Dry Hopping: To Sanitize or Not to Sanitize?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

adamhimself

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
136
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
So, I am having a bit of a dilemma. I intended to dry hop a few days ago, but have been weary since I have read mixed reviews on the subject. Some people steam their hops while others don't.

My hops have been in my freezer in freezer bags and only opened once. Can I just drop them in or do I need to steam them? To me, steaming doesn't seem to be a real effective means of sanitizing.
 

TipsyDragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
2,607
Reaction score
25
Location
California
you don't get infections from fresh hops. hops are a natural preservative. as a matter of fact thats why people started adding hops and why an IPA has so much hops in it.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,660
Reaction score
12,279
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
I've been brewing for a while, and I've never heard of anyone steaming or otherwise sanitizing hops. It honestly never occurred to me.

Just toss them in. If you use a bag, though, sanitize the bag first.
 

MattHollingsworth

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
53
Location
Samobor, Croatia
Like Yooper said. If you use a bag, string and weights, sanitize those. I use a few stainless nuts to weigh the bag down a little bit otherwise it just floats. I sanitize all of that stuff but the hops are cool as is. Never had a problem with it.
 

schweaty

Doe Re Mi Beer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
53
Location
Glass City
The alcohol in the beer after fermentation will help prevent infection in addition to the alpha acids from the hops. Just toss them in there if they are pellets as they will settle out to the bottom. Personally I use whole leaf in a tea ball after kegging and it works out nicely. Ofcourse I sanatize the tea ball before using, but not the hops. Like Yooper said I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone steaming the hops.
 

MattHollingsworth

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
53
Location
Samobor, Croatia
Like Yooper said I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone steaming the hops.
I think people were trying this more like ten years ago. I remember trying it back then. I think it was supposedly to soften any grassy notes but I don't think it really did anything. Some hops give grassy notes but I think most don't if you don't leave them in for a super long time. I think I only ever got grassy notes from a mix of Saaz and Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, so couldn't say which of the two gave that flavor. It was awful though. But anyway, I don't think steaming really serves any purpose.
 

spiny_norman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
198
Reaction score
3
Location
San Diego, CA
That would be like sanitizing antiseptic.

I was listening to a lecture given by Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) about dry hopping. He just throws them. If that's good enough for him--
 

Slowfro

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
419
Reaction score
12
Location
Wisconsin
If you just throw the hop pellets in, do they break up into a lot of sediment into the beer? Does it all settle so it doesn't get racked from secondary to filling bucket?
 

MBasile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
1,574
Reaction score
31
Location
Austin
If you just throw the hop pellets in, do they break up into a lot of sediment into the beer? Does it all settle so it doesn't get racked from secondary to filling bucket?
It is kind of up to the person racking the beer whether or not sediment goes into the secondary. If you're really concerned you can use gelatin before racking.
 

Pim

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Richfield, MN
Along the same lines, do you need to be worried about infecting the beer if you are dry hopping with freshly picked hops from your own back yard?
 
Top