Dry hopping timing: before or after vacation?

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Buckeye_Brad

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This past Monday (Memorial Day) I brewed a 5 gallon extract kit of "Area 51 Pale Ale" (Galaxy Hops) from my local Homebrew shop, Paradise Brewing Supplies. My first time dry hopping.
It is fermenting nicely in my temperature controlled fridge.

The instructions call for dry hopping 2oz of Galaxy hops, starting 1 week after fermentation has begun, and bottling one week after that.

Here is my dilemma: next Wednesday I am leaving town for 2.5 weeks.

My question: what is my best strategy for dry hop timing?

I could dry hop right before I leave, which would result in a minimum of 19 days before I bottle. I could possibly have my neighbor remove the hop bag after a week. Or, I could just wait until I return to dry hop, which would delay bottling by a week. I don't want to overthink it, but I also want to get the most out of my first dry hopped homebrew.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

unionrdr

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Dry hopping more than 7-10 days can lead to grassy/vegetal flavors. But not always. Sometimes they do,sometimes they don't. But dry hopping after only 1 week will be a crap shoot. It may not be done fermenting yet & the yeast,etc still in suspension would be coated by the hop oils & go to the bottom with them. I'd rather wait till I came back to dry hop. Then the beer will be done fermenting & settled out clear or slightly misty. More hop oils will stay in suspension at that point.
 

doornumber3

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It's not going to hurt to ferment longer. I'd do it after. I have dry hopped for 2 weeks and it was fine but why not let it ferment. Don't rush it.


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bobeer

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yea, I'd dry hop after you get back. No use in rushing your beer just to let it sit for 2.5 weeks. I always dry hop mine at least 1.5 weeks after fermentation has started if not 2; just depends what it is. If you make a starter the yeast will have less lag time and you can pump out your beers a little faster.
 

derspiess

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I don't have anything else to add, other than to say I brewed the same kit from Paradise a few weeks ago and it turned out to be pretty awesome. I was hoping it would be as good as their All American IPA kit I brewed, but I think it's better. And this is based on an impatient sample a mere week after it was bottled.

FWIW, I dry hopped it for 8 days and poured the pellets in loose. I usually use a muslin bag but experimented without one this time and I think it turned out better.

Getting ready to brew their Pliny clone next.
 

unionrdr

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Well,I've found that using "loose" hops in the boil give the hoppiness a bit more edge. Maybe dry hopping loose can have the same effect?
 

derspiess

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Arguably more surface area that way, so that should help. My concerns were whether the hop sludge would settle to the bottom and possibly having hop particles floating around in the bottles.

The sludge did mostly settle by around day 6 with some gentle encouragement (slightly shaking the carboy) and I've only seen a couple floaties in the bottles I inspected, so no big deal on the second one.
 

unionrdr

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Yeah,I found hop floaters in a batch I dry hopped loose. Went back to muslin hop socks sanitized for dry hopping.
 

bobeer

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I always dry hop with loose hops and if you leave your bottles in the fridge for a few days it'll all fall out. Pour over the shoulder and you'll leave all the sediment behind in the bottle. Plus not using a muslin bag allows the hops to spread out and sink to the bottom thus getting a better dry hop imo.

I cold crash my carboys before I keg and it's like doing the same as leaving your bottles in the fridge for a while before you open them. The floaties should drop out and as the yeast compacts in the bottom with the hop particles.
 
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