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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: benamcg on March 14, 2011, 09:31:56 PM

Title: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: benamcg on March 14, 2011, 09:31:56 PM
I am frequent dry hopper.  Something that I always do that I learned in my days of commercial brewing is to "surface sterilize" (for lack of a better term) the hops.  I basically bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the hops in, and essentially nuke any nasties, before adding to the secondary.  Then Iput the hops in the carboy, and let the hops cool before racking on to the hops.  At the brewery we would place the hops into a bag, place the bag in a grant, and run boiling water over the bag for a few minutes before adding to the secondary.

After doing this 50+ times at home, I began to question if this is necessary.  Any thoughts, pro or con?
Title: Re: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: denny on March 14, 2011, 09:34:29 PM
I have dry hopped hundreds of batches of homebrew and I've never sanitized (let alone sterilized!) the hops.  I don't know anyone who has.  I think I can safely say it isn't necessary.  AAMOF, I've never heard of a commercial brewery that does it, although that doesn't necessarily mean they don't.  where did you work?
Title: Re: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: tschmidlin on March 14, 2011, 09:37:50 PM
I know Mac and Jacks doesn't, and they dry hop every keg of their African Amber.  I've never heard of a commercial brewery doing it either.
Title: Re: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: denny on March 14, 2011, 10:08:49 PM
I know Mac and Jacks doesn't

Same for Rogue, Ninkasi, and Oakshire beers that use dry hops.
Title: Re: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: a10t2 on March 14, 2011, 10:14:01 PM
I've never heard of a brewery doing that either, and a search at ProBrewer didn't turn up anything. I think the biggest negative is that you'd boil off some of the volatile aromatics. So you wouldn't get as much bang for you buck as you would by just throwing in the hops. You'd also isomerize some alpha acids, but unless you were transferring the water along with the hops I don't think there would be a perceptible increase in bitterness as a result.
Title: Re: Surface Sterilization of Dry Hops
Post by: benamcg on March 14, 2011, 10:25:17 PM
Thanks for the quick response- I should have posted yesterday. I worked at a 10 BBL brewpub in Mass (nameless to protect the innocent, although their dry hopped beers are still excellent).  Sanitizing seemed logical at the time.  Thanks to one and all for saving me some extra time from here on out.  For the record, I did transfer the water along with it.