Author Topic: dry hopping fresh hop beer?  (Read 337 times)

Offline Chris C

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dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« on: October 03, 2021, 09:44:49 pm »
Last year I messed up.  I brewed with my home grown hops.  Then dry hopped with the same batch.  The beer got an infection and needed to be dumped.  This year I'm not doing that again.

So I brewed a SMASH recipe with Centennials and a few of my cascades 1st year batch that was small.  Should I dry hop with Pellets?  Should I leave it alone and enjoy it?  What's your opinion??

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 11:21:56 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 12:10:36 am »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
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Offline pete b

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 01:51:02 pm »
Did you dry the hops you used in the dry hop?
I made a pale ale recently with homegrown hops, wet hops at the end of the boil then dried the hops I added later in the fermenter. I would only worry about hops that were not dried causing an infection.
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Offline goose

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 02:03:17 pm »
I make a Fresh hop IPA every year using homegrown Cascade hops and put the wet cones in the kettle during last 10 minutes of the boil to avoid extracting chlorophyl.  I do not use wet hops to dry hop with but rather add Cascade pellets to the fermenter after fermentation is complete.

Due to the fact that I do no have the means to crash the beer before dry hopping (like Denny does), I add them at room temperature for about 3 days and then keg, crash, and carbonate the beer.  It works well for me.  Some day I might invest in a gylcol chiller to allow me to crash and dry hop in the fermenter before kegging, but right now this is a low priority item for me.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 11:14:35 pm »
I use my homegrown hops exclusively throughout my recipes from boil additions through to dry hop additions- no infections.  I dry my hops, vacuum seal them and keep them frozen.

When I make wet hopped beer I don't use wet hops outside of the hotside.  If I dry hop then I use my dried hops to do it.

If you want to know exactly what your hops contribute to your recipe, don't use anything else- even in the dry hop.  If that isn't your goal, then do whatever you like.  Good luck!

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 09:22:47 am »
I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets.

Interesting. Maybe Everclear?

Offline neuse

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 02:54:06 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?

Offline denny

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 02:54:45 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?

It is at the very least unnecessary.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2021, 10:55:57 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?
It's as effective as water or Star-san at keeping air out...
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2021, 01:06:34 am »
As far as the beer do whatever is going to produce a beer you want to drink. I'd rather have beer I enjoy but only get to brag that some of the hop flavor is from fresh hops than drink through a keg I don't really like because I wanted to say it's all fresh hops.

I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?

Water or starsan will keep out air and bugs as effectively as vodka so as Denny said not necessary. The reasoning that kinda makes sense is if you're worried about suckback from the airlock that you might be better off having vodka sucked in than water. I wouldn't want either so if that's a concern you're better off buying S airlocks where suckback is possible but highly unlikely if not overfilled.
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Offline neuse

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2021, 05:48:07 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?
It's as effective as water or Star-san at keeping air out...
I wasn't clear. I was wondering if the vodka's disinfectant properties are enough to prevent problems. Long ago, I had the bath water in the swamp cooler start to smell super nasty - like serious bacteria. After that, I started adding a splash of bleach to the swamp cooler every few days. I'm guessing the same thing can happen to the water in an airlock if it doesn't have some kind of disinfectant, like Star San (or vodka if it will do the job).

Offline denny

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2021, 06:07:01 pm »
No one else might agree with me, but...

Personally I only use my homegrown hops in the boil.  I won't dry hop with them.  Too risky, as you and I both have experienced.

Whether you dry hop with pellets or not is of course entirely up to you.  I'm cautious now and soak my dry hop pellets in a couple ounces of vodka just to try to keep on the safe side.

I did say, no one else might agree with me.  Carry on.   8)
For what it's worth, vodka isn't really high enough in alcohol % to disinfect your hop pellets. Of course that's fine, because I don't think hop pellets are going to harbor any pathogens that will infect your beer. But hey, it's your beer. Whatever gives you peace of mind is worth the effort.
I often read on the forums about brewers using vodka in their airlocks. Is this also ineffective?
It's as effective as water or Star-san at keeping air out...
I wasn't clear. I was wondering if the vodka's disinfectant properties are enough to prevent problems. Long ago, I had the bath water in the swamp cooler start to smell super nasty - like serious bacteria. After that, I started adding a splash of bleach to the swamp cooler every few days. I'm guessing the same thing can happen to the water in an airlock if it doesn't have some kind of disinfectant, like Star San (or vodka if it will do the job).

How long are you gonna leave the water in the airlock? A few weeks is fine.  I used vodka when I first started brewing. When I ran out I used water.  Nearly 25 years later, I have had no problems due to using water.
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Offline RC

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2021, 06:45:07 pm »
Any liquid whatsoever in the airlock will prevent outside air from getting into the fermenter. Water, vodka, whatever. It all works fine for this purpose.

Fungal spores and bacteria naturally drifting in air will find their way into the airlock (with bacteria, they hitchhike on small particulates, like dust particles). These will not grow and cause problems provided there is no carbon and other nutrients in the airlock liquid, because microbes need more than just water to grow. However, if you have ever had an explosive krausen that pushed through the airlock, there could be trace amounts of nutrients on the plastic that could support some growth. You'd want to clean that airlock very thoroughly.

Vodka is 40% alcohol, which is not high enough to be considered a true disinfectant. However, it does have some capacity to either suppress growth or kill cells, and so it's not totally useless as a disinfectant. Alcohol itself can be used as a carbon source by some microbes, but at 40% concentration, nothing is going to actively grow. Alcohol is maximally disinfecting at 70%.

I use vodka because I use plastic fermenters. No matter how carefully I try to move them, the plastic flexes and some liquid gets sucked in. Using vodka gives me some piece of mind. If I used a rigid-walled fermenter, I would just use water.

Offline erockrph

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Re: dry hopping fresh hop beer?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2021, 08:58:02 pm »
Any liquid whatsoever in the airlock will prevent outside air from getting into the fermenter. Water, vodka, whatever. It all works fine for this purpose.

Fungal spores and bacteria naturally drifting in air will find their way into the airlock (with bacteria, they hitchhike on small particulates, like dust particles). These will not grow and cause problems provided there is no carbon and other nutrients in the airlock liquid, because microbes need more than just water to grow. However, if you have ever had an explosive krausen that pushed through the airlock, there could be trace amounts of nutrients on the plastic that could support some growth. You'd want to clean that airlock very thoroughly.

Vodka is 40% alcohol, which is not high enough to be considered a true disinfectant. However, it does have some capacity to either suppress growth or kill cells, and so it's not totally useless as a disinfectant. Alcohol itself can be used as a carbon source by some microbes, but at 40% concentration, nothing is going to actively grow. Alcohol is maximally disinfecting at 70%.

I use vodka because I use plastic fermenters. No matter how carefully I try to move them, the plastic flexes and some liquid gets sucked in. Using vodka gives me some piece of mind. If I used a rigid-walled fermenter, I would just use water.
All of this ^^^

I was poking a bit of fun in my original response. I don't know of anything that will actively grow in 40% ethanol (although it wouldn't surprise me if there was some extremophile bacteria that could), but 60-90% is the range where ethanol is considered an effective disinfectant. When I want to use ethanol as a food grade disinfectant, I use 151 proof rum. But vodka would be just fine in a small airlock. For a large volume that is open to the air like a swamp cooler, I also think that bleach is the way to go to suppress algae and other funk-da-funk that may get going in there.
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