Author Topic: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg  (Read 1879 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« on: August 14, 2010, 01:57:53 PM »
I recently dry hopped in a keg for the first time.  Some in tea balls and what didn't fit I just dumped in.

I used pellet hops, which I've understood will just sink and not be a big deal.

Just tapped it after two weeks and... lots of hops blowing through plus it's time to get the hops out.

Any suggestions on removing the hops?

My current thought is: de-pressurize, pull the dip tube and out in a braided stainless-steel filter on the end, re-pressurize and push the beer to another keg.

Any body have an easier solution?

JOE
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2309
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 02:59:46 PM »
Joe,

Yeah, pellets in the keg are a pain. Honestly, thinking about it - the solution of putting a braid around the dip tube is probably easiest and good SOP when dealing with dry hops in the keg.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2010, 03:05:00 PM »
Thanks.  Then it's off to the hardware store and a little research.

My recollection is you can pull the braiding off of a sink supply line but I've never done it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline rabid_dingo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 785
  • Brighton, CO :D
    • View Profile
    • Mile High Monks
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2010, 03:22:00 PM »
I have a nice sized tea ball that I want to try and dry hop with. My idea is to suspent the ball about half way up (down) the keg. I just have yet to figure out how to do it. I am leaning towards using an additional dip tube o ring and
place it a the level I want in the keg. and use some boiled cooking twine, the type used in tying meat and rings of ribs up. Tie the ball to the o ring and run with it.

I am not sure about pulling the hops out though, I think I'll just let em ride.
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 03:28:01 PM »
I've got three or four tea balls in there right now and holy cripes they've been in long enough.

Perhaps it's just the suspended hops, but it's quite bitter.  And green.  And full of floaters.

Two or three weeks on the dry hops (Nugget, 2 oz., 13+% AA).
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 04:12:38 PM »
I have a nice sized tea ball that I want to try and dry hop with. My idea is to suspent the ball about half way up (down) the keg. I just have yet to figure out how to do it. I am leaning towards using an additional dip tube o ring and
place it a the level I want in the keg. and use some boiled cooking twine, the type used in tying meat and rings of ribs up. Tie the ball to the o ring and run with it.

I am not sure about pulling the hops out though, I think I'll just let em ride.

I've been thinking about it too, and considering using fishing line.  Should be easy to sanitize with starsan, and the keg might even seal if I run the line through the lid.  Has anyone tired that?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 04:58:44 PM »
Here's a couple suggestions from my old Techtalk archives.  I've not tried these and cannot vouch for them.  But it's a variety of opinions.  Take what you can.

"If you are worried about the hops sitting in the beer too long, you can simply tie the hop bag to the pick up tube. Then as the beer level lowers, the hops remain suspended over the beer. This is ideal for those that drink slow and/or don't like over hopping. (I don't know any of these types, but hear there are some out there ;-)"

"My method for keeping the hops bag down in the beer is to take a small cable tie, push the pointed end through the top of the muslin hops bag, start the tie's end into the receiver part, making a loop, then as you are inserting the dip tube into the empty keg, allow the tube to go through the tie loop, push the tube down several inches, and then securely tighten the cable tie around the dip tube, pushing the tube all the way in and connecting the liquid-out valve.  I've done this quite a few times, and it works well."

"Many of us dry hop in kegs.  I use a float and a coarse weave big hop bag, since under pressure, the hops will sink, and they (or the hop bag) can clog the "beer out" tube.  A sanitized old While Labs yeast tube works great.  I use homegrown whole hops.
 
Don't leave the hops in too long, or you'll get vegetable flavors.  About 2 weeks is good, then sanitize your hand and the top, bleed the pressure off, open 'er up, pull the hops out, close it back up, and pressurize it again.  I like to squeeze that hop bag into a pint glass, and OD on a few ounces of super hopped up ale.
 
Another fun route is to put a big hand full into a 2 liter bottle, with about a liter of your brew, and carbonate it for a while with a carbonator.  This works well in as little as a few hours.  It's about like a Randall.  Have fun!"

"Steve asks about keg hopping.  I've been experimenting quite a bit with that recently and I've got a few tips.  First, you'll need to weigh down your hop bag.  Otherwise if it is floating on the top it will greatly decrease the surface area available for the beer to pick up CO2.  This can result in longer carbonation times.  Ideally you would also want to find a way to keep it up above your dip tube inlet, or else you risk a clog.  Suspending it somewhere several inches above the bottom would be best.  Dry hopping works best at normal fermentation temperatures, so when cold it would need more contact time for the same effect.  I don't believe the carbonation should make a difference, but maybe someone else will have an opinion on that.
 
Be careful with your hop selection if you plan to leave them in the beer until the keg is drained.  Some hops will develop a grassy or catty character during extended contact with the beer.  I've found Cascade to be one of those.  I'd suggest letting this batch go as-is, but drink it within a few weeks.  If you notice off flavors towards the end then next time either change your hops or stick with the secondary for dry hopping."

"Over the past few days we've seen a number of recommendations for dry hopping in the keg...  weight the bag down, float the bag, or neither is just one example.
 
It is important to remember that in homebrewing there are very few absolutes, and I urge Steve, the original poster, to take all of our recommendations as merely a starting place, and experiment on your own to learn what works best for you.
 
Personally, I find it necessary to neither float nor sink the hops.  I only use leaf hops in a keg, and either put them in loose with a surescreen on the dip tube, or put the hops in a nylon bag.  I have never had a clogged dip tube.
 
I have also never experienced the effects of the commonly cautioned "Don't dry hop too long or the beer will get grassy."  I find the OPPOSITE is true... for the first several days, a woody/grassy character exists, and once that subsides, the dry hop character only gets more and more refined as time goes on.  I've kept beer on hops for up to 8-10 weeks without ill effects, and have not found that differences in temperature affect this.  This is why it is important for you to learn what works for your system and your taste--not just for dry hopping but for all elements of brewing which don't have hard science behind it! "

Again, these are suggestions from others and may be conflicting but you can get a sense of what might work.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline wfaris

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Lincoln Lagers
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 07:32:19 PM »
I use the hop bag approach on my dry hopping.  At WalMart I can get knee high nylons for 3 pair for $1, that makes for pretty cheap disposable hop bags.  I soak the bag in star san for a couple minutes and then stuff in my hops and a couple heavy stainless steel washers to help the bag sink (sanitized marbles work well too).  I tie this off with a piece of unwaxed dental floss.  I lower the bag into the keg and tie off the floss to the keg handle.  The floss is thin enough that the lid will still seal just fine.  I tie off the floss to a length short enough that it hops will only drop to about half way down the keg.  I normally leave the hops in the keg until the thing runs dry.  The short piece of floss automatically "pulls" the hops out of the beer when the keg is half consumed.  Depending on how fast you go through a keg, you may want to lengthen or shorten the floss.  If you only have a pint once a week, you may want a real short piece.  In any case, if you want to pull the hops out at any time, the floss makes it easy.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company
Nebraska Brews Since 2002

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 08:11:40 PM »
I use whole hops in a muslin bag.  I usually leave them in the keg for a couple of weeks and then retrieve them from the bottom of the keg with my SS spoon.  I grab the bag with my hand as it nears the top of the keg and gently pull it out.

There's usually a little bit of hop remnants that float around for a day or two and then the beer clears.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 08:14:51 PM »
The floss is thin enough that the lid will still seal just fine.
Cool, so my fishing line idea will probably work.  I'm planning to do some wood aging with chunks of wood that I'll drill some holes in, then I can put them in the keg and pull them out when I have the flavor I want.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline positiverpr

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2010, 07:35:56 PM »
the floss has always worked well for me. just make sure to get the unscented variety.

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2010, 06:49:20 AM »
the floss has always worked well for me. just make sure to get the unscented variety.

teflon tape is what I use - IMO much easier than floss, especially since its on my workbench right next to the fermenting fridge.  cut the tape so that the pantyhose/nylon bag pulls off the beer midway through the keg

BTW - I have been leaving my hops in the keg till its finished for over 5 years now and never had a vegetal flavor issue - hops have been in contact with the beer 2 months at times - I think that is possible with some varieties, but not most of the American hops that I use.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline sbc

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Baltimore, Md
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 06:52:54 AM »
I had problems at times with fishing line and floss causing air leaks around the lid gasket. I generally attach a hose clamp on the underside of the lid. I always use whole leaf hop. I use a grain bag for the hops and a hop bag for sanitized marbles as weights. I put hops and marbles in grain bag and tie a slip knot in the grain bag. I use dental floss or fishing line to attach grain bag to lid (slip knot in dental floss to go around the hose clamp).

I generally leave hops in keg whole time but if you want to remove, just depressurize keg, cut string, pull out bag, reseal keg, bleed head space and retap keg.

I wash bags and reuse all of the time also.

Offline dhacker

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 684
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 02:06:55 PM »
I use the hop bag approach on my dry hopping.  At WalMart I can get knee high nylons for 3 pair for $1, that makes for pretty cheap disposable hop bags.  I soak the bag in star san for a couple minutes and then stuff in my hops and a couple heavy stainless steel washers to help the bag sink (sanitized marbles work well too).  I tie this off with a piece of unwaxed dental floss.  I lower the bag into the keg and tie off the floss to the keg handle.  The floss is thin enough that the lid will still seal just fine.  I tie off the floss to a length short enough that it hops will only drop to about half way down the keg.  I normally leave the hops in the keg until the thing runs dry.  The short piece of floss automatically "pulls" the hops out of the beer when the keg is half consumed.  Depending on how fast you go through a keg, you may want to lengthen or shorten the floss.  If you only have a pint once a week, you may want a real short piece.  In any case, if you want to pull the hops out at any time, the floss makes it easy.

Wayne

+1
Just brew it...

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Removing Dry Hops From a Keg
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2010, 02:18:01 PM »
I had problems at times with fishing line and floss

I'm tellin ya - teflon tape works better than anything  ;)
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281