No oxygen dry hopping

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jerrylotto

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Don't let the krausen rock your boat :). I've had a few fermentations that have been so active that nothing would have remained afloat!

Even without a vac sealer, you could stuff a magnet into a balloon, eject most of the air and tie it off.
 
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eric19312

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So after struggling with the Norcal yeast brink I've decided to try Mongoose's dry hopper. Only I supersized it. The components from top to bottom are:
3" TC with 2 ball lock posts and PRV
3" TC sight glass that came with my Norcal yeast brink
3" TC butterfly valve
4" x 3" TC Concentric Reducer

1615936582790.png


edited to reduce file size
 
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FswBG

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@eric19312 whoah that thing’s a beast! It really makes me look forward to the 3 port lid.

What problems did you have with the brink if you don’t mind sharing? I’m interested in one, but I’m racking my brain why they don’t add a PRV. I would think using the built in “exhaust port” to purge would become cumbersome pretty quick.
 

eric19312

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I purge it by loosening the TC between the brink and the butterfly valve and running in gas for a while but a PRV might be easier. But how would you purge the gas out of the downcomer tube? I think that would trap some air that wouldn't be easy to purge without loosening the TC anyway. Maybe the PRV would work if it could be at top of the downcomer pipe near the TC connection to the fermentor.

Still that is not the issue that pushed me to try this setup. The issue is getting sufficient quantity of the hop pellets up into the fermentor. With the 3" brink I've been able to push in 4oz at a time. The first addition is not too bad. Following Jaybird's suggestion to trim half an inch off the bottom of the downcomer pipe I could get the first 4oz into the fermentor in an hour or two. Load the hops, purge the hops, flood the brink, wait 30-45 minutes and then push. That would get maybe 3/4 of the hops into the tank, so I'd flood the brink again, wait another 30 min and push, now most of the hops are into the tank, might need one more cycle. Now for the next 4oz. Clean the brink and let it drip dry. Add 4 more oz hops. Purge and flood. Wait and push. Oops even waiting an hour on the second batch of hops they don't want to be pushed up...what is going on...more pressure...lots more pressure (what is this sight glass rated for anyway? I've gone pretty high but it scares me to do that)...open and close the butterfly...finally they start to move...maybe 1/4 goes up...flood again, wait..push...maybe repeat 6 times to get 80-90% of the hops into the fermentor. Have to bleed CO2 out of the headspace will all that pushing. What is going on? My theory is that while the first slug of hops gets up there ok, when you flood the second slug of hops you are flooding it with a mixture of beer and hops. Maybe the answer is you can push 4oz of hops first go and only 2oz at a time after that.

So I've got 16-17 gallons of beer in the tank. Typical dry hop quantities in current IPA recipes run 1-2 oz per gallon (and I've seen higher than that) I need to get 1-2 pounds into the fermentor. Just not going to happen. I think best I've managed was about 12oz and that took a couple days.
 

FswBG

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I purge it by loosening the TC between the brink and the butterfly valve and running in gas for a while but a PRV might be easier. But how would you purge the gas out of the downcomer tube? I think that would trap some air that wouldn't be easy to purge without loosening the TC anyway. Maybe the PRV would work if it could be at top of the downcomer pipe near the TC connection to the fermentor.

Still that is not the issue that pushed me to try this setup. The issue is getting sufficient quantity of the hop pellets up into the fermentor. With the 3" brink I've been able to push in 4oz at a time. The first addition is not too bad. Following Jaybird's suggestion to trim half an inch off the bottom of the downcomer pipe I could get the first 4oz into the fermentor in an hour or two. Load the hops, purge the hops, flood the brink, wait 30-45 minutes and then push. That would get maybe 3/4 of the hops into the tank, so I'd flood the brink again, wait another 30 min and push, now most of the hops are into the tank, might need one more cycle. Now for the next 4oz. Clean the brink and let it drip dry. Add 4 more oz hops. Purge and flood. Wait and push. Oops even waiting an hour on the second batch of hops they don't want to be pushed up...what is going on...more pressure...lots more pressure (what is this sight glass rated for anyway? I've gone pretty high but it scares me to do that)...open and close the butterfly...finally they start to move...maybe 1/4 goes up...flood again, wait..push...maybe repeat 6 times to get 80-90% of the hops into the fermentor. Have to bleed CO2 out of the headspace will all that pushing. What is going on? My theory is that while the first slug of hops gets up there ok, when you flood the second slug of hops you are flooding it with a mixture of beer and hops. Maybe the answer is you can push 4oz of hops first go and only 2oz at a time after that.

So I've got 16-17 gallons of beer in the tank. Typical dry hop quantities in current IPA recipes run 1-2 oz per gallon (and I've seen higher than that) I need to get 1-2 pounds into the fermentor. Just not going to happen. I think best I've managed was about 12oz and that took a couple days.
Oh okay, that’s how I purge as well using a 2” sight glass to TC with ball lock, which has been manageable, but I was thinking the brink was a bit more refined.

On the long dry hop sessions, I feel for you. That sounds horribly cumbersome. I suspect the long downpipe as the issue. I would think 4oz is pretty dense and needing to travel up that tube, through the valve, against that much volume of beer only by CO2 pressure.. forget it. I’m sure it works great as a brink for yeast/spices/finings. (I still think a Prv instead of exhaust port would be ideal so the you could purge quicker and easier)

I have not found an easy way to add hops from below either, but I thought it was due to only having a 2” SG instead of a larger brink. Good to know. I chuckled when I received the spike 3 port lid email and saw all the lid “Do not do this!” pictures. Yep, I have tried a few of those methods. Being careful of course and aware of the danger. DH is just much easier when you’re not fighting gravity.
Anyways, I like your setup. I’m interested to hear how it goes next week. I wish Spike would make one of the 2 new lid ports a 2” instead of 1.5 for those of us using glycol. I mean cmon!
 

eric19312

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I’m interested to hear how it goes next week. I wish Spike would make one of the 2 new lid ports a 2” instead of 1.5 for those of us using glycol. I mean cmon!
I'm thinking they should design a chilling coil that bridges two of those 1.5" TC ports. Then you could use the larger 4" port for more interesting things.

edited to add: or just uses one of the 1.5" ports would be even better. Might be tight fit to get it all on there but...
 

DuncB

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Looking at this as a non user of this equipment I must be missing something in the process pathway.

If you didn't have the blow off tube, couldn't you put a spunding valve on the top of the sight glass thing to let gas out ie purge. Then close butterfly. Add hops repeat purge via injected CO2 and then by cracking butterfly open and then drop hops?
Or inject CO2 via the blow off tube to do the purge from inside out?
 

eric19312

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Looking at this as a non user of this equipment I must be missing something in the process pathway.

If you didn't have the blow off tube, couldn't you put a spunding valve on the top of the sight glass thing to let gas out ie purge. Then close butterfly. Add hops repeat purge via injected CO2 and then by cracking butterfly open and then drop hops?
Or inject CO2 via the blow off tube to do the purge from inside out?
If that is directed to me...Pretty sure that is what I plan to do. I swap the blow off tube for the pressure manifold once fermentation slows down. I put a spunding valve on the manifold to hold pressure around 3 PSI while the beer finishes and the yeast drops. I do plan to move the spunding valve to the sight glass and flow CO2 from the gas manifold up through the sight glass when I just crack open the butterfly on the sight glass to purge the dry hopper of any residual oxygen. I didn't think I really needed two ball lock posts and a PRV on the sight glass but that fitting was premade for another application and only about $10 more than a fitting with just one ball lock post and no PRV.
 

DuncB

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Not directed at anyone in particular, just trying to get my head around it. Definitely want something with a PRV and good volume for those hops and you've nailed it.
 

Bohern

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eric19312

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So a bit anticlimactic. Works like a charm. I added a bit of tubing to the gas ball lock dip tube (on the dry hopper lid) and then added 10oz regular pellet hops. I then put my spunding valve on the liquid ball lock connector and hooked up gas to the gas ball lock connector on the dry hopper lid and purged the dry hopper with 3 psi CO2 for a minute. I then moved the gas from the dry hopper ball lock gas post to the one on the Spike pressure manifold and just cracked open the dry hopper butterfly valve. That is what you see at start of this video.

Only issue is this type of butterfly valve is not best for one handed operation. It was considerably cheaper than the trigger pinch style and works fine with two free hands. Maybe next time will get someone else to hold the camera.

 

beervoid

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So a bit anticlimactic. Works like a charm. I added a bit of tubing to the gas ball lock dip tube (on the dry hopper lid) and then added 10oz regular pellet hops. I then put my spunding valve on the liquid ball lock connector and hooked up gas to the gas ball lock connector on the dry hopper lid and purged the dry hopper with 3 psi CO2 for a minute. I then moved the gas from the dry hopper ball lock gas post to the one on the Spike pressure manifold and just cracked open the dry hopper butterfly valve. That is what you see at start of this video.

Only issue is this type of butterfly valve is not best for one handed operation. It was considerably cheaper than the trigger pinch style and works fine with two free hands. Maybe next time will get someone else to hold the camera.

That's a 3" Sight glass? And it holds 10oz? Which I put at about 75% of the total space? Maxed out at 15oz?
I'm confused, why use the reducer?
 

eric19312

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That's a 3" Sight glass? And it holds 10oz? Which I put at about 75% of the total space? Maxed out at 15oz?
I'm confused, why use the reducer?
The reducer gets it onto the 4" TC on the Spike CF. 15oz would fit. Maybe a full pound. This recipe was 20oz divided into two additions.
 

depper

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So a bit anticlimactic. Works like a charm. I added a bit of tubing to the gas ball lock dip tube (on the dry hopper lid) and then added 10oz regular pellet hops. I then put my spunding valve on the liquid ball lock connector and hooked up gas to the gas ball lock connector on the dry hopper lid and purged the dry hopper with 3 psi CO2 for a minute. I then moved the gas from the dry hopper ball lock gas post to the one on the Spike pressure manifold and just cracked open the dry hopper butterfly valve. That is what you see at start of this video.

Only issue is this type of butterfly valve is not best for one handed operation. It was considerably cheaper than the trigger pinch style and works fine with two free hands. Maybe next time will get someone else to hold the camera.

Have you ever tried to drop in flavoring, like a tincture, using this method? I have this set-up for dry hopping, but was wondering if I could also use it for dropping in some flavor. I'm just worried about purging the sight glass with liquid in it as I feel it would make a huge mess and potentially get into the gas manifold. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Tim
 

eric19312

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Have you ever tried to drop in flavoring, like a tincture, using this method? I have this set-up for dry hopping, but was wondering if I could also use it for dropping in some flavor. I'm just worried about purging the sight glass with liquid in it as I feel it would make a huge mess and potentially get into the gas manifold. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Tim
No. I've not done a tincture in a long time.

I guess for a tincture I'd try to the sight glass in yeast brink mode. Especially something with chunks in it like a spice tincture. Seems the brink is reported to work just fine for that. The problem with using the yeast brink to inject dry hops is the dry hop pellet sludge gets very thick and just won't push. I'd reinstall the legs to use the brink under the fermentor.

On other hand for injecting gelatin or other fermentor clarifying agent where I'd think I would want it to start at the top of the conical, or for adding a tincture to a beer I also wanted to dry hop with this configuration, I'd probably use the gas post on the pressure manifold to add the liquid. A grey ball lock connector to open it up and a syringe to inject would do a pretty good job and minimize oxygen. I could even hook up the gas to the dry hopper to push about 2 PSI CO2 into the headspace while doing so so that when I pull the syringe away from the ball lock connector positive CO2 pressure would minimize oxygen getting in.
 

depper

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No. I've not done a tincture in a long time.

I guess for a tincture I'd try to the sight glass in yeast brink mode. Especially something with chunks in it like a spice tincture. Seems the brink is reported to work just fine for that. The problem with using the yeast brink to inject dry hops is the dry hop pellet sludge gets very thick and just won't push. I'd reinstall the legs to use the brink under the fermentor.

On other hand for injecting gelatin or other fermentor clarifying agent where I'd think I would want it to start at the top of the conical, or for adding a tincture to a beer I also wanted to dry hop with this configuration, I'd probably use the gas post on the pressure manifold to add the liquid. A grey ball lock connector to open it up and a syringe to inject would do a pretty good job and minimize oxygen. I could even hook up the gas to the dry hopper to push about 2 PSI CO2 into the headspace while doing so so that when I pull the syringe away from the ball lock connector positive CO2 pressure would minimize oxygen getting in.
Thanks for your thoughts. I like to use tinctures to add flavoring to my beers, but have only done this using a bottling bucket, which introduced O2 at will. I think I just might add it using the dry hopper attachment like mongoose and see what happens. The only issue I can see is when I'm bleeding O2 from the sight glass that the liquid will go everywhere inside and possible get up into the gas manifold.

Thanks again!
 

DuncB

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I suppose another option would be to add the flavourings after ferment with a Randall then you can experiment with tiny batches to taste.
But you won't get the ferment effect of course on your adjunct.
 

beervoid

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The reducer gets it onto the 4" TC on the Spike CF. 15oz would fit. Maybe a full pound. This recipe was 20oz divided into two additions.
Ok thanks for elaborating. Why not use a 4" sight glass for more space?
 

gonefishin2

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I really appreciate looking at the picture in the 1st post, and then these incredible devices. Right on HBT. Cheers!
 

mongoose33

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@mongoose33
I'm giving up on the yeast brink to push hops up and am putting together your system. I have a 2" sight glass and the hardware. All I need is one more 2" to 1.5" reducer.
Rather than a traditional end cap reducer
Do you think a bowl reducer might make the hops slide down easier?
I'm thinking the end cap reducer would be better; by forcing a larger volume through a smaller-diameter hole, I'd think you'd have more chance of the hops jamming.
 
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SEndorf

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I'm thinking the end cap reducer would be better; by forcing a larger volume through a smaller-diameter hole, I'd think you'd have more chance of the hops jamming.
Thanks. I haven't physically seen the bowl reducer. Perhaps it's smaller diameter. I need to reduce the 2" sight glass to the 1.5" lid port. The end cap reducer 'appears' to create a small shelf where the hops might get hung up. Guess the bowl idea wouldn't solve the problem. OTOH, maybe it isn't a problem at all.
 

mongoose33

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Thanks. I haven't physically seen the bowl reducer. Perhaps it's smaller diameter. I need to reduce the 2" sight glass to the 1.5" lid port. The end cap reducer 'appears' to create a small shelf where the hops might get hung up. Guess the bowl idea wouldn't solve the problem. OTOH, maybe it isn't a problem at all.
Spike is coming out with a 3-port lid, which is better than the one I have, but still not optimal. I wish they'd included a 2" or 3" port along with the two 1.5" ports. It's easier to dump hops through a larger port, plus greater capacity to begin with.

One problem I had with mine was when I had the fermenter in the garage in the winter. Since the garage temps were in the 45-50 degree range, and the fermenting wort was around 67 degrees, I'd get condensation in the sight glass. That made the hops sticker. A larger sight glass opening would mitigate that. And in the summer, I don't have that issue.

I can't wait for Spike to get the new lids in. Maybe I should call them to do a retrofit. I asked them once to add a second port to my current lid, but they said it would compromise the strength of the lid from an engineering point of view. And now they're adding two. Guess it wasn't as big a deal as they thought.
 
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SEndorf

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Spike is coming out with a 3-port lid, which is better than the one I have, but still not optimal. I wish they'd included a 2" or 3" port along with the two 1.5" ports. It's easier to dump hops through a larger port, plus greater capacity to begin with.

One problem I had with mine was when I had the fermenter in the garage in the winter. Since the garage temps were in the 45-50 degree range, and the fermenting wort was around 67 degrees, I'd get condensation in the sight glass. That made the hops sticker. A larger sight glass opening would mitigate that. And in the summer, I don't have that issue.

I can't wait for Spike to get the new lids in. Maybe I should call them to do a retrofit. I asked them once to add a second port to my current lid, but they said it would compromise the strength of the lid from an engineering point of view. And now they're adding two. Guess it wasn't as big a deal as they thought.
I like Spike and their products, but am not surprised at their previous, then current, response. Like most companies, a particular course of action is inadvisable until there is money to be made with enough volume to make that course of action advisable.
Personally, I'm tackling these problems one at a time. The Norcal brink has been excellent at harvesting yeast, but created several epic messes trying to dry hop. Granted, I used the mason jar version and not the sight glass version which might have helped. There is simply not enough threading on the mason jar rings (due to the silicone gasket) to make a solid seal. The jars would pop off even at 2-3 psi. Then there is the constant swapping of the purge connect / CO2 connect from several cycles of filling the jar, then trying to push the hops.
In hind sight, (my plan now) I should use the brink only for harvesting yeast, and configure your design for dry hopping.
There were several previous posts here, debating the oxygen purge of the sight glass. I believe your recommendation was to slightly crack the butterfly valve to allow natural CO2.
Most of my IPA's require at least 4 oz. dry hops for a 10G. batch. I was planning on two "drops" of 2 oz. each. purging the sight glass with food grade CO2 between drops.
At some point I'll look into a different lid, but for now (compared to previous headaches) I can't wait to try out your design. Much easier.
 

Lacasse93

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I don’t know if this would work but for those of us still using a bucket (or potentially carboy if you could find a way) could you cut a hole in a bucket lid and attach a dry food dispenser? I’ll attach a Home Depot link below but it looks cheap. Maybe even change the top to hand pump oxygen out of it? Let me know any thoughts for myself and my fellow cheap home brewers

 
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