Dry hopping and conditioning

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Jefferson Brewing Company, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. Jefferson Brewing Company

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    Hey all, I'm new to brewing and I've so far completed two batches, both designed to be IPAs, and both of them have hit all the metrics they were supposed to (ABV, final gravity, bitterness, color, etc.), except: They've been nearly devoid of hop flavor and aroma, and they've been vastly under-carbonated... I'm hoping if I describe my procedures, somebody can point me in a direction towards figuring how where I'm missing the mark.

    For my first beer, I dry hopped with hole-cone Cascade and Centennial in a hop sock. I didn't have anything to weigh them down/sink them, so they floated on top, and I'm realizing this was likely a big reason why it didn't have the level of hop aromas I expected. A friend also noted that he thought he could taste evidence of exposure to too much oxygen late in fermentation, which I didn't quite understand, because I didn't open the vessel at any point until the dry hopping. (I was using a 6.5 gal fermentation bucket.) I used the Brewer's Friend priming calculator to determine how much sugar to use for priming, and I let it sit for 2 weeks. The level of carbonation was okay, but not quite as much as I wanted it to be, and the head retention was almost non-existent. It ended up tasting like a low-ABV barley wine. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't an IPA.

    The second, beer, I basically followed largely the same procedure for the brewing, but I weighed the sock hops down for the dry hopping stage so they sunk to the bottom. Dry hopped for 7 days, primed using the Brewer's Friend calculator, and bottled. I waited two weeks and (today) cracked open. To my dismay, it had almost zero carbonation besides a faint "hiss" when I opened the bottle, and, similarly to the first beer, lacked the distinctive hop flavor and aroma of an IPA.

    What am I doing wrong?? haha.
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Dry hop shouldn't really impact carbonation. Are you storing it in a cooler area possibly? Maybe you're under priming it with sugar.
     
  3. Jefferson Brewing Company

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    I brought the dry hopping up because I'm not getting the hop flavor and aromas and I'm not sure why. As for the temperature, the brewer's friend priming calculator has a spot for adding both the temperature and volume of the beer being bottled, so I followed that guide. Both beers were stored in a garage post-bottling and the temp has been between like 40 and 50 degrees F here.
     
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah you should store them for 2 weeks around 20C which is around 70F
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Did you add any hops during the boil, or just the dry hop? When you compare it to a barleywine are you meaning sweet, or devoid of hop flavour/aroma (sounds like the later, but just checking)? Just trying to work out if there's something from the boil additions that may have an effect. I haven't dry hopped with whole cones, but plenty here have, so for them, what was the amount you added?

    For the oxygenation comment, did you notice whether there was pressure on your airlock for the later part of the fermentation (may not be bubbling, but it should push the airlock a little)? Oxygenation is one of those tricky ones for tasting. Depending on the person's training/experience it could be confused with other flavours/aromas (I think I can get it, but I wouldn't be definite). You'll inevitably get oxygenation brewing in a bucket, so it may not be as 'good' as a beer brewed in a device that helps keep the oxygen out, but actually getting an oxidised flavour in relatively fresh beer takes a fair bit of weird handling.

    And as hawkbox says I haven't seen/heard of complications for carbonation with dry hopping. Did you notice your carbonation improving as the batch aged? That may point to carbonating somewhere too cold (which you are, you're nearer to lagering temps than carbonation temps) or tired yeast (fairly unlikely in an IPA). If it never gets better it could have been too little sugar. Or a combination of the two. I'd move a few inside to store at room temperature for a week or so. Then cool them and see what the carbonation is like.
     
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  6. Jefferson Brewing Company

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    Yes, both had bittering and aroma additions in the boil. And yes, I meant lacking in the hop flavor/aroma, although it was a little on the sweet side, too. The alcohol content and final gravity were all where they were supposed to be, though

    I don't recall on this one. I believe the airlock was still pressurized for both brews. I have a 2 part airlock that has a plastic insert which gets pushed up against the cap, and I remember seeing that it was still all the way pushed up, so I believe we had pressure throughout fermentation. It's possible my friend is mistaken about the oxygenation flavors... I don't recall exposing either of them to a large amount of oxygen.

    For the first one, there was maybe a little bit of improvement in carbonation over time, but not a lot and it still didn't retain the head very well at all, even 4 or 5 weeks after the initial bottling. The second one, we'll have to see. I don't think I realized the temperature for conditioning was so important. I'll try pulling some out and keeping them more at room temp to see if that changes anything. Thanks
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The temperature should be the highest temp that the beer hit post fermentation. In most cases, that would be somewhere around 70 degrees for an ale. If you did a lager and the temp never rose above 48 before you chilled the wort for lagering, you could use 48 degrees. If you fermented at a constant 68 and then chilled the wort to 40 degrees pre-bottling, you'd use 68 degrees.
    If you added less than about 1 weighed ounce per gallon of beer, you undercarbed.
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    So you have two problems here, under carbed, and not getting the hop aroma you would like.

    Once bottled you should allow two weeks at room temperature, not somewhere cold. On top of that you need to add the correct amount of priming sugar. If you are fermenting at room temperature, the wort will be easily 4 degrees warmer than that. The byproducts of yeast eating up the sugars are alcohol, CO2, and heat. Not taking the added heat into account when calculating the priming sugar could be a contributing factor to the carbonation level.
    Hope this helps
    Craigerrr
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    As above good carbonation should help drive out some of those lovely hoppy aromas in your beer. I also find giving a glass a good swirl and then inhaling through the nose with hand covering the cup should help you pick up any remnants of hop aroma also let the brew warm a little will also bring out them aromas and flavours if stored too cool.

    Sorry to hear your having a rough time with the hops mate they sure are a delicious sensory part of the beer and a hard part to manage in the brewery.

    I find personally with hopier beers fresh is best drink it up early to make the most of them flavours and aromas because a month in I'm finding them full aromas have faded some.

    Dam u oxidation

    Have you read the metabisulphate exbeeriment at brulosophy food for thought on reducing 02 on transfer...
     
  10. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    If your picking up oxygen, I'd guess it was during bottling. When you are transferring have the tube go all the way to the bottom of the bottling bucket and don't splash the beer.

    As far as carbonation, warm the bottles up and they should get better. 40-50 is pretty low, it will take a while to get carbed at those temps. 60-70F for 2 weeks should be plenty of time.
     
  11. Jefferson Brewing Company

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    Thanks, everybody. Sounds like my problem with the carbonation is a combination of low temps and under-priming. Really hard to maintain consistent temps in the winter time in Northern California. I've got some ideas, though.

    As far as the hop aromas, I guess I'm just going to have to keep playing around with it.

    I'm hoping the oxygen will be much less of an issue now, because I purchased a conical fermenter with a drain port on the bottom, so I'll be able to rack straight into the bottling bucket with minimum oxygen contact. If anybody has any other ideas on the dry-hopping/hop aroma, lemme have 'em!

    Thanks again! I have a wheat beer in the fermenter right now and I'm eager to see how that one turns out.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    If you have CO2 you could purge some into the bucket before racking.
    It is heavier than air so it will stay on top of the beer as you transfer it.
     
  13. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    #13 ChicoBrewer, Feb 28, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    Welcome from Chico. Where in norcal are you?
     
  14. Jefferson Brewing Company

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    Also in Chico!
     
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  15. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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  16. Jefferson Brewing Company

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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Completely understandable, keeping consistent temps when it hits -30C and then is 0C a few days later is a definite challenge.
     
  18. 4Bentley

    4Bentley Active Member

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    #18 4Bentley, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    You may never be totally satisfied with the hop flavors from dry hopping alone. As much as I try I have not been able to duplicate the intense flavors that some breweries achieve. I believe they are injecting hops with a hop rocket or using hop oil.

    I have increased the hop flavors by also doing a whirlpool and dry hopping before fermentation is complete in the primary. Not sure if you are doing this, but this helped me.

    Also, since you are using whole cone hops, make sure you increase the volume because a lot of the weight is taken up in leaf that doesn't contribute.
     
  19. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Been thinking about this hop issue. I’ve been honing my brewing skills on WC IPAs lately and getting awesome flavor and aroma. My effort has been more focused on bittering though. Suggestions:
    - At least 60% of IBUs at FWH and/or 60 min boil (If using BF set FWH utilization to 100% and 60 min hops to 80%)
    - one more boil addition at 5-10 min
    - whirlpool or hopstand starting at 180* (set BF utilization @ 1%)
    - dry hop on day 4 of fermentation (use pellets, no sock)
    It would be nice to see your recipe. Cheers:)
     
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  20. skyblue67

    skyblue67 New Member

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    I've found I get the best hop aroma by making a basic hop extract using a cafetiere/French press coffee maker. I use 20g of leaf hops, add 750ml water at 70-75°C, leave to steep for 20 mins then press down the plunger and add to the fermenter for the last 3-4 days. I also kind of whirlpool by adding hops (usually pellets) once the wort has chilled to 75°C and leaving for 20 mins and I dry hop as well just to cover all the bases.
     

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