Dry Hopping West Coast IPA

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Pehlman17

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I was hoping to get some pointers from those of you who brew a lot of WCIPA as far as how you like to dry hop them. I can definitely see the benefits of dry hopping in primary while some fermentation is still active as far as it being a great way to avoid oxidation. However, I'm not necessarily after the biotransformation. I don't typically care for super fruit-forward IPAs. To my personal taste, these citrus bomb IPAs I'm finding a lot these days (even the clear ones) have a pithy quality to them that I just don't jibe with. For lack of a better term, I like my dry hops to taste and smell "hoppy" rather than like orange/grapefruit juice. With that in mind, my instinct would be to do a closed transfer to a secondary purged keg (I ferment in kegs btw) and dry hop the more "traditional" way. But, now there's all this concern about hop creep and a secondary fermentation happening, creating diacetyl issues.
So here I am not quite sure which route to take. If I did go the route of dry hopping post-fermentation, does anybody have suggestions as far as temperature, duration, and hopping rates that have worked well? Or is there a window for dry hopping in primary where there's enough fermentation left to scavenge oxygen and avoid hop creep, but also not producing too much of a juicy quality?

Edit: I suppose hop varietal selection makes an impact as well.

Or am I just worrying about a non-issue? 🤪

Cheers!
 

gabrielrskin

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There's not much biotransformation happening by the end of fermentation, most of it happens at the beggining of it. Some even say biotransformation happens the most with the hop oil compounds that come from late hopping/whirlpool (by the moment fermentation starts ofc) so DH during active fermentation wouldn't even be necessary. So if you DH when you're about 4 - 8 SG til your expected FG, there won't be much of it.

Anyway, since you ferment in kegs and therefore have better control over O2, you can easily dry hop by the time the fermentation has ended - which, for me, has the best results, especially if you soft crash the beer to about 14ºC before doing it - and purge the headspace with CO2 after closing the keg. That's how I do it (with a fermzilla-like fermenter), with excellent results.

That's also how Scott Janish says he does in this, adapting a filter inside the keg so the hops won't clog the dip tube: My Favorite Way to Dry Hop Loose In Primary and Kegs - Scott Janish

Some more excellent reading material regarding the matter: A Case for Short And Cool Dry Hopping - Scott Janish
 

gabrielrskin

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Also: the "juicy aroma" of NEIPA's doesn't come exclusively from biotransformation, but also from hop varieties and fruity yeast (most of them derived from English strains). If you want a classic WCIPA you should look at classic American varieties such as the 4 C's (cascade, centennial, chinook, columbus), simcoe, willamette and others, as well as less fruity ale yeast such as US-05, WLP001 etc
 
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Pehlman17

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I definitely prefer the less fruity yeast strains. WLP001 is my go-to. If I want anything "Englishy" I use WLP007. I actually have one of those dry hop dip tube screens that Janish wrote about in that article. Worked great the one time I used it!

That's very interesting about the biotransformation effecting the compounds released in the whirlpool! I was not aware of that.

I'm definitely still a huge fan of the C-hops! The cascade/centennial combo is just so nostalgic.
 

tdf

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West coast is definitely my favorite style of ipa to brew. Chinook, Centennial, Columbus makes for a great combo.

I don't think that active fermentation dry hopping is the best for the style, either. I've had the best luck with a short cold crash after fermentation to drop out the yeast and then a 2-3 day dry hop at ~50f. I rouse the hops 4 or 5 times during this dry hop (co2 through the dump port, but you can probably just shake). The cold crash removes a lot of the yeast that would pull hop oils out of suspension and the short duration gives you that great aroma and flavor without some of the harsher or more grassy flavors.

I then immediately cold crash again and transfer to the keg.

I usually target 1oz per gallon for the dry hop.
 

CascadesBrewer

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West coast is definitely my favorite style of ipa to brew. Chinook, Centennial, Columbus makes for a great combo.

Yep! I like to swap up hops in my IPAs, but my last 3 batches have been this combo (Columbus for bittering and in the boil with Centennial, then Chinook and Centennial at flameout and dry hop).

So here I am not quite sure which route to take.

My understanding is that biotransformation is yeast dependent, and Chico strains are not known for their biotransformation abilities. I am not 100% sure of my stance on biotransformation, but when brewing NEIPA style beer I count on hops in the whirlpool to support biotransformation.

I have played around a bit with different dry hop techniques and temps. I have mostly settled on dry hopping after fermentation at fermentation temps for 2 days, then cold crashing for 1-2 days before kegging. 4 oz in a 5 gallon batch gets me where I want with hop character (with maybe 2 oz at 10 min and 3 oz at flameout).

Hop creep and diacetyl are not issues I have noticed in my beers. I seldom take a pre-dry hop gravity reading, but if diacetyl was an issue I would think somebody would have noticed it. Maybe I am lucky or maybe something in my process mitigates the issue??
 

gabrielrskin

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Plenty of good quality DH information above.

I definitely prefer the less fruity yeast strains. WLP001 is my go-to. If I want anything "Englishy" I use WLP007. I actually have one of those dry hop dip tube screens that Janish wrote about in that article. Worked great the one time I used it!

That's very interesting about the biotransformation effecting the compounds released in the whirlpool! I was not aware of that.

I'm definitely still a huge fan of the C-hops! The cascade/centennial combo is just so nostalgic.

If you're brewing with the 4 C's, WLP001, solid hopping techniques, some light caramel or munich (don't overdo it!) and a BU/GU ratio of about 1.00, then some excellent classic WCIPA is on the way.

Yep! I like to swap up hops in my IPAs, but my last 3 batches have been this combo (Columbus for bittering and in the boil with Centennial, then Chinook and Centennial at flameout and dry hop).



My understanding is that biotransformation is yeast dependent, and Chico strains are not known for their biotransformation abilities. I am not 100% sure of my stance on biotransformation, but when brewing NEIPA style beer I count on hops in the whirlpool to support biotransformation.

I have played around a bit with different dry hop techniques and temps. I have mostly settled on dry hopping after fermentation at fermentation temps for 2 days, then cold crashing for 1-2 days before kegging. 4 oz in a 5 gallon batch gets me where I want with hop character (with maybe 2 oz at 10 min and 3 oz at flameout).

Hop creep and diacetyl are not issues I have noticed in my beers. I seldom take a pre-dry hop gravity reading, but if diacetyl was an issue I would think somebody would have noticed it. Maybe I am lucky or maybe something in my process mitigates the issue??

Hops in the whirlpool indeed makes it happen, most of the hop oils that interact with the yeast will still be there by the time fermentation starts and will biotransformate.

Agree with you regarding chico, but an exception to your statement may be BRY-97, since according to Lallemand it has loads of beta glucosidase: https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp...8/LAL-bestpractices-Biotransformation2020.pdf

Regarding hop creep, I've never noticed it on my beers either. I believe as far as you don't add a HUGE dry hop load after cold crashing the beer, it should never be an issue. Still I always DH at about 14ºC to avoid it.
 

hopjuice_71

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Plenty of good quality DH information above.



If you're brewing with the 4 C's, WLP001, solid hopping techniques, some light caramel or munich (don't overdo it!) and a BU/GU ratio of about 1.00, then some excellent classic WCIPA is on the way.



Hops in the whirlpool indeed makes it happen, most of the hop oils that interact with the yeast will still be there by the time fermentation starts and will biotransformate.

Agree with you regarding chico, but an exception to your statement may be BRY-97, since according to Lallemand it has loads of beta glucosidase: https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp...8/LAL-bestpractices-Biotransformation2020.pdf

Regarding hop creep, I've never noticed it on my beers either. I believe as far as you don't add a HUGE dry hop load after cold crashing the beer, it should never be an issue. Still I always DH at about 14ºC to avoid it.

Good note on BRY-97. WCIPAs are my goto and I have tried many, many different yeasts, including a bunch of "private collection" strains. I ended up converging on BRY-97. Not only it is dry and therefore really convenient but it gives really good results while being versatile (i.e. the bioconversion of whirlpool or active fermentation dry hops, if one so desires). And no, I am not a yeast rep :) I used to shy away from it because it took FOREVER to start fermentation, but the stuff in the new Lallemand packages performs much, much better in that respect. Not sure if they changed something, but it definitely gets going faster.
 

BeerAndTele

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To my personal taste, these citrus bomb IPAs I'm finding a lot these days (even the clear ones) have a pithy quality to them that I just don't jibe with. For lack of a better term, I like my dry hops to taste and smell "hoppy" rather than like orange/grapefruit juice.
I'm with you. I much prefer west coast IPAs over east coast or NE IPAs. (I've described my feelings of the overuse of Citra and Mosaic in other threads, so I'll spare the good readers of this thread the repetition. :cool:) Disclaimer: I'm in the over-50 crowd.

I agree with the many good suggestions above referencing the "C" hops. To me, Cascade and Centennial are the go-tos to add floral/citrus character (but not in that orange/lemony way). Chinook is piney to me, while Columbus is the most "dank" of them to me. The Beer Maverick website has some cool radar charts for hop varieties which show you the relative strength of each attribute (citrus vs. pine vs. spicey vs. floral vs. tropical, etc.) of each hop.

I definitely prefer the less fruity yeast strains. WLP001 is my go-to. If I want anything "Englishy" I use WLP007.
Can't go wrong with 001 in a WCIPA ... but I really enjoy the combination of an English yeast like 002 or 007 with American "C" hops. To me, they don't point you to a "juicy" or "fruity" result at all; they just give the beer a nice flavor profile (I ferment @ ~64F outside the fermenter). According to my BYO Big Book of Clones, many well-known IPAs use English yeast strains, such as: Firestone Walker's Union Jack (002), Harpoon IPA (007), Stone Ruination (002), Dogfish Head 60 min (005), Surly Furious (007) and others.

I can't speak to biotransformation, but I skip the pre-fermentation dry-hop as I feel it doesn't yield the same aroma in the glass as the post-fermentation dry-hop. My process FWIW is to give my WCIPAs a good charge at flameout, leave them in while chilling, then filter them out going into the fermenter; then give it a dry-hop charge after the krausen falls. I pull the bung of my fermonster slightly, drop in the hops, give it a good shot of CO2, and close it up; the whole event lasts 4 or 5 seconds. It's low-tech, but I figure my O2 impact isn't bad. I'll leave them in for 3-4 days at slightly-above fermentation temp while the beer cleans up, then package. My palate has not detected diacetyl ... but I'm not a BJCP judge. The hop aroma starts to fade in month 3 but I do smaller batches now so they don't last that long. 😁

Cheers. :mug:
 
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Pehlman17

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For some reason WLP002 with American hops can be real hit or miss for me. Even with a beer like Union Jack, I’ll really love it and find the yeast character very complimentary to the hops one time, and then the next time I have it I’ll somehow feel like they’re clashing. I don’t know why. From what I understand WLP007 is closer to the Stone strain than 002. And subjectively from the beers I’ve made with it I’d have to agree it’s pretty close. I feel like I get a slightly more pronounced hop character with 007 similar to what I get from 001. WLP002 to me seems to have a way of softening the beer more than the others do. Maybe lower attenuation, maybe the ester profile, I’m not sure. And I can definitely see why so many like it with hoppy beers, but it’s just not quite what I’m looking for. I’ll definitely use it in a Mild or a Stout though.

I’m definitely not a Citra hater at all. I just think it needs to be paired with a hop that contrasts it a bit. Sierra Nevada uses it in the dry hop for Torpedo along with Magnum and Crystal, and I f*cking love that beer.

I’m not against citrus flavor in hops. In fact, I love a hint of orange or grapefruit zest, and I’d go as far as to say it’s practically necessary to the style. Just like adding some lemon juice to a dish to brighten it up and really make the whole thing pop, the citrus can bring everything together, but it shouldn’t overwhelm the meal.

I know styles change and I really try not to be one of those back in my day guys. I’ll be the first to admit that the “IBU wars” from a decade ago were just plain dumb. But I do wonder if now we’re just in an analogous “juice wars” phase.
 

BeerAndTele

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I feel like I get a slightly more pronounced hop character with 007 similar to what I get from 001. WLP002 to me seems to have a way of softening the beer more than the others do. Maybe lower attenuation, maybe the ester profile, I’m not sure.
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I'd guess it's the lower attenuation.

I’m definitely not a Citra hater at all. I just think it needs to be paired with a hop that contrasts it a bit.
Good point. It can quickly become overpowering, but if paired with a contrasting hop, even I can tolerate it. 😁

In fact, I love a hint of orange or grapefruit zest, and I’d go as far as to say it’s practically necessary to the style.
I feel like Amarillo can give you that orange vibe. And I get some grapefruit from Cascade, which I like a lot.
 
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