Dry Hopping debate: to weight or not to weight

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

TravelingLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
440
Location
Capital City, SC
Got an extract IPA finishing now (my first beer). I just racked it to secondary two nights ago. I racked to secondary to give myself more time to finish getting the kegerator ready. It should be ready in a week or so. I am dry hopping this beer. So I'm waiting until the kegerator is fully ready to go and then dry hop for ~5 days, then rack it to the keg. I'm using pellets to dry hop and debating my two options... (I'm doing secondary in a 5 gal glass carboy, FWIW)

1. Just dump the pellets in and let them do their thing; or
2. Put the pellets in a nylon/etc bag (sanitized) with marbles or some other weight (sanitized).

Ultimately I'm curious as to opinions between the two options. If it's basically six in one, half dozen in the other, I would take option one and not worry about a weighted bag. Just because it's easier. And I wouldn't have to worry about making the bag of hops all skinny and such to fit in the carboy opening. However, if the difference in dry hopping between those two options is drastic, then obviously I would put forth the extra effort needed to put them in a bag with weights. What say ye, HBT?
 

day_trippr

Get the shot ffs! Sheesh!
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
37,357
Reaction score
20,182
Location
Stow, MA
I let my dry hop pellets free-swim in the carboy for 4-5 days at ~68°F then cold-crash them to the bottom for a few days and rack off to a keg.
If I couldn't do the cold-crash thing I suspect I'd be inclined to try bagging 'em with added weight but I expect that's a pita to pull off with a carboy...

Cheers!
 

LostHopper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
273
Reaction score
109
I am interested in the responses for this too. From searching I think it's about 50/50 on which method to use.

I will be dry hopping one half of a split batch next week but going to bottles rather than a keg. My plan is whole leaf hops in the carboy and let her rip for a few days. But I would be a terrible source of good info.

It has been my experience to this point in my brewing career that taking the simple path usually works fine. Some may call it the lazy path but I get the impression that home brewers vary widely in how much tinkering they find necessary to make good beer. Exclusions include sanitation and temperature control.
 

Psylocide

Ippons for Days
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
9,601
Reaction score
5,989
If you have the ability to cold crash, dump them in loose.

If not, use a bag, but no need to weigh them down IME.
 

A2HB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
103
Location
Ann Arbor
I would just throw them in there. I only use bags if im trying to reuse the yeast cake but since it doesnt sound like thats what youre after no prob to just throw them in there unbagged. Once the beer us kegged and chilled any hop trub will just settle to the bottom.
 
OP
TravelingLight

TravelingLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
440
Location
Capital City, SC
Thanks for all the advice. I don't really have a feasible/convenient method of cold crashing. And I don't want to have to dig out a swollen bag of hops. So I think I'm just going to toss em in. I assume they float at first but end up sinking after they soak up the malty goodness? Also, I like A2HB's line of thinking that the hop trub will settle out in the keg.
 

m00ps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
6,908
Reaction score
2,167
Location
Paducah
you may not exactly need a full-on cold crash. My hardwood floors are pretty cool and ive found the hops settle pretty quickly in my fermentors which are sitting at like 60-62

Even if you have them warm, I think time will still settle them out eventually
 
OP
TravelingLight

TravelingLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
440
Location
Capital City, SC
you may not exactly need a full-on cold crash. My hardwood floors are pretty cool and ive found the hops settle pretty quickly in my fermentors which are sitting at like 60-62

Even if you have them warm, I think time will still settle them out eventually
Great point. My house stays pretty damn cool. I think it sits around 64 during the day right now. Probably even cooler on the hardwood floors. Hadn't thought of that. Good lookin out, m00ps.
 

day_trippr

Get the shot ffs! Sheesh!
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
37,357
Reaction score
20,182
Location
Stow, MA
you may not exactly need a full-on cold crash. My hardwood floors are pretty cool and ive found the hops settle pretty quickly in my fermentors which are sitting at like 60-62

Even if you have them warm, I think time will still settle them out eventually
I've also noticed that once I've set the ferm chamber to "Crash" by the time the beer has reached 50°F all the pellet mush has already hit the bottom. It may have happened even earlier but that's the warmest I've noticed it...

Cheers!
 

unionrdr

Homebrewer, author & air gun collector
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
39,152
Reaction score
3,797
Location
Sheffield
Since my primaries are pails & a Cooper's Micro Brew Fv, they have wide mouths, so I weigh down nylon bags to dry hop.
 

RocketOtter

Member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
1
The hop mess will settle out in the keg just fine. If you get a ton of hop material into the keg you can clog your posts which is not fun. To prevent this (in the case you're using a ton of hops) you can sanitize and zip tie a strainer bag onto the end of your racking cane. That will stop a good bit of the hops from getting through.

I let mine float free and give the carboy a good swirl everyday for the first 3 or so days to mix everything up.
 
OP
TravelingLight

TravelingLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
440
Location
Capital City, SC
The hop mess will settle out in the keg just fine. If you get a ton of hop material into the keg you can clog your posts which is not fun. To prevent this (in the case you're using a ton of hops) you can sanitize and zip tie a strainer bag onto the end of your racking cane. That will stop a good bit of the hops from getting through.

I let mine float free and give the carboy a good swirl everyday for the first 3 or so days to mix everything up.
I'm not using a ton of hops. But maybe I am? This is my first so I don't really have a baseline. But I might do the zip tied bag anyway. What kind of strainer bag do you use? I assume you boil it first to sanitize? Also, dumb question, but I assume you zip tie the bag onto the end of the cane that's going down into the carboy, i.e., it's going on the "beer in" end, not the "beer out" end that empties into the keg I'm racking into? Thanks for the advice.
 

RocketOtter

Member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
1
Anything over 2-3 or so oz of pellets will give you enough hop sludge where you might want to consider straining. IMO bagging hops in a carboy is a PITA. Getting the bag out can be a messy and frustrating endeavor.

I use paint strainer bags available at lowes or home depot and, yes, at the beer end of the racking cane. I just soak the bag and zip tie in starsan while I'm getting everything ready and have not had any issues.
 

Redhawk96

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
92
Reaction score
9
Location
Cincinnati
I do the sanitized strainer bag on the outlet going into the keg as well. It is a quick and easy way to ensure no hop debris makes it into the keg and clogs the dip tube. Clogged dip tubes are a PITA!
 
OP
TravelingLight

TravelingLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
440
Location
Capital City, SC
Anything over 2-3 or so oz of pellets will give you enough hop sludge where you might want to consider straining. IMO bagging hops in a carboy is a PITA. Getting the bag out can be a messy and frustrating endeavor.

I use paint strainer bags available at lowes or home depot and, yes, at the beer end of the racking cane. I just soak the bag and zip tie in starsan while I'm getting everything ready and have not had any issues.
Awesome. I'm doing 3 oz for DH. So I am definitely doing that! Thanks for the heads up.

I do the sanitized strainer bag on the outlet going into the keg as well. It is a quick and easy way to ensure no hop debris makes it into the keg and clogs the dip tube. Clogged dip tubes are a PITA!
You make a valid point. While I have not experienced a clogged dip tube (since this is my first kegerator), I trust you on that being a PIA. So it's definitely worth it for the extra 10 seconds it takes to zip tie another on the other end. I will be doing this as well!
 

LostHopper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
273
Reaction score
109
Are paint strainer bags fine enough to stop hop pellet sludge? If so it seems they would clog in a hurry. Just wondering.
 

RocketOtter

Member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
18
Reaction score
1
Are paint strainer bags fine enough to stop hop pellet sludge? If so it seems they would clog in a hurry. Just wondering.
They are fine enough to stop most of the larger particles (the one that clog stuff up) but will let finer particles through. If I had to guess I would say I can reduce the amount of sludge transferred to the keg by about 80-85%.

When I do this I make sure I give the carboy a while to settle down after moving it to where I'm going to transfer. Then I try to put my autosiphon down in one spot and try not to move it from that spot during transfer. Most of the time the hop sludge that is on the bottom will not move until the last bit of beer is sucked up. The bag really helps to prevent the floaties from getting sucked up.
 

pretzelb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
1,277
Reaction score
116
Location
Prosper
I use hop bags from the homebrew store that I use for the boil. I will boil them to sanitize them. But I have plastic carboys so getting them out isn't too bad. I find that 1 oz per bag will come out easy but anymore and it swells up and is hard to get out of the neck.
 

Latest posts

Top