Author Topic: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...  (Read 2300 times)

Offline erockrph

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2014, 12:31:16 AM »
I'm in the process of rethinking my dry-hopping strategy myself. I might start by cutting it out entirely. A few years back I kept pushing my dry-hopping rates in chasing the hop level I was looking for. Once I started doing serious hop stands with massive amounts of hops I started getting all the hop character I was looking for.

Around the same time I stopped using whole cones , and started using pellet hops to minimize wort loss. Somewhere around that time I started getting a lot of beers with a harsh "raw hop" bitterness. Some of them seemed a bit murky, suggesting fine hop particles in suspension, but not all of the ones with coarse bitterness were like this.

I have some troubleshooting to do, but one thought I'm having is that I never backed down my dry-hopping rate once I started getting enough hop presence from my hop stands. I also used to use a mix of whole and pellet hops on most beers, depending on what I had available. Between the whirlpool and dry hops I'm using 4-6 oz/gallon in my IPA's. I'm thinking that there's a lot of fine hop pellet particles that just don't drop out well.

Step one will be to be careful filtering out my kettle trub, and step two will probably be to either skip dry hopping altogether, or trying whole cones instead of pellets for dry hops.
Eric B.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2014, 12:51:11 AM »
I find that fresh is key. Whole flower hops work well for me. Dry hopping really helps out in the aroma. Not to say they don't in flavor. I like 7-14 days to get the most out of the hops. If you're getting too much then cut back on the quantity until you find your preference. Some folks just don't like that pungent hoppy aroma/flavor as much.
Ron Price

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2014, 07:16:37 PM »
Curious of the dryhop technique you used (when/where/how)?
I've been mostly keg-hopping for the last 2 years.  I put 1 to 3 ounces at a time (all pellets in the last year) in a fine mesh nylon bag with some marbles and rack from primary into the keg, making sure to purge thoroughly with CO2.

For bottle-conditioned beers, I'll put the mesh bag through the neck of the carboy, racking to bottling bucket 4 to 7 room-temp days later.  I've tried loose dry-hopping but can't get the sludge to drop out satisfactorily so I stick to nylon bags.

I've tried contact times from 3 days to 2 months (when keg ran out), and have found that shorter contact time tastes better.  Likewise, I've tried different temps (40 - 75 degrees) and found that warmer temps impart hoppiness with less stemminess.  I'll sometimes do a second addition, switching our the bag after 3 or 4 days.

I say none of this conclusively.  It's just what I've found so far, without going to the lengths of splitting the wort into multiple vessels and dry-hopping under different conditions simultaneously.  This may be on the menu in the future.

The technique seems good.  You flush with CO2 which is a must.  Three to four days at 65-70*F is all that is needed.

After I remove the hops, the keg goes in the fridge under CO2 for a week.  Then I pull a full pint (not a little bit at a time to taste test, as that just mixes things around that have settled out) and dump that down the drain as I have no desire to have hop bits disable my taste buds.

I've used pellets and whole hops and really haven't had a problem with either.  The most important part of dry hopping is the hops themselves.  If the hops don't smell incredible before you use them, they will not suddenly smell incredible in the beer.

Is this flavor something you only get in your homebrew or is it something you don't like in craft examples?

Offline dcb

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2014, 01:41:06 AM »
For bottle-conditioned beers, I'll put the mesh bag through the neck of the carboy, racking to bottling bucket 4 to 7 room-temp days later.  I've tried loose dry-hopping but can't get the sludge to drop out satisfactorily so I stick to nylon bags.

Glad to hear someone else sticks to bags.  A lot of the guys here put their hops in "commando."  I've tried it, but I'm having trouble working through my own dislike of all that green crud in my wort or beer.  So, I own a half a dozen nylon bags.

I've used pellets and whole hops and really haven't had a problem with either.  The most important part of dry hopping is the hops themselves.  If the hops don't smell incredible before you use them, they will not suddenly smell incredible in the beer.

Or as a software guys would say, "garbage in, garbage out."  GIGO.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2014, 01:57:00 AM »
I promise you guys I don't work for this company (or else they owe me some $$  :D).  BUT, do not make a judgement on keg hopping based on crap muslin bags or 'commando' hopping. I don't like green or green/chunky pints of IPA either. But IMO there is no substitute for trapping the awesome hop aromas in your purged keg using a vessel that traps and separates the hop crap from your beer. The stainless mesh is very fine here  :

 http://stainlessbrewing.3dcartstores.com/Dry-Hopper-with-twist-cap_p_155.html
Jon H.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 01:06:23 PM »
And if you want to use pellets and save a few bucks there is this:

https://www.frontiercoop.com/products.php?ct=llttptb&cn=Mesh+Tea%2FSpice+Ball+3%22%2C+Stainless+Steel

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Offline mugwort

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Re: I think dry-hopping and I are headed for a timeout...
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2014, 03:21:05 PM »
The technique seems good.  You flush with CO2 which is a must.  Three to four days at 65-70*F is all that is needed.

After I remove the hops, the keg goes in the fridge under CO2 for a week.  Then I pull a full pint (not a little bit at a time to taste test, as that just mixes things around that have settled out) and dump that down the drain as I have no desire to have hop bits disable my taste buds.

I've used pellets and whole hops and really haven't had a problem with either.  The most important part of dry hopping is the hops themselves.  If the hops don't smell incredible before you use them, they will not suddenly smell incredible in the beer.

Is this flavor something you only get in your homebrew or is it something you don't like in craft examples?

Thanks for the ideas.  One thing I don't do is do a pint pull to flush the hop particles.  After hooking it up to dispense, I tend to do little checks and tastes that probably serve to keep stuff agitated.

Also, since I tend to carb at room temp while dry-hopping, I'm sampling the beer within a day of the hops coming out, so there's little settling time.

I detect a rough hop leafiness in some commercial brews, but most don't stand out beyond the rest of the hop flavors and aromas so I don't find them objectionable.  For example, some Sierra Nevada brews (Celebration, Torpedo) seem to me to have that leafiness along with a rough bitterness but everything seems balanced enough.  Most of the time I enjoy it.

Also perhaps it's partly finding out how a beer's intended to taste.  Same way I learned to appreciate sours over time with an "oh, it's supposed to taste like that" thought.  Probably the most shallow way of appreciating something, but it's a start.
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