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#20

Dry hopping - float or sink?

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Hi guys,

 

Gonna dry hop a brew for the first time. In the primary. I have hop bags and gonna use pellets. About 30g to get a feel for it.

 

1.) Can I just toss the bag in there? I know it's just gonna float doing it this way. But it's so damn easy and convenient joyful. But will the effect of the dry hopping be very damaged by it just floating? Will the hop oils mix in properly this way?

 

Weighing it down, it's a good chance it will sink down into the yeast cake. And that's not good I've heard. Tying it up and trying to balance it in the middle is a bit of a hassle I feel (?)....so float is at least the easiest way out.

 

2.) Gonna let the brew sit for 2 weeks. I use US-05 and it's an APA. When should I dry hop? Some say after about 5 days, other say not to dry hop for more than 5-6 days (meaning waiting to day 8-9), as too long dry hopping can give a grassy taste. What do u guys think? Gonna use 50/50 cascade and amarillo btw.

 

Cheers

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I normally add them straight to the FV without wrapping them.

 

They start by floating and eventually make their way down through the wort, settling on the bottom after a few days. This has never failed me.

 

I try to do things with the least amount f work, mucking around a lot just increases your chances of infecting the brew.

 

Alex

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I use those stainless steel tea diffuses to dry hop and they sink straight away but I've read somewhere that some people use a sterilized stainless steel weight ( a teaspoon or the like ) tied to the bag. It seems there's pro's and con's with each method.

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Do you CC #20?

 

If you have the means, then don't bother restraining them. Tip them out of the tea bag and into the beer. They should break down and sink through the beer, giving you maximum extraction. If you don't CC, then I would try and restrain them unless you don't mind waiting a LONG time for them to drop out.

 

I usually wait until after fermentation is done, but there are different schools of thought.

 

Have a go on day 3-4.

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I'm with Phil on this one. Just chuck them in loose. I don't even CC. I used to always rack to a secondary which clears thing up quite nicely. I don't always get around to doing this anymore. I find that if you tap the side of the FV now and again during your Dry hop the hops fall nicely to the bottom for satisfactory results.

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Just to be different again, I use heat seal-able tea bags to enclose my dry hop additions.

 

Hop-TeaBag.jpg

 

As you can see by the diversity of responses (so far), there are numerous methods available to you.

 

Try a few, & hopefully you'll find a method you are happy with, & that works for you. wink

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony.

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My most recent effort was a bit of a mix of techniques; on day 3 (after the krausen had formed) I steeped my hops pellets in a coffee plunger (sterilized of course), just in boiled water , then chilled it down.

Once it was cool enough (room temp), I tipped the liquid into the FV, then popped the solids into an old stocking (freshly washed), and put the remains of the pellets in the top to float about and see if they make any difference.

I'll remove the solids a few days before I bottle, and will probably rack to a secondary storage unit prior to bottling, as I did this with my European Lager (just bottled today) and it seemed to come through nice and clear, with no noticeable yeast cake making it into the bottles.

 

I get that some prefer to let their dry hops just float about and sink to the bottom, but a few bottles of beer with sedimentary hops in them put me off, and I'd rather use a second hand stocking, of which my wife provides plenty, than have to pour carefully or strain my brew for solids when bottling; but to each their own.

You just have to work out which technique works best for you, and that gives you the results you want, as with all things in life it will be a matter of balance and compromise to find what works for you, which may or may not be the same as someone else, and there's nothing wrong with that.

 

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I use stainless steel tea infusers as well. If I put 10g in them they sink and stay sunk, but if there's more than about 15g they'll eventually float back up to the surface as the hops absorb water.

 

Took me a while to figure that one out lol

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Thanks, guys. A lot of good advice as usual....and many ways lead to Rome too, I guess smile

 

I have a bad experience once from boiling hops loose and by a bit of accidence tossing everything into the FV. All the hops and the goo (!!) w00t. The hops didn't settle down and sink properly, and it was a real pain to bottle. My bottling wand got clogged all the time and so on. It may sink now if I toss them in free, but then since I don't cold crash, I don't want to risk that bottling nightmare once again.

 

So I do want to restrain them somehow, and my best bet now is to use a hop bag. I may buy a few of those tea infusers later. What I go back and forth about, is whether to weigh it down or not.

 

A sterilized fishing line wouldn't do much harm in the beer, would it? As I understand it's made of nylon and that should give away any badies (?)...

 

I'm playing with the idea of weighing the bag down and then use a fishing line to get it to hang in the middle, with the end of the line on the outside of the FV. Cause having the hops in the middle of the brew, has to be the best out of these three, right guys?? At least intuitively it is...

 

(vs floating on top or weighted down too heavily and buried in the yeast cake)

 

 

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Having tried sinking the hops pellets (with glass pebbles), letting them float and then sink freely, and floated them in old stockings, I have to say whichever method you use seems to make little if any perceptible difference so far as flavour/aroma.

 

The yeast finds the hops wherever it is, and assimilates the tannins and oils into the brew.

Technically it's the same with your sugars and malts etc; the yeast finds what it's looking for and converts it; you could throw all your kit together without even stirring it, and would find although it may take a little longer, your brew would still be converted to beer over a few weeks; it's only for convenience and consistency that we stir all our ingredients.

Given time it would all settle into as good a brew whether you stir it or not, just it may take a little longer for the yeast to break it all down and get it as consistent as when you stir.

I've even found there is next to no difference whether you stir or don't after you pitch your yeast.

Over a few days it settles down to the bottom of the FV and then starts doing its work.

 

So far as containing your dry hops, it doesn't really matter what you use, you could use old socks, chux cloths, tea towels, or even old underwear, so long as you wash and sterilize it, and as long as it will stop solids from escaping, and will allow liquid to flow through it, and as others have noted, dry hops will absorb some of the liquid in your brew, so it's a good idea to watch this, and allow for it when brewing; maybe add an extra 500ml or so to allow for absorption.

 

As stated it's up to you, but in my experience it's not worth the hassle and inconvenience of trying to sink your hops, and BTW, whatever you do, don't squeeze your hops bag or whatever prior to removing at bottling time, you'll only add sediment and reduce clarity of your brew, and possibly tear the bag and end up with heaps of hops in your FV, and then your bottles which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

There's always the option of racking to a second vessel prior to bottling, just to remove any sediment and get a nice clear beer, this should keep any unwanted yeast cake or solids (such as hops sediment) from making it into your bottles, and of course there is pretty much always enough yeast in suspension to carbonate your beer, whether you can see it or not.

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Its loose (commando style) all the way for me. I've dabbled in hop bags, chux cloths and infusers, and all of which worked ok.

 

I think loose pellets have a better chance of releasing the full whack of flavour and there are no other objects to throw in that might introduce infection or need cleaning. They always float for a day or 3, but end up in the trub by bottling time. I do CC, but cant remember hop matter in my beer before i started to CC.

 

Nick.

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Im convinced, with a little help from Commando Kate

 

If it's good enough for the future Queen, it's good enough for me.

 

I've just brewed my latest batch and "Commando Kate" styled the final hop addition for the first time.

 

I feel so free now, bit of a breeze though whistling

 

love

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You commando guys are about to make this forum xxx-rated w00tcool

 

As stated it's up to you' date=' but in my experience it's not worth the hassle and inconvenience of trying to sink your hops...[/quote']

Thanks Beeblebrox. But what do you do when there is a layer of Kraussen on top after 8 days? FG is reached but a couple of cm of Kraussen/foam is still there. Not sure it's gonna go away either. Want to dry hop now and bottle in 6-7 days.

 

Do you just toss the pellets loose (or in a bag) on top of that foam? Do they fall through, without any weight, or will they be stuck in that "goo"?

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If you are using US-05 then you will be waiting weeks for the krausen to drop biggrin

 

Throw the hops in when you are ready and they will drop through the krausen.

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Ok. Thanks Hairy.

 

Yes, using US-05 smile

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