General Category > Extract/Partial Mash Brewing

dry hopping for the first time

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anapsid:
So I will be making an IPA recipe I found, and will need to dry hop for the first time.  The recipe says to keep the beer in a secondary fermenter for 2 weeks, but to dry hop for 4.  I will be using hop pellets (its the only one kind I have access to), do I just drop the pellets in for the last 4 days? Is it safe to open the air lock to do this?

thebigbaker:
If you haven't already done so, you don't have to transfer your beer to a secondary fermenter.  You can just leave it in your primary fermenter, open and drop in your pellets.  I keep a spray bottle of sanitizer and will spray the outside of the cap and airlock before I take it out.  Then again, I don't do this all the time and I haven't had any issues opening the fermenter to drop in the pellets. 

Yes, just drop in the pellets for the last 4 days if you want to go by the recipe.  I normally dry hop 7 - 10 days and have left them in for up to 14 days once.

garc_mall:
I agree with everything thebigbaker said.

On the sanitization note: New homebrewers (myself included) are way too worried about post ferment sanitation. Once the yeast ferments the beer, it is very inhospitable to bugs. A few bacteria falling into the fermenter are not going to cause anything problematic. If you can't pull a sample (or add hops) without infecting your beer, maybe brewing isn't for you  ;).

Remember, Relax, Don't worry, have a homebrew.

Or as I like to say, "It's still going to make beer."

Joe Sr.:
I typically put my dry hops into stainless steel tea balls so that they are easier to remove from the beer when the time comes.

You can also get mesh tea infusers that are larger and probably give the hops better contact with the beer.  The tea balls I bought years ago fit through the neck of a Better Bottle, which is why I bought them.

Some people dry hop in nylon bags.

duboman:
+1 to tossing in the pellets. Just place a hop bag over the racking cane to act as a filter and if you can cd crash the beer a couple days after hopping its a plus as well

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