More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:38 pm

I currently dry-hop by putting in a hop bag full of sanitized marbles to weigh down my hops and get them submerged. I've made some truly excellent beers that I've won a number of awards for (probably more than any other kind of beer I enter) However, while this technique is great to get the hops into the carboy, it is a giant PITA to get them out. Does anyone have any better ideas on what to weigh them down with? I was considering stainless steel dowels (e.g., http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OB ... rd_i=typ01 ) as they're longer, narrower, and heavier, meaning I would have to use fewer of them and they would be easier to get out.

When I first dry-hopped beers, I didn't use a hop bag. The loose hop bits clogged both my racking cane and my kegs, so I stopped that. I'd also be interested to hear techniques used by people who dry-hop with loose hops, and how they keep the hops out of the finished beer.
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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:57 pm

I use some knee high pantyhose for hop bags for dry hopping. I also use some marbles for weight. I don't deal with trying to remove the bag until the keg is empty. I suspend the bag in the keg with a piece of dental floss so the bag only drops to about half way down the keg. Once you drink the first half of the keg, dry hopping automatically stops. Depending on how quickly you drink the beer, you can adjust the length of the floss to get the amount of dry hop you want. With the keg empty, you can turn the keg upside down and work the bag out with your hand.

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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:18 pm

I am about to try a hop bag for the first time. Normally, I dry hop in Williams Brewing bucket with the invert back nut. That keeps most of the hop particles out of my kegs. I thought I would try the hop bag to further reduce the amount of hop particles in my kegs. I don't have any marbles (and hate unitaskers), but I have a crap load of spoons, so I'll sanitize the spoon and put it in the hop sack.
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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:31 pm

thatguy314 wrote:When I first dry-hopped beers, I didn't use a hop bag. The loose hop bits clogged both my racking cane and my kegs, so I stopped that. I'd also be interested to hear techniques used by people who dry-hop with loose hops, and how they keep the hops out of the finished beer.


I toss the pellets right in the carboy. I have never had an issue with clogging--I use an autosiphon with the black tip on. You could also try putting a hop bag over the end of the racking cane--I have to imagine you could tie it on there to make it come out easily, though I haven't tried this. Also, I usually cold crash the carboy before racking, other things precipitating out may drag some of the hops down with them to help keep them from clogging (just speculating here). Occasionally I get some hop matter in the first few pints out of the keg if I am careless in racking/not cold crashing, but never enough to clog, but it tends to clear itself up.
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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:24 pm

This may go against the grain. But from my experience, there is no need to sink the hops. The alcohol in the fermented product simply seep up into the floating hops like a candle wick and extracts the prized oils.

Have you ran a controlled side by side test of floating the hops verses sinking? If so would be curious to hear of any one elses results.

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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:44 am

siwelwerd wrote: You could also try putting a hop bag over the end of the racking cane--I have to imagine you could tie it on there to make it come out easily, though I haven't tried this.


I've tried it... with lots of hop bits it tends to latch on to the mesh and ends up blocking it to where you loose the siphon... might be a bit different with an autosiphon though...
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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:08 am

I dry hop right into thefermenter and rack out by pushing with co2 through a cap...i make sure to have a sure screen http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/surescreen.html
on the bottom of my racking cane...start with the cane in a high position and push down as necessary, once you start picking up some hops, stop
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Re: More advanced dry hopping techniques

Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:54 am

siwelwerd wrote:
thatguy314 wrote:When I first dry-hopped beers, I didn't use a hop bag. The loose hop bits clogged both my racking cane and my kegs, so I stopped that. I'd also be interested to hear techniques used by people who dry-hop with loose hops, and how they keep the hops out of the finished beer.


I toss the pellets right in the carboy. I have never had an issue with clogging--I use an autosiphon with the black tip on. You could also try putting a hop bag over the end of the racking cane--I have to imagine you could tie it on there to make it come out easily, though I haven't tried this. Also, I usually cold crash the carboy before racking, other things precipitating out may drag some of the hops down with them to help keep them from clogging (just speculating here). Occasionally I get some hop matter in the first few pints out of the keg if I am careless in racking/not cold crashing, but never enough to clog, but it tends to clear itself up.


+1. I do mine the exact same way and never had an issue. In fact, the last IPA I made in this fashion used 5 oz dry hop pellets and my very first pour out of the keg was perfectly clear.
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