild buggers, but was wondering if anyone had a similar experience...
 

cdburg

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The only brew that I've ever had explode was the last time I tried dry hopping. All the surviving bottles were super gushers. Any chance that the whole hops I used were unsanitary??

I reasoned that the lupulin would have killed off any wild buggers, but was wondering if anyone had a similar experience...
While it is possible, I would highly doubt that you got anything from the hops. Everything I've ever heard, even from the pros, said that they've never experienced contamination from dry hopping. Hops themselves have an antiseptic quality. The alcohol in the beer also makes it pretty tough for anything to grow.
 
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Well, I won't be kegging this one. I don't have one available at this time. Plus I wanted to bottle to split the batch 50/50 with the friend who helped brew. (Well, he helped crush grains. After that he watched movies on his laptop with another friend. At least I got a bunch of Zatoichi moves out of the deal!)
 
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