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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: davidgzach on September 09, 2012, 01:28:01 PM

Title: Hop Drying
Post by: davidgzach on September 09, 2012, 01:28:01 PM
So I've been picking hops all weekend and have a pretty nice bounty.  I have them in shallow baking pans in the oven.  I've been heating the oven to 110F, shutting it off and leaving it for several hours and repeating.  Good or not so good idea?

 
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: chezteth on September 09, 2012, 01:40:38 PM
That would probably work fine as would using a food dehydrator.  From what I understand the heat can reduce the AA a little bit but I'm not sure by how much.  I put my hops on screens and put them in the rafters of the garage for a few days to dry.  Either way I think it will be fine.

Cheers,
Brandon
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 09, 2012, 01:44:57 PM
The commercial hops are dried with air that has been heated to 140F in most places. The AA are not damaged too much, but it does damage some of the oils.

At 110F you will damage some of the oils. Do you smell aroma coming out of the oven? If you do, that is the oils flashing off.
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: davidgzach on September 09, 2012, 01:48:07 PM
The only smell is vegetle, not necessarily hop aroma.  Like wet grass almost.  It's rained so much here in Philly lately I thought this was my best bet.  Good to hear the processors dry at 140F.  I'll keep it going.  Can't wait to make my first beer with them!

As always, thanks for the help!

Dave 
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 09, 2012, 04:20:15 PM
The only smell is vegetle, not necessarily hop aroma.  Like wet grass almost.  It's rained so much here in Philly lately I thought this was my best bet.  Good to hear the processors dry at 140F.  I'll keep it going.  Can't wait to make my first beer with them!

As always, thanks for the help!

Dave

Let us know how these turn out in the beer you brew. Would be nice if they have good aroma.
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: davidgzach on September 10, 2012, 12:36:04 PM
The only smell is vegetle, not necessarily hop aroma.  Like wet grass almost.  It's rained so much here in Philly lately I thought this was my best bet.  Good to hear the processors dry at 140F.  I'll keep it going.  Can't wait to make my first beer with them!

As always, thanks for the help!

Dave

Let us know how these turn out in the beer you brew. Would be nice if they have good aroma.

Will do.  They are Cascade and the cones are huge!  I plan to use them first as a big fat dry-hop addition in a Pale Ale. 

Dave
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: Kaiser on September 10, 2012, 01:35:09 PM
One of the benefits of growing your own hops is that you can try them more gently than commercial hop growers. There are aroma oils that flash around 100 F and those get lost in commercial drying. If you going to have lots of hops to dry, I recommend building a hop oast that you can set on a box fan, for example.

I build 3 racks from 2x4s and window screen that I can stack on top of each other:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/hop_oast.jpg)

It takes about 3 days to dry the hops with this contraption. Each rack hols about 4 oz of dried hops.

I do think that I'm getting much more flavor and also different flavors out of my home grown Cascade compared to commercially dried ones.

Kai
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: timberati on September 11, 2012, 02:53:17 AM
Here's another system that might work too from Michael Tonsmeire, The Mad Fermentationist http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/07/drying-hops-at-home.htm (http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/07/drying-hops-at-home.htm)
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: Pinski on September 11, 2012, 04:25:36 AM
I just put mine on a couple old door screens between a pair of sawhorse out in the garage for 3-4 days.  Nice gentle drying. 
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: Kaiser on September 11, 2012, 08:19:54 AM
Here's another system that might work too from Michael Tonsmeire, The Mad Fermentationist http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/07/drying-hops-at-home.htm (http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/07/drying-hops-at-home.htm)

There is an "l" missing at the end. This link works: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2011/07/drying-hops-at-home.html

I have tried this before i build the racks and found that it only works well if you don't have too much hops to dry.

Kai
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: Kaiser on September 11, 2012, 08:27:00 AM
More from Michael's site:

It appears that they can also be dried in the micro wave: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2007/08/drying-hops-in-microwave.html

But its difficult to say if this is better at preserving the hop oils than air drying. It's also difficult to do if you have a few pounds of wet hops.

Kai
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: dcdwort on September 11, 2012, 12:32:47 PM
Great topic for us newer brewers.  I picked some wild hops about 3 weeks ago here in Colorado Spring that grow along a railroad.  Don't know the variety but they are used by a couple of the microbreweries here.  When is the best time to pick hops and how do you know if they are too old to pick?  I dried mine in a food dehydrator and then vacuum-sealed.  They are in the freezer and will be used in a batch of rasberry porter as soon as I pick enough rasberries in my garden.
Thanks
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: bwana on September 11, 2012, 01:12:23 PM
I also use a door screen. I have tried the oven and did not like the results,
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: davidgzach on September 11, 2012, 01:15:14 PM
I also use a door screen. I have tried the oven and did not like the results,

What was your process with the oven and what did you not like about it?  Did you leave it on all the time and what temp did you use? 
Title: Re: Hop Drying
Post by: richardt on September 12, 2012, 02:09:07 AM
Circulating cooler, de-humidified air through shallow piles of hop cones would also work.  Keep them out of sunlight while drying, as well.