Author Topic: Punching down dry hops  (Read 3300 times)

Offline erockrph

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Punching down dry hops
« on: May 14, 2012, 08:31:28 PM »
I dry hopped my IPA a few nights ago. I'm using leaf hops and I just sprinkle them over the top of the fermenter (no bag). There was still a fairly thick head of krausen when I sprinkled them on, so I took a peek tonight to make sure they made it through and started to steep. The krausen was gone and the cones were all damp, but they still seemed to be floating pretty high (used a lot - 2.25 oz in 5 gallons). I decided to gently punch them down using a sanitized spoon.

Anyone ever try this? Any ideas on whether its worth doing, or am I better off just chucking my hops in and forgetting it until bottling time?
Eric B.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 04:25:45 AM »
I think it's fine. FWIW I actually prefer dry hopping with pellets. They don't float, they don't clog when racking, and there's less vegetative matter and the lupulins are directly exposed giving better hop flavor. I'm sure there will be debate about that but this is my experience.
Keith Y.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 04:38:45 AM »
That's the problem with throwing in leaf hops, they will float the entire time.  I now tie them closed in a muslin sack and weigh it down.  Per majorvices, pellets are much easier to deal with when dry hopping.  They also soak in less water. 

You'll still get your flavor though, just wait it out.  And punching them down is fine. 

How long did you let it ferment until you tossed them in?

Dave
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 04:44:52 AM by davidgzach »
Dave Zach

Offline repo

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 05:56:25 AM »
All of the krausen should have pretty much dissipated before your addition of the dry hops. There is no hurry to get them in. The leaf will float a lot longer than pellets and some will sit above the beer for a while on top of itself. This isn't as prevelant with pellets but when you start putting in serious dry hops the pellets will do the same thing. Leaf will eventually sink. A gentle spinning of the fermentation vessel a few times a day will speed up the process as well as get some back into suspension.  Professionals will do a co2 push from the bottom of their conicals to resuspend dry hops and say its instrumental in getting the most out of them.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 06:15:27 AM »
That's the problem with throwing in leaf hops, they will float the entire time.  I now tie them closed in a muslin sack and weigh it down.  Per majorvices, pellets are much easier to deal with when dry hopping.  They also soak in less water. 

You'll still get your flavor though, just wait it out.  And punching them down is fine. 

How long did you let it ferment until you tossed them in?

Dave

I added the dry hops after 8 days. (FWIW - 1.067 OG, US-05, held at 64F. Brought it up to 67F when I added the dry hops).

While I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, my feeling is that some of the essential oils could be lost during pellet production since they have such a low flash point. Since this is what I'm trying to get out of my dry hops, I'm hoping whole cones will get me more hop aromatics. I'm not sure whether the difference is noticeable, but it makes me feel better so I'm going with it.

When next year's hop crop is released I'll do a split batch of an APA - half dry-hopped with pellets and half with whole cones to to do a comparison.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 06:45:31 AM »
The old pellet versus leaf debate is another that will not end anytime soon.......

Sounds like a great experiment though.  Interested in your findings.
Dave Zach

Offline majorvices

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 08:01:40 AM »
Yeah, a lot of it is personal preference. I think the hop pellets have a cleaner taste, less herbal. And of course as was mentioned they are easier to use, less absorption, etc.
Keith Y.
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Offline denny

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 08:59:20 AM »
Yeah, a lot of it is personal preference. I think the hop pellets have a cleaner taste, less herbal. And of course as was mentioned they are easier to use, less absorption, etc.

Rogue uses pellets pretty much exclusively and I don't think you can say their beers are lacking in any aspect of hoppiness.  I used to really be biased toward whole hops, but since I started trying pellets more I realized that there's really no reason not to use them interchangeably.
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 09:28:24 AM »
Im with Keith and Denny.

I use whole leaf hops in my boil and pellets in secondary. Why? because thats what works for my system :) Pellets are much easier to deal with dry hopping, especially in carboys!
Jason
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Offline beer_crafter

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 10:11:41 AM »
Yeah I think the difference between leaf and pellet is more systematic than quality-based.  When I brew inside, I need some leaf hops to act like a trub filter.  When I brew outside, I whirlpool, so I like pellet hops because they clump up more readily.   Dry hop in a keg?  Leaf hops for me.  Dry hop in a conical?  Pellet hops in a nylon bag.

Offline bo

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 10:13:44 AM »
I think pellets have a harsher, more lingering bitterness, but the difference is subtle.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 05:34:46 PM »
Think the real tool would work better with leaf or pellet?

Joe

Offline phillamb168

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 01:45:11 AM »
Think the real tool would work better with leaf or pellet?



My fingertips started bleeding just by LOOKING at the damn thing...
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Offline Rhoobarb

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 07:08:38 AM »
Dry hopping is all about the aroma and my personal preference is whole leaf.  I once split a ten gallon batch and dry hopped one carboy with 2 oz. of whole leaf Amarillo and the other with 2 oz. Amarillo pellets (b/c it was all I could get) and thought the whole leaf had better aroma.  Those leaf hops will soak up the wort given time in the carboy.

These days I dry hop in the keg, which makes things really easy.  Put the hops is a large paint strainer bag, weigh it down with glass marbles or S/S washers, everything sanitized, of course, and tied off with dental floss.  I tie the other end of the floss to the keg post.  That way, I can pull them out once the aroma is "enough".  ;)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 07:11:47 AM by Rhoobarb »
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Punching down dry hops
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 07:18:30 AM »
Think the real tool would work better with leaf or pellet?



My fingertips started bleeding just by LOOKING at the damn thing...

If you have to punch down structured wiring you would learn to love this tool.  8^)

Even if you are only doing one cabling job it's worth the money.

I have nothing to add to the real discussion in this thread though. 8^(

Paul
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