Grassy/vegetal flavors from dry hopping

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Aaron Beers

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I've read numerous descriptions/accounts of grassy or vegetal flavors being noted in beer where dry hop additions were made and then left for extended lengths of time. Was wondering about anyones direct experience with this and the dry hopping schedule/conditions from which it resulted.

I frequently double dry hop my IPAs. For the first dry hop, about a week before I plan to keg, I add the hops to the conical and spend that week slowly decreasing the temperature from 60's down to high 30's. Then if I'm double dry hopping, I'll add hops in bag into the keg(s), transfer the beer and store cold (high 30's) as it carbs and keep it around that temperature for serving as well. I've never found grassy or vegetal flavors to be an issue with these beers, despite leaving that bag of hops in the keg indefinitely, in some cases for as much as 2 months before the keg was kicked. And in the case of that 2 month keg, the last beers from it tasted absolutely amazing with huge citrus/tropical fruit notes.

It's entirely possible that there are grassy/vegetal flavors but I use so much hops that I don't notice it. It also seems possible that the grassy or vegetal flavors might be something that you don't get as much of when the dry hopping is done with cold beer.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Or want to share some experiences of how you dry hopped and ended up with the grassy/vegetal flavor?
 

MattyHBT

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i have gotten grassy/vegetal flavors but i stopped prolonged dry hopping and now only dry hop 3-4 days at ferm temps and dont experience this anymore..I personally do not think you need to dry hop for 7-10 days like some recipes recommend..3 to 4 gives you nice bright hop aroma and flavor and zero grassy/vegetal..thats my 2 cents
 

day_trippr

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A few comments:
- I once read a quote from a notable craft brewer that claimed 80% of the dry-hop bang is gained in the first 24 hours.
- I generally keep my dry-hopping to 4-5 days for a single round, added with a couple of fermentation points remaining. For two rounds - particularly neipa recipes - I'll do a round 2 days from pitching and a second round four days later, then crash four days after that. So, 8 days on the hops.
- when I keg hop I use only whole cones in a muslin bag in an already chilled keg and leave it 'til it kicks. I've never noted any woody or grassy notes, but I have to believe that the cold has everything to do with that - I definitely wouldn't try that in a warm keg or fermentor.
- I expect "big" hop strains are less prone to the whole grassy paradigm than noble hops, but it may simply be the big character notes drown out any grassiness...

Cheers!
 
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