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Successful Dry Hopping Techniques?

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tnlandsailor

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I've read several different ways of dry hopping and was wondering which of these the forum has had success with. My dry hopping experiences have been....."less than optimal". Give details as to hop varieties, hop form, stage at which they were introduced, and how they were introduced, and how long you let them set.
 

ryser2k

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I just finished an SNPA clone not too long ago which required dry hopping. I used cascade hop pellets and just dropped them in the secondary for 2 weeks. I was then very careful when siphoning to my bottling bucket to avoid getting any hop particles in my beer. Seems like it worked, the beer tastes great!
 

Buddhabuddha

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Ditto... just bottled a SNPA clone myself... just had to be extra carefull in racking to the bottling bucket, then in bottling.

One thing I did do, I did let the beer sit in the bottling bucket for about 30-60 minutes... that just let some of the pieces of hop that may have gotten through sink to the bottom. THen I bottled away. I will let you know how it tastes in about...... 10 days... (if I can wait)
 

Janx

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My most recent dry hopping experience is with my Hop Rod Rye clone. Some Amarillo and Centennial. Whole hops. Two weeks in the secondary after fermenting was basically complete. I very briefly steamed them before adding them. It definitely adds some nice aroma. Cheers! :D
 

DeRoux's Broux

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if you keg your brews, you can use a commercial stainless steel tea grain ball and drop that into your keg while dispesning. talk about another little umph of hops!
Hop-on brother!
DeRoux's Broux
 

Ken Doggett

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In answer to Dennis' question regarding dry hopping, I have tried three methods: 1). Adding hops in the secondary fermentor, 2). Adding hops into the keg using a straining bag sterilized by boiling first, 3). Pouring wort over dry hops in a strainer as I keg. Each method provides a different result, but all are satisfying. I am perfecting the third method as you normally don't aeriate wort while kegging, so I am building a small 'hopback' device to fit into the keg. We'll see how it works. For the floral aroma of dry hopping, I love Cascades. Throwing a few pellets into the secondary also seems to work well. Cheers.
 

ScionOfZion

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I typically dry hop with pellets and do not use a sock or bag. Just toss 'em in the secondary. My pale ale is pretty popular with the "I don't like dark beer" crowd and uses 1 oz. of Cascade for dry hopping.
 
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I got an ESB thats in the primary that calls for dry hopping. I've only done one previous dry-hop with an IPA and pellets in the secondary. Looked like a siphoning nightmare but after 2 weeks they settled pretty well and the brew was great.

I'm using pellets again with the ESB and was considering using a hop bag/sock. Anyone tried this before or have reason why I shouldn't? Want it hoppy so don't want to constrict anything...
 

Ken Doggett

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If dry hopping in the secondary, I just throw in whole flowers loose and let the wort have at it. If I dry hop in the keg, I use a sterilized bag so dispensing doesn't get plugged. Works both ways for me.
 

Tony

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My Hop Rod Clone will be 14 days dry hopping tomorrow.

Janx, did you dry hop for two weeks, then transfer to another carboy for two more weeks? Or bottle after the dry hop?
 

BitterRat

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I have dry hopped 2 ways:
1.) whole hops, loose in secondary for 2 weeks
2.) in a bag, in the keg
The whole hops in the secondary worked great!! It was a Pseudo St Rogue Red clone. I say Pseudo because I changed 1 hop, I dropped Chinnook and used Columbus. I dry hopped with .5 oz of Crystal, .5 oz Centennial and .5 oz of Columbus.
In keg did not work so well, the first time I used .5 oz of Kent Goldings, whole, and it was ok, the second is(was) a failure. I made an APA that was really good and tried a new hop that I had just recieved, Palisade, and found it is not a good hop for dryhopping!!Turned a really good beer into an undrinkable brew!!Oh, I do not treat the hops before dryhopping, I just put them in, but when using a bag, I sanitize that!!
 

rixport

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tnlandsailor said:
I've read several different ways of dry hopping and was wondering which of these the forum has had success with. My dry hopping experiences have been....."less than optimal". Give details as to hop varieties, hop form, stage at which they were introduced, and how they were introduced, and how long you let them set.
This is probably one of the most complicated (by brewers) things in brewing IPA's etc. Funny thing is, it's so easy that people complicate it unnecessarily. Transfer your beer to a secondary (one of the only reason's i can think of for doing this) and add pelleted hops. Usually one once per 5 gallon carboy. No need to steam, boil or any other type treatment as long as the hops come right out of a clean (preferably sealed) container of hops. Whole hops are ok, but harder to get in the carboy and MUCH harder to get out once they are in there! So, next time you want to dry hop, just do it.. make sure the beer is mostly done fermenting by doing a hydrometer reading or if you are one member of this forum, by doing some sort of strange native vulcan mind meld with the beer. (just kidding) Add the hops, let sit for 10 days or so, rack and keg.. If you want to really do something daring, get an extra large tea ball, fill one half with pellet hops, clamp the other side closed, drop it into a keg along with the beer, carbonate and be amazed.. good luck!

Ken
 

andre the giant

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rixport said:
This is probably one of the most complicated (by brewers) things in brewing IPA's etc. Funny thing is, it's so easy that people complicate it unnecessarily. Transfer your beer to a secondary (one of the only reason's i can think of for doing this) and add pelleted hops. Usually one once per 5 gallon carboy. No need to steam, boil or any other type treatment as long as the hops come right out of a clean (preferably sealed) container of hops. Whole hops are ok, but harder to get in the carboy and MUCH harder to get out once they are in there! So, next time you want to dry hop, just do it.. make sure the beer is mostly done fermenting by doing a hydrometer reading or if you are one member of this forum, by doing some sort of strange native vulcan mind meld with the beer. (just kidding) Add the hops, let sit for 10 days or so, rack and keg.. If you want to really do something daring, get an extra large tea ball, fill one half with pellet hops, clamp the other side closed, drop it into a keg along with the beer, carbonate and be amazed.. good luck!

Ken
This is the technique I just used on my IPA. I'm bottling it tomorrow. I racked the beer to the secondary, when the beer was close to FG I put an 1/4 oz. of Goldings pellets in a muslin bag and dropped them in the carboy. I'm sure the bag wasn't necessary, but I like the idea of keeping some of the hop particles contained. If I had whole hops, I'd probably add them without the bag.

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to tasting the IPA, as well as my chocolate porter and my Bass clone, tomorrow during "Andre's bottlefest, 2005." :)
 

Marcale

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Hi
First post. I have dry hopped in the keg and used fuggles for a bitter. I used a small cylindrical tupperware type container that I drilled lots of holes in. It worked well.
 

Rookie

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The only beer that I dry hop every time is my #5 Hopping Street IPA. I just drop the pellets in the secondary and give them enough time to settle and carefully rack into the bottling bucket.
 

ChrisUng

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"I just finished an SNPA clone not too long ago which required dry hopping. I used cascade hop pellets and just dropped them in the secondary for 2 weeks. I was then very careful when siphoning to my bottling bucket to avoid getting any hop particles in my beer. Seems like it worked, the beer tastes great!"

I came up with a great way to avoid sucking hop particles with your auto-syphon. I go and buy the cheapest pair of knee high nylon stockings I can find. I then soak them in sanitizer for 10 minutes, then tie one onto the end of my auto syphon with a sanitized rubber band, being sure to leave a good bit of "tag" hanging off the end (picture a tube sock with bad elastic that's half hanging off your foot). I put that stocking-capped syphon into my secondary fermenter then syphon to my keg (or your bottling bucket) as normal. The large amount of filter surface area allows for a fairly efficient syhon, and a nice clear dry hopped ale.
 

Jolly McStanson

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That's a great Idea going the stocking rout. I'm going to try that next time. Iv made dry hopped beer before and it seems like my finished beer is riddled with hop leavings. They get in your teeth, and the the hop tastes ends up being too strong.
 

ScubaSteve

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I've had excellent results using 3" herb balls from wal-mart. I crash cool my primary, then when I'm ready to rack I place a sanitized herb ball (with ~2 oz. of any aroma hop; I usually use cascade or centennial) in the keg. I'm really starting to like centennial...it's got a nice, sharp, grapefruit flavor I don't pick up with the cascade. The ones I bought have a hook at the end of the chain...which can be bent to clip right onto the bev out tube. No other mods necessary. Then I rack from the primary into the keg and age it for another week.

Stone Brewery states that dry-hopping is at its best 7-10 days. In other words, you should plan on tapping the keg in a week for the most brilliant hop flavors.

Sierra Nevada is big on double dry hopping (Stone does this sometimes too). This is actually not as expensive as it sounds, and I have been experimenting with it recently. All you do is throw 1 ounce in the primary towards the end of fermentation....then proceed to dry hopping in the keg as described above. It'll take one more ounce, and from what I can tell, it's got some serious results. Basically, you're doing a double infusion; once the first hops are spent, you add new hops to keep imparting hop oils. I'm really digging this new method...as I primary for 3+ weeks anyway.

I plan on building a hopback soon and incorporating all these methods. I've actually found that some BMC drinkers will like hoppy beers if you can manage to keep it highly aromatic. If you overbitter in the boil, less people tend to like it.
 

Chello

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Does the temperature of the beer matter when dry hopping? Or more specifically, can i drop hop a beer in the keg at serving temp or is it more effective at room temp?
 

Danek

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Sierra Nevada is big on double dry hopping (Stone does this sometimes too). This is actually not as expensive as it sounds, and I have been experimenting with it recently. All you do is throw 1 ounce in the primary towards the end of fermentation....then proceed to dry hopping in the keg as described above. It'll take one more ounce, and from what I can tell, it's got some serious results. Basically, you're doing a double infusion; once the first hops are spent, you add new hops to keep imparting hop oils. I'm really digging this new method...as I primary for 3+ weeks anyway.
Just curious - is dry-hopping twice with one ounce each time any different to dry-hopping once with two ounces?
 

mysteryberto

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I generally dry hop with fine mesh bags in the serving keg. However I end up with hop chunks in my beer which aren't the most appealing. On my current batch I'm going to try a surescreen which is a SS filter that goes over the dip tube.
 

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My second dry-hopping (using pellets) which I did recently for a SN Celebration Ale recipe didn't work too well as I had a tough time siphoning. It kept getting clogged even with a hop bag over the end of the siphon to work as a filter. I think I'm going to try putting hop pellets in a nylon hop bag on my next beer. I guess I'll need to figure out how to weigh it down since I assume it will float....
 

Brewsmith

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Does the temperature of the beer matter when dry hopping? Or more specifically, can i drop hop a beer in the keg at serving temp or is it more effective at room temp?
Yes and Yes. If you dry hop in the keg, put the hops in a sanitized nylon bag so that they don't get plugged in the dip tube and poppets. More Beer even has keg lids with a hook welded on the inside so that you can hang a hop bag.

And didn't anyone else notice...
Holy Thread Resurrection Batman!
 

homebrewflyfish

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I dry-hopped an IIPA a month ago, but because of time I just dropped the whole leaf hops in with a hop bag I boiled for 15mins into the primary. I know it's common practice to do it in the secondary, but it worked fine for me.

Yesterday was a different story though. I'm doing a 2xIPA inspired by DFH 90min, and I wanted to rack it to the secondary. I boiled my bag like last time, put the hops in, and went to put it in the carboy. Well of course it wouldn't fit. There was no way I was getting that bag with all the wl hops in the mouth of the carboy. So I found this post, read it thoroughly, sanitized the neck of the carboy, and just started pushing the hops straight into the carboy (thanks HBT!). So now my beer is loaded with new free-floating hops. We'll see how it turns out, but I'll definitely be trying the hop bag or something on the end of the siphon as a filter.
 

homebrewflyfish

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Actually made me think of another question...

Does anyone have a good method to get whole leaf hops into the carboy? Some sort of funnel system that works well? I ended up pushing them through with my fingers, but sadly lost some to the floor which made me want to cry.

Also, if anyone has devised a good method to use a hop bag please do tell. As I was trying to jam my hop bag in (with no success), I was thinking "if I do manage to get this in here, the only way it's coming out is with a sledgehammer blow to the carboy".
 

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to get them out i usually tip the carboy upside down and cut the bag with knife. Then just fish out the bag and rinse out the hops.
 

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I have most success with pellets just tossed right into secondary. I usually wrap a paint strainer over the end of my siphon to, to catch any gunk that might not have settled completely.

Whole hops are much harder to get out of a carboy, but it can be done.
 

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This has been working well for me:

After the "peak" of fermentation (about day 4), I add 1 oz. of pellets and stir. After a few days, I stir again, then stir one last time after another few days. I heard this technique from an interview with, I think it was a brewer from Bells. They 'stir' by bubbling CO2. The key is the warm temperatures during fermentation that help extract the flavors/aromas. Also, any O2 introduced from adding the hops / stirring will be scrubbed by the still-active yeast. Of course, keep your stirring device sanitized.
 

meadowstream

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I am thinking that like other items that are soaked, that hops flavor/aroma is probably absorbed pretty quickly into the liquid. Would think that after 3-4 days, with some swirling along the way, that dry hopping is pretty complete... What do you think?
 

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I am thinking that like other items that are soaked, that hops flavor/aroma is probably absorbed pretty quickly into the liquid. Would think that after 3-4 days, with some swirling along the way, that dry hopping is pretty complete... What do you think?
Yes, I'd say that by about 3-4 days, most of the hops goodness is into the beer. I wouldn't swirl or stir, just let them soak. I've left dryhops for as long as 10 days, though, when I didn't have time to rack.
 

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I just ordered some SS mesh from McMaster Carr - I am going to take Bobby's hop filter idea, but make a cylindrical tube that is SS wire stitched at one end (bottom) and with a paint strainer bag and a zip tie over the “top” to seal it. The mesh tube will fit all the way down into the corny keg (it’s 1” shorter than the keg) and can be easily removed, or left in….

I’ll let you know how it works in a few weeks….
 

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I made what was supposed to be a Two-hearted clone. Well, I mashed too high (first AG) and it's still too sweet and full-bodies IMO.

Anyway, I dry-hopped with 1 oz cascade pellets for several days before crash-cooling for a couple more and kegging. There is a noticeable lack of hops aroma.

What could be wrong? I thought this was supposed to be a no-brain exercise and that aroma could really improve this beer. As it is, I think I might try and make a hop tea to offset the sweet a bit more.
 

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I'll bump this instead of using a new thread.

I made an APA and in the boil it had Cascade and cluster for aroma and after a week it was dry hopped when racked to secondary with Chinook.

If I was to dry hop it in the keg to get a bit more hop flavour as I think I was too far off with my hop weights what hops would I dry hop with?

Should I use Chinook as it was the dry hop choice in the fermenter or can I use Cascade wich I actually have in stock in my hop bank.

What would you choose?

BTW I plan on using a stainless steel tea ball and a marble in it to weigh it down. does this stay in for the life of the beer or should it be removed after a certain time. If removed I'll put fishing line on it and attatch it to the dip tube if I can to make it easier to remove.
 

mysteryberto

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I'll bump this instead of using a new thread.

I made an APA and in the boil it had Cascade and cluster for aroma and after a week it was dry hopped when racked to secondary with Chinook.

If I was to dry hop it in the keg to get a bit more hop flavour as I think I was too far off with my hop weights what hops would I dry hop with?

Should I use Chinook as it was the dry hop choice in the fermenter or can I use Cascade wich I actually have in stock in my hop bank.

What would you choose?

BTW I plan on using a stainless steel tea ball and a marble in it to weigh it down. does this stay in for the life of the beer or should it be removed after a certain time. If removed I'll put fishing line on it and attatch it to the dip tube if I can to make it easier to remove.

Cascade would be a good hop to dry hop your beer with. I generally leave my keg hops in for as long as several months. Others don't because it supposedly leaves grassy flavors eventually. Make sure you sanitize your tea ball and marble.
 

Grizzlybrew

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I'll bump this instead of using a new thread.

I made an APA and in the boil it had Cascade and cluster for aroma and after a week it was dry hopped when racked to secondary with Chinook.

If I was to dry hop it in the keg to get a bit more hop flavour as I think I was too far off with my hop weights what hops would I dry hop with?

Should I use Chinook as it was the dry hop choice in the fermenter or can I use Cascade wich I actually have in stock in my hop bank.

What would you choose?

BTW I plan on using a stainless steel tea ball and a marble in it to weigh it down. does this stay in for the life of the beer or should it be removed after a certain time. If removed I'll put fishing line on it and attatch it to the dip tube if I can to make it easier to remove.
I think it comes down to what aroma you are looking for... If you are going for the spiciness of the chinook, then double it up by adding more to the keg. Cascade definitely tend to have a more pronounced citrus/floral aroma and are the traditional choice for IPA and would probably go well with most APA as well.

As far as to how long - the achohol content is not really high enough to preserve the hops long term (if they start to breakdown, they could potentially release off flavors/aromas). Plus, a month or two is probably going to extract all the aroma you're going to get.

Good Luck!
 

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I am going to dry hop for the first time, a bock. After talking to my local brew store they suggested just dropping the pellets into the secondary and then using a nylon straining bag attached to the siphon when racking from the secondary to the bottling bucket. Hope that helps.
 

Superdave

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Since the thread was resurrected yesterday...

I dry-hopped for the first time last night, but am pretty excited to drink the beer, as it has aged out very well, but needed some hop aroma. (I know, most people dry hop much sooner than I did, but I was doing some other stuff with the beer too.)

Anyway, I was wondering if the consensus leaned toward 3-4 days is all that is needed to extract what is being extracted? Hoping to finally bottle the beer on Thursday evening.
 
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