Dry Hopping with homegrown hops


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Sep 22, 2012
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Anyone out there ever use homegrown hops for dry hopping? I was wondering if you had to prepare them anyway, or do home grown hops have any local yeast embedded to cause issues with the beer?? Was thinking of putting the hops in the secondary fermentation.
Not homegrown, but I have some Crystal from a hop farm in western Colorado. Thing is, aside from the fact that they're Crystal, I have no idea of their pedigree. I've used them in single-hop ales (blondes) and been disappointed with the results because I have no idea what the alpha acid content is. But as a finishing hop they're fantastic, lending a floral honey note to the beer. So I guess my advice would be to use something you know to bitter and use the home-grown hops to finish, provided you're happy with the aroma. The alpha acid content doesn't matter much after about fifteen minutes anyway, only the aroma.
Using home grown hops is always a bit of a gamble. It has paid off for me many times, and only a few times I've been let down. I've never used home grown hops for dry hopping. I have used them for aroma and occasionally for boil when the IBU range was wide and I had a good idea how the hops performed already.

Regarding dry hopping - make sure they are dried properly. I wouldn't think wild yeast would be an issue, but I do think proper drying and storage is extremely important. One year I did not dry some of my hops sufficiently and there were signs of mold/mildew growing on a few of the cones. This problem developed in the freezer only after several months of storage. The inside of the vacuum seal bag as wet when I thawed it out.

This year I am using a food dehydrator set at 95F to dry my hops. Today that approach dried 4oz of Hallertau down to 1.5oz in about 8 hours. Zeus and Chinook will be harvested this week!
they're just picked, so we're not storing them long term. going to use them for dry hopping two weeks after being picked. my bro has them in the fridge. i guess will just give it a shot and see what happens.

I agree unless you've done some experiments, you really don't know the alpha acid content. that's why we were simply going to use them for aroma.

thinking out loud, maybe we'll just put them in at boil end, while the wort cools.
I dry (and wet) hopped with wild hops last fall. That brew turned out with a very strong iodine aroma, and all of my subsequent brews fermented/cleared in the same carboy(s) turned out....odd. Most with the same iodine aroma to a greater or lesser degree. I finally had to admit that I most likely had an infection in my equipment and bought all new buckets. Seems to have fixed the problem.
It might have just been coincidence, but I won't be dry hopping with wild hops again. Seems to be a good way to get a wild yeast infection. :(
wet hops have a high tendency to mold very quickly thats one reason to dry fresh hops