Keg Dry Hop - Adding Hops Days Before Transfer?

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Tyler.W

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Right now I use fermentation CO2 to purge my Star San filled serving keg which allows me to do low oxygen transfers. Currently when I dry hop, I do it loose in primary and when I transfer from primary to keg I use an inline filter to catch the large hop particles. Everything so far has been working well, but I now have floating dip tubes (with filters) that will also allow me to dry hop in the keg (double dry hopping).

My question is: Do you think it would be detrimental to the hop aroma/flavor to throw in the keg hops after it has been purged of Star-San? I think at the max the hops would be sitting outside of the beer for a week.

The reason I would like to do this is to allow the remainder or fermentation to purge most of the oxygen out of the keg that was introduced during the keg hop addition. I think that sitting in a container of mostly CO2 would be relatively safe for the hops, and based on Scott Janis’s book this time sitting out could lessen the “green” flavors while enhancing the fruitiness of the hops.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any other suggestions for dry hopping in the keg and avoiding oxygen as much as possible?
 

danielthemaniel

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I think you'll be fine doing that. I'd be worried about keeping the hops in the serving keg for more than a couple of weeks. In my experience, eventually, you get an unpleasant grassy flavor from hops in the serving keg. Unless you plan on removing the hops from the serving keg, but that would defeat a lot of your work for a closed transfer. I prefer to add hops on day 2 of fermentation. You can extract the full flavor and aroma but leave them behind during the transfer. There is enough time at that point in the fermentation to purge a lot of the added oxygen of throwing in a bag of hops quickly.
 

palmtrees

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Do you think it would be detrimental to the hop aroma/flavor to throw in the keg hops after it has been purged of Star-San?
Out of curiosity, are you doing a starsan co2 purge and purging with fermentation co2?
 
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Tyler.W

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Out of curiosity, are you doing a starsan co2 purge and purging with fermentation co2?
I hook my fermenter up to a keg full of Star-San, so as it ferments it pushes out the sanitizer and fills the keg with CO2.

I think you'll be fine doing that. I'd be worried about keeping the hops in the serving keg for more than a couple of weeks. In my experience, eventually, you get an unpleasant grassy flavor from hops in the serving keg. Unless you plan on removing the hops from the serving keg, but that would defeat a lot of your work for a closed transfer. I prefer to add hops on day 2 of fermentation. You can extract the full flavor and aroma but leave them behind during the transfer. There is enough time at that point in the fermentation to purge a lot of the added oxygen of throwing in a bag of hops quickly.
I still plan to dry hop in primary, but I would like to get some of the post-fermentation hop character/aroma. My thoughts are it would be better to have the hops in the keg and do it that way, than try to add hops post-fermentation in the primary fermenter.
 

HopsAreGood

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I do this all the time and it’s my favorite way to make hoppy beers. I put my hops into the DryHop keg and close it up. I then purge the keg a few times to 20 or 30 psi to get a good amount of the oxygen out. I then hook my fermenter up to the dry hop keg and let all of the fermentation CO2 continue to purge it further. I never open the fermenter and once fermentation is complete, I will drop the temperature to about 60° for 1 to 2 days to drop as much yeast as I can. I then perform a closed transfer into the dry hop keg, which is completely purged, and leave the hops in contact with the beer for 2 to 3 days. After the 2 to 3 days I then jump the beer from the dry hop keg into a liquid purged serving keg. You can also use the CO2 from the fermentation to liquid purge your final serving keg, bye simply daisychaining it to the dry hop keg. You’re simply pushing the fermentation C02 to go through both kegs and getting more bang for your buck. I have a 300 Micron filter over the dip tube in the dry hop keg so 99.999% of the pellets stay behind. I have made some of my best hoppy beers using this exact technique, and I would put them up against pretty much any commercial example of the style.

I have never noticed any ill effects of having the hops in the DryHop keg up to 10 days even. The CO2 is pretty quickly purging the vessel that they are in and once the fully fermented soft crashed beer Is transferred on top of them, the magic happens. I like to roll the DryHop keg lightly and also turn it upside down a few times, again very lightly to limit splashing, to increase the surface contact of the hops with the beer. I feel I get excellent extraction this way and couldn’t be happier with the end result.
 
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