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Dry-hopping question.

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LaFours

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Hi guys,

I've been dry-hopping my APA in secondary for two weeks, will be bottling tomorrow.

I'm kinda concerned about racking over to the bottling bucket though. I used whole hops and was wondering if I'll have clogging issues.

I went down to the LHBS and picked up a muslin bag. Thinking about sanitizing it and putting it on the end of racking cane. Think I'll be ok? Anyone have similar experiences before?
 

Janx

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I just racked my Hop Rod off the dry hops last weekend and had zero issues. I was kind of worried about the same thing, but it sucked the beer right out from under the hops. I had no problems and got as much beer out as I ever do.

I used my normal half inch cane with the little plastic tip on it...no other special measures taken.
 

D-brewmeister

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Janx said:
I just racked my Hop Rod off the dry hops last weekend and had zero issues. I was kind of worried about the same thing, but it sucked the beer right out from under the hops. I had no problems and got as much beer out as I ever do.

I used my normal half inch cane with the little plastic tip on it...no other special measures taken.
I have a little stainless screen that fits right over the end of the racking cane, called a sure screen. Haven't used it yet, but figure it is probably easier to sanitize than a muslin bag. It has to be use w/ a stainless racking cane, however, as it would scratch up a plastic one, risking infection later.
 

Tony

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For my general info...

Say if small particles entered the bottling bucket or even the bottle, what would be the initial problem?

Would it hurt the beer, or is it just a clogging issue?
 

IPA-Eric

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Tony said:
For my general info...

Say if small particles entered the bottling bucket or even the bottle, what would be the initial problem?

Would it hurt the beer, or is it just a clogging issue?

I can only speak from drinking experience - we have a local brewery here that dry hops in the bottle - really weird the first time I poured it, not realizing what was going on, but I really can't see anything bad about it. Actually, it was really darn tasty!!

http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/rate_results/698/16940/

I am going to dry hop for the first time on the batch I am brewing tonight. Somewhat realated, I am wondering if they will sink OK just throwing them whole into the secondary or if they will all just float up top? Does it really even matter?

- Eric
 

jeffbones

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The only problem I've had dry hopping is that sometimes a few leafs make it to the bottling bucket. Most of the times they end up sticking to the side of the bottling bucket. But every now and then they get in the siphoning tube when your bottling and cause the bottle filler to stick open. Not a huge problem if you don't mind wasting a little beer and have dogs ;)
 

D-brewmeister

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Does anyone have an opinion on the efficiency of using a hop bag when dry hoping? I have seen that there are special weights that you can use to keep the bag suspended in the middle of the carboy, and wonder if this would provide better utilization than letting the hops just float at the top. I suppose it would make racking and cleaning better. Anybody try it?
 

cbiegel

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D-brewmeister said:
Does anyone have an opinion on the efficiency of using a hop bag when dry hoping? I have seen that there are special weights that you can use to keep the bag suspended in the middle of the carboy, and wonder if this would provide better utilization than letting the hops just float at the top. I suppose it would make racking and cleaning better. Anybody try it?
Where have you seen these weights?

I used two bags when I dry "hopped" with heather because it's such small particals but the bags floted and I think there would have beed better beer to heather contact if they'd been under.

In the end the bags worked fine but heather flowers have some fermentable suger so the yeast gets in these and move liquif through the bag which I don't think would happen with hops.
 

Swervo Maneuver

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cbiegel said:
I used two bags when I dry "hopped" with heather because it's such small particals but the bags floted and I think there would have beed better beer to heather contact if they'd been under.

In the end the bags worked fine but heather flowers have some fermentable suger so the yeast gets in these and move liquif through the bag which I don't think would happen with hops.
What are you doing? I gotta know what that beer ends up tasting like.

I haven't seen Heather since, like, 7th grade. I always thought she was kinda cute. (sigh)
 

cbiegel

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It's a Heather wheat I really like and have done a few times. Either no hops or 1oz with hops for bittering. It's got a crisp/tart flavor. A lot of Heather beers are done in more on a Scotch or brown ale style but I like the wheat because it really lets the heather flavoe shine.
 

rightwingnut

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I got a question for ya'll....how the heck do you get the hops into secondary? I just kinda shoved 'em in, but didn't like having to touch so much. Tried a piece-o-paper funnel, but that didn't help much. Those six-gallon carboys have a very small opening. Hopefully risk of infection will be minimal with the alcohol content...but there's got to be a better way. (Have to vacuum saaz from carpet soon....)
 
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LaFours

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yea, I just shoved them in there. My hands and the the carboy were clean and sanitized. W/ all the alcohol in there and the hops, the risk of infection wouldn't be too great.
 

cbiegel

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LaFours said:
yea, I just shoved them in there. My hands and the the carboy were clean and sanitized. W/ all the alcohol in there and the hops, the risk of infection wouldn't be too great.

Exactly, the hops themselves have disinfectent properties and the level of alcohol in the beer should take care of any small amounts of contamination as long as you make sure your hands are clean.
 

George

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I don't like putting dry hops in the bag. Last summer, I brewed a 10 gal batch of red. Half was for me, the other was promised to a friend for a party. When I dry hopped his half, I put the hops in a bag. I did this because the party was drawing closer and I wanted as little hop debris in the beer as possible. I don't care about such floaties in my beer, and I threw my hops in loose. The first half dozen or so pints out of my keg didn't look as pretty as his, but tasted far better.
What I discovered was that the hops swole up upon soaking in the beer. It appeared as though that big swolen hop mass contained inside the bag prevented the movement of beer and hop oils. I suspect that the perimiter hops had some dry hopping influence, but the hops toward the center were wasted.
This said, I usually use pellets. Within a week or two, they fall to the bottom. If the first racking carries some over, I'll wait another week and rack again.
I can't imagine that big a difference between the pellet and whole hops, but I'm not sure.
 

Janx

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For aroma purposes like dry hops, I find quality whole hops hugely superior. For bittering, pellets may be fine. I hate them because they are a pain and clog everything up and get in the fermenter, but to each his own. They can definitely bring the bitter.

The aromatic properties of hops are very fragile and easily oxidized...much more fragile than the oils that contribute bitterness. Personally, I see a lot of potential for damage and oxidation when you take hop cones, whole and intact, and grind them to a fine powder and compress them into rabbit dropping shapes. That kind of treatment is never good for fragile, aromatic things.

If you ground up a dozen roses and compressed them into rabbit pellets, do you think they'd smell as good? I kind of doubt it.

I use whole hops for all purposes whenever possible, but if I must use pellets, it's only for bittering. Call me old fashioned ;)
 
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