dry hopping with whole leaf hops

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Graeme

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Gearing up to brew my first beer of the new year (first all grain too!) which I will be dry hopping with centennial. Now, my homebrew supplier only has them in whole leaf form. I've always dry hopped with pellets to save myself what is inevitably going to be a bit more hassle. One part of my brewing process I am aiming to improve this year is the clarity of my beer, my filteration has been a bit lax sometimes after racking a beer that has been dry hopped. My worry is that this is going to be a bit of a nightmare to strain, also, I'm sure I will loose some beer to soakage. I'll be using an oz or two. Anybody any tips?

Cheers
G
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Figure at least an additional .375qt of additional wort volume per Ounce of hop material to counter the absorption.

As to filtering, yeah, have fun with that.
 

ClassicXJ

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I actaully prefer to dry hop with leaf hops. Put them in a grain bag with a sanitized marble to help weigh them down. I actaully like to dry hop in the keg but I don't know your setup

You'll never go back to dry hopping with pellets.
 
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Graeme

Graeme

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Thanks for the tip Classic. I haven't got the facilities for kegging yet, perhaps down the line. I'm planning to dry hop in the primary, after fermentation has stopped of course.
 

dbenet

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I'm also dry hopping with whole leaf for the first time and just threw an oz of Hallertaur in my secondary carboy. Its been a few days and its all still just floating. Some little pieces are sinking but the bulk of it is clumped up and fully saturated sitting on the surface. I searched through some old posts and I'm still unclear about whether the hops are supposed to sink and settle out. If it continues to float should I try poking it down or stirring? Its an IPA and I'm planning on leaving it in there for 2 weeks.
 

Jknapp

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My first two attempts at dry hopping were a little frustrating.. 1st time I used a hop sack in my glass carboy and added stainless bolts as a weight. However, I didn't add enough weight, so the bag floated on the surface of the beer up near the neck of the carboy. That caused a problem as the beer off-gassed, filled the hop sack (which was floating) with gas and floated up into the neck, pusing beer up and out of my airlock. I had to go at it with a sanitized spoon once a day to purge the built up gas in the hop sack.

2nd time I dry hopped without the bag/weights and just like your experience dbenet, they just floated for 9 days. They didn't ever sink and they kinda caused a greenish hue to the beer.

They say 3rd times a charm though.. This next time I'll do it in the primary bucket, use hop sacks and plenty of weight to hold them down. Lesson learned!
 

HoppyDaze

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lets not try to split the atom here with a very basic and simple procedure of dry hopping. I use whole hops. I do not put them in a bag or anything. The opening of a better bottle is plenty big just to throw the hops in by hand. I then rack from primary onto the hops in the secondary. They float on top and they get saturated with beer. The hops do not need to sink to the bottom to be effective. Im not sure why so many people think they need to sink? Then when I transfer to bottling bucket or keg with my autosiphon...all the hops are left behind. I shake them out of the better bottle and rinse...viola! done!

Do this and you got it dialed!
 

Malticulous

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Just dumping them in works better than a bag/ball. Siphoning again will get rid of most of the debris.
 
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Graeme

Graeme

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I found even dry hopping with pellets didn't cause them to 'sink' as such. Particals of course break away and fall through the beer leaving a hop sludge at the bottom of the fermenter, but generally that same layer of sludge floats on the top too. The siphoning is what I'm more concerned about, sucking up small particles. Perhaps some pantyhose over the tip of the autosiphon would do the trick. I've heard that a few times on here.
 

dcp27

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while using a bag and weighing it down is more difficult to get in and out of the carboy than just dumping the hops in, in theory it will work better. the more surface area in contact with the brew should extract more oils and thus more aroma.
 

CaptKiRkLeS

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The siphoning is what I'm more concerned about, sucking up small particles. Perhaps some pantyhose over the tip of the autosiphon would do the trick. I've heard that a few times on here.
What have people actually used to do this. I let my hops free float and will be racking to a keg this weekend and I had major issued racking from primary to seconday (left too many hops in primary)
 
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I have my first brew going that calls for dry hopping and I'm curious about this as well. I'm thinking about dry hopping in a secondary for the sake of having an easier time racking to the bottling bucket.

I did a Chirstmas beer with apples in it and it had a layer of apple slices, yeast funk, and left over krausen on top and the sediment layer on the bottom. It would have been a nightmare to try and get a clear beer going directly from that primary with layers on the top and bottom to the bottling bucket.

The LHBS guy said to put the hops (whole, not pellet), in a grain bag with a load of sanitized glass marbles to bring the hops below the surface. I can see how that would at least appear to get more liquid on the hops rather than have surface area above the beer line while floating exposed to just air, but I can't think of an easy way to get a bag of marbles and hops through the opening of a carboy.
 

Paramecium

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Just throw them in the fermenter. If I am doing one round of dry hopping I just throw it in the primary after a couple weeks. IF I am doing multiple rounds I'll put the 2nd batch in the secondary and rack onto it to get the first round out. No need for all the marble and bag tricks, just throw em in, they don't sink but they get saturated and you get plenty of hop character from them.
 

daniel4616

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Buddy of mine told me to wrap the end of the autosiphon with grain bag, and rack like that. He got his from the paint department at Home Depot.
 

EdMerican

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I have dry hopped a couple batches with whole leaf thus far and the only complaint I have is volume loss due to absorption. No bags, no marbles, screws, etc... An autosiphon or even a cheap racking cane with the little sludge bumper at the end should suffice to keep leaf hops out of the bottling bucket. I couldn't imagine keeping pellets separate. Too much work. Of almost 100 bottles, ONE had a small piece of leaf in it. If you are REALLY concerned about it, a piece of pantyhose (sanitized of course) over the end of your cane is a pretty economical way to keep chunks out if you want to get that involved. The grain bag idea is a good one too.

As far as crystal clear goes, IMHO it is highly over rated. Leave that to the Bud Light drinkers. Does it taste good? That is the question. Clarity is the very last thing on my mind when I brew. #1 Good flavor. #2 Nice color #3 ummm... Maybe enough carbonation to get a decent head on it? That's about all I really care about :drunk: Brewing is supposed to be enjoyable. If you really start to get involved with all the crazy minor details, it just seems to me to get too much like work. If your buddies won't drink it cause it's a little hazy, that leaves more for you! RDWHAHB! :mug:
 

InAthensGa

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I just siphoned my beer to a secondary on top of 1 ounce of whole leaf Chinook hops. Yumbo. They are floating on top. I'm gonna see in the next couple of days if all of the hops get saturated. If not, no big deal. I'm reading a lot of people put the hops in a mesh bag with a marble and have some trouble getting it out after bottling. Why not just tie the bag to some trussing twine and let the end of the twine hang out of the fermentor kept in place by a stopper? Might work. :)
 

shutupjojo

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I have always dry hopped with whole hops. Just put em in a carboy and they will get saturated just fine and dont need to sink. Cold crash before racking and they will usually sink. Midwest sell a stainless screen that fits on the end of a racking cane. Works great for me.;)
 

pjj2ba

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I just toss them in whole. I made a very inexpensive filter out of plastic cross stitch "canvas" that works very well. I simply cut a disk of material, cut a hole out so it snuggly fits over the racking cane. Then I put the "cap" on the end of the cane, slide the disk down to the cap and trim it a little around the edges. Voila. Works with both racking canes and autofilters - as long as you have the cap on the end.

This is the stuff I use to make them. One piece for $2 and you can easily make at least 20 filters. I invariably loose them after I use them, but it is no big deal to make a new one. The stuff is available in a range of mesh sizes.

plastic canvas $2

I tried the nylon bag over the end, but I found it a pain to tie to the cane/siphon (slippage). This was particularly a pain when using the autosiphon as the extra bulk made for a snug fit getting it into a glass carboy. This is not a problem with my new rig. Of course I've also learned to use a better bottle for dry-hopping for ease of getting the hops in and out.
 

christmascity

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I've used whole leaf hops, and usally what I'll do is dry hop in 4 stages,
1. stage on day 2 day durning fermentation, the whole leaf hops will float but after day 4 they sink to the bottle bc of yeast combination.
2. Day five more whole leaf hops...two more days(7) another whole leaf hop addition.
3. After 10 days I'll rack to my secondary fermentor then add the final 1/2oz of whole leaf hops and let them do there thing for two weeks then I'll filter and add the beer to my bottleing bucket and go from there .....alot of people think their is only one time to dry hop I've found great results by just playing around and noting the results of adding hops at different stages of the process. Hope that helps some.
 

beerspitnight

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We are planning on doing an "export" IPA (strong, using Goldings through and through) and we are going to dry hop in the keg for 7 weeks. We have mesh bags and would put the hops in there and then stick the bag behind the spigot of the corny. If we can't get our hands on whole hops, is it a mistake to use pellets? Will they leak out of the bag?
 

Fireplacefish

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Floating hops is going to work just fine, its like a floating lime in your corona. You get plenty of lime flavor. Maybe next time I go eat Mexican food I will bring a hop bag and some marbles so my lime will sink and see if I get more flavor
 

virginiawolf

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If you put fresh hops that are like perfect for harvest off the vine into a hop sack and pitch it directly in the boil does the lack of drying effect the taste of your beer?
I'm going to do it here in the next hour or so but I was curious. It seems like it's a good choice but usually I always dried them first.
I looked for the answer to see about the drying effect but didn't find it. I admit I only went like 10 pages deep before I just went ahead and asked. :)
Thanks in advance to anyone who can respond with some insights.
I love Beer and Mead,
Virginia Wolf
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Yooper

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Yes, the "wet hops" will have a bit of grassy/leafy flavor that you won't get from dried leaf hops. Another thing- it takes about 6x the amount of wet hops to "equal" dry hops. So, a small amount of like an ounce or so will be like 1/6 of an ounce of dried hops!
 

virginiawolf

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In the middle of brewing the weight factor occurred to me. I came up and checked this. Thanks for being right there Yooper!!! I was a bit past midway into the boil. I had added 2 oz fresh nugget hops at the boil. To increase things I threw in an oz of fresh cascade then approx an oz of dried nugget with 2o mins left I added the wort chiller in with an oz of amarillo pellet with the irish moss I extended the boil put in 1/2 oz of kent goldings. I figure the bitterness might not be there but I'm living and learning.

This was the original ten gallon recipe that I was working from
Grind 20lbs 2 row
16 oz crystal 60L
12oz Wheat
12 oz amber malt
1 oz chocolate malt****
Add grain to 170 degree water mash 90 mins
Boil …. at boil add 2.0 0z fresh nugget hops
At 45 mins add flavor hops 1. 0z kent goldings or Syrian goldings or Willamette or cascade and tsp irish moss
At end add 1. 0z goldings aroma
Cool to 70 degrees split into 2 6 gallon carboys
I used british ale yeast that I had going in a starter in one carboy and eastcoast ale yeast straight from the vial in the other
My friend came and took the spent grain for his peeps. I asked him to video them eating it so I can put it in my video.
I video taped the process so I was brewing one handed at points:) I always wanted to video my all grain process. I'll have to work on the video. I used my wort chiller re circulator that I came up with. I over chilled a bit. The carboys are saying 66. Hopefully things will be fine. OG came out 1.055
Time will tell
 
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