Dry Hopping Method

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by BrutusBrew, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    My first 5 gallon batch is about ready for its dry hop addition and I wanted to get a feel for the methods used by others on this forum.

    I have read many different ways to do it, such as use a muslin bag or even add the pellets directly to the fermenter and just let them naturally sink to the bottom.

    A little background on what I have brewing. It is a West Coast IPA extract kit and the hop addition will be 1oz of Idaho 7 hop pellets. It has been in my conical fermenter for almost 2 weeks, and about 5 days ago I dumped the trub. So far I have hit all the SG marks, so fingers crossed this is a successful batch.

    Currently I am looking at two options for my dry hop:

    1. Place the pellets inside of a brew bag/sock that has, of course, been sanitized in StarSan and then insert it into my fermenter through my 1.5" TC port
    2. Dump the pellets directly into my fermenter through the TC port and see what happens
    Welcome any thoughts/opinions!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I just dump the hops right in the fermenter, I typically do this before fermentation has ended so that any oxygen that sneaks in should be expelled through the air lock. You could insert a Co2 hose into your fermenter, and crack it just enough to get some flow, then dump the hops in and let the Co2 flow for a minute or so. My personal opinion is that putting the hops in some kind of bag will only increase the opportunity for infection, and the opportunity for O2 ingress.
    For what it s worth, 1 oz of hops in a dry hop in a 5 gallon batch seems a little lite, almost a waste.
    To get any real aroma, you would need 4-5 oz of hops, but you didn't ask about that...
     
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  3. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    Thanks, appreciate the insight! I don't have any CO2 equipment at this point, but plan on adding that later as I gain experience and get a process down. I think I will skip the bag and just add the hops directly. I am on day 11 of my ferment now and the SG has flattened out, so next time I will try to add the hops before the curve flattens. This is only the second time I have dry hopped, so lots to learn for me!

    I also thought the 1oz of hops seemed a little light, especially since I used the same amount in a 2 gallon batch last month. Wanted to follow the directions in the kit though. If I do this kit again I will probably add more.
     
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  4. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I dry hopped the first time a few abs ago following these guys’ advice. I just dumped it in. I agree to do it while you still have airlock activity so you know you’ll probably eat some oxygen. NOW I have not done it another way so....
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    For me, the only reason to use a bag is to stop the hop material blocking up a hose or keg component. As you've got no CO2 I'm guessing you're bottling. If you're bottling from an auto siphon you could always do it the other way around and tie the bag around the bottom of the auto syphon to stop the hops getting in the way. Other ways of bottling are probably harder to block up, so the bag's probably not that useful for those.
     
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  6. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    There are more ways for homebrewers to dry-hop than there are homebrewers.

    My best results with dry-hopping came by adding the hops after fermentation, approximately 3-4 days before packaging. I was able to retain more hop aroma and flavor than when I dry-hopped earlier in fermentation. One brewer, one data point. Not a rule by any means.

    Then....the last time I dry hopped I added the hops in a mesh screen directly to the keg at packaging. I let the beer sit on the hops for 2 days and then removed the hops. 3 days later when the beer was ready, I had even more aroma and flavor than when I dry-hopped in primary. This will likely be my method going forward.

    On a side note, I would really like to hear your take on the Idaho 7 hops when all is said and done. I just read a pretty interesting study about the best Hop Survivables. This is more about whirlpool additions, but got me all jacked up to try Idaho 7 in my next IPA.
    http://scottjanish.com/survivables-unpacking-hot-side-hop-flavor/
     
  7. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replies and great advice! In my short time in the homebrewing world I have learned there is no one single method to do.........anything! That is great though, part of what has me so excited about this hobby is the experimentation part of it.

    I am definitely still in the bottling stage of things. Never thought about tying a bag around the end of the auto siphon, so I may give that a try.

    One of my favorite micro breweries recently did a hazy IPA that used Idaho 7 hops, along with Citra and Falconer's Flight. I would describe the flavor as earthy and fruity.

    The beer I am about to dry hop was brewed with Columbus, Chinook and Idaho 7 hops and had a piney aroma to it at the end of the brew process. Hoping the dry hops of Idaho 7 will draw out a little more fruitiness.
     
  8. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    Ok now I have questions lol. So you racked tom the keg with hops in one of those screen tubes? Did you put some gas on it? Then take out hops and carb as usual? I think something like this could be good In my English beers.
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    No worries, full disclosure though...
    I have a bit of a reputation here for being heavy handed with the hops, but, no guts, no glory!
     
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  10. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Since you don't have CO2, Just gently add the hops, keeping plashing to a minimum. If you have the ability to cold crash, just dump them in. If you can't cold crash, contain them in a bag or Stainless Steel filter. At room temperature, 3 days should pull everything you'll get out of them, so go ahead and bottle then.
    Too much for my taste. I've found 3 oz./5 gal. to be the sweet spot for my West Coast IPAs. I do favor a fairly large 60 minute addition though, so the bite usually overpowers the bark :).
     
  11. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I put the hops in the stainless screen. Put the screen in the keg. Filled the keg with the beer. Put the lid on and set the regulator to 10-12 pounds. 2 days later, I turned off the regulator, released the pressure, opened the lid, took out the screen, put the lid back on and continued carbing as usual. 3 days later, I was good to go.
    (I had to do this all in secret so as not to get busted by the oxygen police.)
     
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  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    So you admit freely to this!
    :p:p:p
     
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  13. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    They can’t find me in here. :)
     
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  14. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I added the hops last night directly into the fermenter. Plan is to bottle this Saturday, so that will give me around 4 days of these hops in the beer.
     
  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good, let is know how it comes out.
    Let us know if the hop aroma is as hoped for?
     
  16. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    Bottled this batch on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, not all of the hop settlement from the pellets settled to the bottom and some were still floating around in the fermenter. Was able to keep most of this in the fermenter once I transferred to my bottling bucket.

    Definite hop aroma to the beer. Naturally, I sampled about 2oz just to try it out and I will say it was a little on the "twangy" side. From what I have read this can be an issue with beers brewed with LME. My last batch of beer had a similar (much more prominent) characteristic, but it mostly worked itself out after a couple of weeks of bottle conditioning.

    Full disclosure, both batches of beer were my first attempts at dry hopping.

    Going to let this batch bottle condition for a couple of weeks and see what we have at the end!
     
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  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    After bottle conditioning keep them in the fridge for a week or so and the rest of the hop matter should settle out with the yeast.
     
  18. BrutusBrew

    BrutusBrew Member

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    OK, so time to report back on this batch.

    Overall, I will give it a "B". After letting it condition in the bottle for about 3 weeks with about 1 week of that in the fridge, I would say all of the flavors and aromas had blended and settled. What I learned when I checked it into Untappd was it is classified as an Imperial IPA not the West Coast style I thought it was. This my least favorite style of IPA (personal preference, I am an NE or West Coast IPA kinda guy).I put this on me though, as I should have researched the kit a little more, so no fault to anyone but myself.

    I am drinking it still, cause hey, I did make it for that very reason :) And to be honest, it fits the flavor profile of an Imperial IPA so I must have done something right here.

    The big win for me is I managed to get more experience under my belt and continue to tweak my techniques. I have a few more extract kits to work through and plan on progressing to BIAB shortly as well. My plan is to find an IPA or Pale Ale BIAB recipe that I can brew a few times and really familiar with.
     
  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Every batch you make will improve your skill and process.
     
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  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Great news!
    Your plan to pick a recipe and perfect it, is agreat plan!
     

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