First time dry hopping..

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First time dry hopping..

Postby HardcoreLegend » Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:37 pm

I just put an IPA into the secondary fermenter with an ounce of dry Cascade hops pellets. How long should a brew dry hop for maximum effect?
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My approach

Postby jayhawk » Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:43 pm

I just racked a brew off the dry hops today. The beer had been on the hops since Dec 25. This is about a week longer than I usually leave them in there, but I have to busy lately to get much beer stuff done (even to busy to drink the stuff!) Anyway, I will leave the beer on the hops for 10-14 days. I use pellets, so I think this is long enough. I am curious as to how whole hops dry hop. I imagine they would work fine, but they may need a little longer. Anyone got opinions as to the pros/cons of the two hop forms?

Chris
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looking for input, too

Postby Gravity Thrills » Tue Jan 21, 2003 6:40 pm

I have only ever used whole hops for dry hopping, despite the nagging concern over possible infection from unsterilized leaf hops. I have never had a problem, and this I have chalked it up to a) the natural preservative properties of hops, and 2) the alcohol present in the beer at the time of dry hopping.

I have labored for a long time under the apparent delusion that I would get the best aroma from leaf hops, provided they were fresh and unoxidized. I have considered others' opinions regarding the both the decreased surface area of intact pellets (as protection against oxidation), and also the increased surface area of pellets once they disaggregate in the beer (to maximize aroma contribution). My strategy in the last year or so has been to dry hop right in the corny with an ounce or so in a hop sock weighted with sanitized glass marbles. I force carbonate by shaking, so the first pint or two has a bit of leaf matter on the bottom, although after that it's clear. Within one week at serving temperature, my beer is clear, and at two weeks the dry hop character is very evident. My concern with using pellets instead of leaves in the keg is that the pulverized hop debris would keep the beer gunked up for quite a bit longer than I would like...

Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Jim
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Meditations on dry hopping

Postby jayhawk » Tue Jan 21, 2003 7:44 pm

As I was racking my freshly dry pellet-hopped beer today, I was planning my life and pondering the dry hop/keg scenario. One day I will keg, and it will be then that I will gain more experience with whole leaf dry hopping. With my current bottling practices, I employ a fine wire mesh screen around the racking cane to minimize the transfer of hop fragments from carboy to bottle. Even so, I still pick up little bits of hops which end up in the bottle. ("What's that in your teeth there Chris?" has been a familiar refrain at a couple of parties.) I think it is obvious that whole leafs hops are the way to go for kegging. Otherwise, you end up with a lot of little hop floaties in the beer, even when using a hop sack or screen. I suppose you could filter the brew in to another keg after dryhopping though.

As well, I was thinking of the real benefits of dry hopping. I have brewed, side by side, a red ale and a honey pale. The red was amply dry hopped with cascade and goldings, while the pale ale was amply hopped at the finish (ie no boiling of finishing hops) and left to steep for 20-30mins. To my suprise, the pale has a much more distinctive hop character, from bitterness through to flavour and aroma. I actually enjoy the hop element of the pale more than the red ale (which is only slightly more malty than the pale). The red ale seems to have a more muddled hop character, with less distinction. Anyway, my whole point is that I am questioning the effectiveness of dryhopping somewhat. I am not saying I do not like it, I just wonder if steeping is the way to go.

Can anyone point out any fairly well known examples of good dry hopped ale?

Chris
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dry hopping and natural carbonation

Postby Fraoch » Wed Jan 22, 2003 1:02 am

Dry hopping used to be done at the stage of kegging in naturally primed beers, in that a part of 2ndary is allowed to commence and according to the recipe the green beer would be racked off to the cask with an appropriate a mount of hops ( normally noble, ie Golding, Fuggle etc),sealed and allowed to ferment out naturally and thus carbonate the beer.The hops would therefore be left for the whole maturation period of the beer, normally a minimum of around 1 month.OK, thats the unspecific history of gaining hop aroma, i find it much easier and more practical if you are using cornelius kegs and not wooden barrels to steep the hops post boil.Remember we all make what was euphemistacly labelled "disco beer" in England. This meant a much faster turn around on beer production and less cost during maturation and kegging, it was also more reliable.It came around during the mid 70's to my recallection, and Watneys Red Barrel was the first.It was frowned upon at the time by 'beer buffs' and still is, but adopted by the large breweries with great haste due to cost efficiency and the demise of the cooper.Welcome stainless.
I both cornelius and naturally ferment in a wooden barrel from time to time( temperature allowing) in my experience i get MUCH better results by allowing the boil to subside and add aroma hops, then rack off after whirlpooling, its clean, sterile,hop fragment free,and gives a better result.Just to add, whole hops or plugs are fantastic for this, pellets seem to fall short somewhat, and please dont quote me on the history lecture.

Cheers Fraoch
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Another dry hop question...

Postby HardcoreLegend » Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:50 am

Would ot be OK to cold condition my dry hopping secondary? I was planning to start cold conditioning the secondary fermenter this Friday for two weeks before bottling.
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Hopbacks

Postby jayhawk » Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:57 am

Great story. I agree that whole hops are the best way to go if you have them availible. Thankfully my HBS has a good selection on hand. Have you any experience with a "hopback"?

Chris
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What I have done

Postby dartedplus » Wed Jan 22, 2003 6:05 am

I dont have a hopback, but what I have done is pour my still hot wort through one of those mesh things that you put over your bucket, and in the mesh I have put pellets. So the still boiling hot wort passes over and through the hops, kind of giving me the effect of a hopback. This has been how I transfer to my bucket, and then use my immersion chiller from there. I think it works fine for me at this point.

Ed
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I usually

Postby fitz » Wed Jan 22, 2003 9:12 am

I usually place my "dry hops" into my pot after the boiling stops until the wort is chilled. I think the heat brings out the oils more. This might not be true dry hopping, but that what works for me. It seemed to lose something or not to gain anything by placing it in the secondary. I also want the freshest possible leaf hops, so I think I will incorporate an extra arbor into the yard to accommodate a couple varieties of hops. If I can't get fresh, I might as well use pellets, they store well. I have thought about using an inline water filter to run my wort into on its way to the primary. I could put a hop bag in it and do the dry hopping that way. It might be a pain to clean though unless I can make it small enough to fit into the dishwasher.
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Counterflow chiller

Postby jayhawk » Wed Jan 22, 2003 9:44 am

I don't think it would be to hard to hook a hopback up to a CF chiller or the inline filter you mention. What is your motivation for wanting to install an inline filter between kettle and primary?

I use the CF chiller system (without hopback) and find it is easy to clean by simply running a few gallons of boiling water through it before and after running beer through it. You may be able to clean your inline system the same way.
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Hopback

Postby fitz » Wed Jan 22, 2003 11:28 am

I've never used a hopback, but that was what I would be using the filter assembly for. I think it was ed that said he put leaf hops in a strainer and poured the wort over them. I was thinking of making a closed system, and run the wort through the hops using the filter housing. I wasn't really going to use it with the filter. Another idea would be to run the beer through it on the way to the bottling bucket, but I think you would get better hop usage with the warmer liquid. Just a few ideas to tinker with. I like gadgets, and like to find ways to make them.
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Other methods/benefits

Postby jayhawk » Wed Jan 22, 2003 11:39 am

I get it now...I thought you were trying to remove trub or something. One good thing about a hopback though is that it would act as a natural filter and help remove trub while you are transferring out of the kettle (if you are concerned about that sort of thing). I guess a plastic filter housing would not tolerate near boiling water well, so that cleaning method would be no good. One thing I have seen are modified stainless steel jars that have a flip top glass lid with clamp and gasket (like a Grolsh bottle but stainless). Input and output holes are drilled through the side of the jar and a screen is fitted inside. You place the hops inside on top of the screen and then forced the wort over them. With a removable screen, this implement could easily be dishwashed, although the gasket may suffer slightly. Sounds like a good tinkering project.
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Things I've seen

Postby fitz » Wed Jan 22, 2003 11:46 am

I seen site with people's own designs on them and it got me wondering. One guy made one with a mason jar. But he stated on it that he had a problem with leakage. That one didn't sound like a good one. I thought I would check into the filter and see what it was rated at. If this isn't a viable alternative, I'll keep tinkering. The sanitation probably wouldn't be too difficult though, a lot of people use plastic buckets as fermenters, and I know they aren't putting them in a dishwasher. I could probably blast the wort out of it and run one step through it to sanitize. Just ideas.
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Brew Ware option

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:29 pm

There is an easy in-line hopback plan in the Brew Ware book. It consists of a langth of CPVC pipe capped at both ends with barbed nipples put into the end caps. Put the hops into the canister, attach racking tubing from your kettle outflow to one end, and tubing from the other end to your CF chiller. Looks like an easy option.

Cheers,
Jim
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That's it

Postby fitz » Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:44 am

That just about what I had in mind. It can be small enough to put in the dishwasher with my other brew stuff.
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