Author Topic: Keg hopping frustration  (Read 2180 times)

Offline erockrph

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Keg hopping frustration
« on: October 01, 2014, 04:49:38 AM »
I'm hopping in the keg for the first time, but I'm having some issues and I'm looking to troubleshoot.

I kegged the beer about a week ago. It's a 2.5 gallon keg, and I added 1 ounce of pellet hops in a hop bag when I kegged it. The bag was tied off well. I even added a couple of half-hitches around the neck of the bag with the drawstring before I tied it off. I then tied some 6# fluorocarbon fishing line to the drawstring and ran it through the lid as I closed it. It took some work to seat the lid properly so the gasket didn't leak around the fishing line, but eventually everything passed the star-san spray test. I then put it on gas and placed it in my keezer at 36F.

Five days later I wanted to start tasting to check on the dry hop character. My first pour was opaque with green murk. I figured I just drew up the gunk on the bottom, so I'd wait a day and check again. I took three 4-oz samples today, all a couple of hours apart. Each was murky green and had the taste of raw hops. It doesn't seem to be getting better.

So, what am I doing wrong? Do I need to wait longer? Should I be using whole cones? Am I using too much hops? Any suggestions?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 10:11:28 AM »
When I keg dry hop I use whole cones in a fine mesh bag just plopped in there, no pull out string. I remove it when empty.

Offline mugwort

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 10:30:17 AM »
Assuming the bag didn't loosen or experience a breach, perhaps the mesh of your bag is too coarse.  I've got other dry-hop problems, but using a very fine mesh bag (fabric-like) keeps the hop sludge at bay.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 11:29:57 AM »
Assuming the bag didn't loosen or experience a breach, perhaps the mesh of your bag is too coarse.  I've got other dry-hop problems, but using a very fine mesh bag (fabric-like) keeps the hop sludge at bay.
+1
Most likely the pellet dust is getting through. Also, I do what Denny suggested a while back in another thread, I tie the hop sack around the dip tube about half way down the keg, works great!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 11:58:43 AM »
These things aren't cheap, but for somebody who does a lot of dry hopping, they're worth every penny. It contains pretty much everything and is well made  :

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

Offline Stevie

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 12:24:38 PM »

These things aren't cheap, but for somebody who does a lot of dry hopping, they're worth every penny. It contains pretty much everything and is well made  :

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Dry-Hopper-with-twist-cap_p_155.html

I'm sure Zach could chop one down to fit your kegs

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 12:37:44 PM »

These things aren't cheap, but for somebody who does a lot of dry hopping, they're worth every penny. It contains pretty much everything and is well made  :

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Dry-Hopper-with-twist-cap_p_155.html

I'm sure Zach could chop one down to fit your kegs

Yep, they'll custom cut pretty much all their stuff - even custom coil their chillers at no extra $$.  Great company.
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Offline factory

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2014, 01:07:47 PM »
These things aren't cheap, but for somebody who does a lot of dry hopping, they're worth every penny. It contains pretty much everything and is well made  :

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Dry-Hopper-with-twist-cap_p_155.html

+1 Absolutely! Although this doesn't solve your current problem.  I'd pull the bag if you already haven't and let the hops settle out for a few days.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2014, 02:48:54 PM »
yup, at this point you've got to find out what's happening in your keg.

dump the pressure, pull the bag and make sure it didn't come open or something.

you might have to pull the dip tube and put some fine cloth over the end. this is fun, you have to reach into the mouth of the keg and attach something to the end of the dip tube inside the keg. I used half a small single cup tea ball and a scrap of nylon grain bag held on with a bit of SS wire.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 03:43:48 PM »
The finest bags, the lovely stainless strainers......doesn't matter. Pellet hops in the keg will give you murky beer.
It does ultimately settle out making the last few beers the best. Grrrrrrr.

If I want it clear, I just don't dry hop with pellets in the keg.

Chilling the keg to near freezing and blowing out the first couple pints helps a lot, but if you move the keg it stirs everything back up again. Pulling the keg hops then fining with gelatin will clear it, but you will suffer a bit
of stripping of the aroma. I add extra dry hops and fine with gelatin when I want it clear.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 04:01:52 PM »
The finest bags, the lovely stainless strainers......doesn't matter. Pellet hops in the keg will give you murky beer.
It does ultimately settle out making the last few beers the best. Grrrrrrr.

If I want it clear, I just don't dry hop with pellets in the keg.

Chilling the keg to near freezing and blowing out the first couple pints helps a lot, but if you move the keg it stirs everything back up again. Pulling the keg hops then fining with gelatin will clear it, but you will suffer a bit
of stripping of the aroma. I add extra dry hops and fine with gelatin when I want it clear.

I agree that you'll definitely get hop haze, no arguments.  But I don't get green particulate stuff at all with my canister, except for sometimes a very small amount in the first half pint.. And as for the fining, I've been crashing lately, then fining with Biofine Clear, then warming up and dry hopping @ room temp. I still get some haze (not a lot), but I feel the dry hop character lasts a bit longer when done in clear beer. No suspended yeast to absorb and drop out the hop character.
Jon H.

Offline narcout

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 04:16:48 PM »
I haven't had issues with particulate when keg hopping with pellets.  I used to use a fine mesh bag, but now I've got one of those stainless cannisters linked to above. 

In my experience, dry hopping produces a slight haze but a few weeks of cold conditioning will help clear it up. 

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Offline archstanton

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2014, 04:31:11 PM »
I think all is fine. You still need to get past the first few yeasty pints. Pellets do cause some more haze. All you are doing is dry hopping, just in the keg not the fermentor. If you don't have a clog then I wouldn't worry. You have to get the pick up tube above the bottom sediment, waiting won't help, you have to pour. You also can't move the keg around or it all stirs up. Also if you normally dry hop say 8 days then package and wait another week or two before trying the beer it will certainly have melded more than a sample barely a week old.

I have 4 of these, so I can have multiple kegs going.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/home_brew/kegs/c711_hops_filter_screen.html
I have free floated many pounds of leaf and even pellets without a single clog or any keg cleaning issue. They work great, are cheap and easy. I still always dry hop in a fermentor as well, and keg hop to supplement or adjust or just go nuts. It is really easy to add hops midway through a keg as well.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2014, 04:53:33 PM »
Make sure you're getting the right mesh bag. The disposable muslin lets too much through, and I've seen two resuable bags marketed as 'fine mesh' - one for hops, the other for specialty grains.

Here is the one I use for hops (and occasionally filtering hops/trub from my kettle into the fermentor):

http://morebeer.com/products/bag-6-8-mesh-hop.html

You shouldn't get much bleed through with this bag.

If you're using this type of bag (and don't have any holes) then your drawsting may be coming loose. I tie the drawstring tight first (with a few half passes), then make a few knots of fishing line overtop and underneath the drawstring, tightening with pliers.

I've also never been able to get a good seal w/ fishing line through the lid. I use a (clean) fishing bobber and lightly weigh down the bag so its completely submerged but not taking down the bobber.



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Offline thatgeekguy

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Re: Keg hopping frustration
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2014, 05:37:41 PM »
+1 to the fine mesh bag. I used a muslin bag in the keg on my last brew (in a hurry) and had little floating particles throughout the entire keg that never settled out. No bad taste, just interesting to watch in the glass.

As far as tying off, I drop a few sanitized marbles in the bag and use plain unwaxed dental floss to come up through the seal. Put a little dab of keg lube on the o-ring at the exit point, no fussing with getting a good seal.
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