Author Topic: Adding dry hops timing advice needed  (Read 2462 times)

Offline gmac

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Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:59:42 AM »
I've never dry hopped a beer in the primary but I don't really use secondaries any longer so I was wondering when the right time is to do that.  I have an IPA that I brewed last Monday and I thought of dry hopping it today but when I opened the bucket, I was surprised to see how much krausen was still present on the top.  Would you wait for that to fall or add dry hops now?  I don't have a gravity reading as I am loath to take them during fermentation for fear of contamination.
Thanks

Offline denny

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 10:11:58 AM »
Dude, get over it...take a gravity reading!  C'mon, it's a basic skill.  As I say "If you can't take a gravity reading without contaminating the beer, perhaps you should consider taking up knitting for a hobby".  ;)  That said, I wouldn't dry hop if there's still krausen.  If the hops gety covered in the krausen, it could reduce their usefulness.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 10:19:07 AM »
I'm not saying I can't but since the beer has an inch of krausen on the top, what's the point?  If it's that obvious that it's still fermenting, I know it's not done.  Does the gravity impact my decision to dry hop with krausen still present?  Apparently not if the answer is not to dry hop into foam.  When the krausen falls, I'm pretty sure I can rinse a hydrometer in star-san and float it in the bucket.
Thanks for the reply

Offline denny

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 11:24:54 AM »
I'm not saying I can't but since the beer has an inch of krausen on the top, what's the point?  If it's that obvious that it's still fermenting, I know it's not done.  Does the gravity impact my decision to dry hop with krausen still present?  Apparently not if the answer is not to dry hop into foam.  When the krausen falls, I'm pretty sure I can rinse a hydrometer in star-san and float it in the bucket.
Thanks for the reply

I'd recommend using a sanitized "something" (I use a dedicated turkey baster) to pull a gravity sample rather than putting your hydrometer in the bucket.  Just because there's krausen doesn't really tell you if it's fermenting or not.  But since there is still krausen there, I wouldn't be in a hurry to dry hop.
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Offline brushvalleybrewer

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 12:06:56 PM »
If the beer is still vigorously fermenting, as indicated by the presence of krausen, then the aromatics you want to add to the beer through dry hopping will be scrubbed out by the action of the carbon dioxide. There are other factors, as Denny suggested, those same aromatic oils will stick to the trub in suspension and the krausen and to the yeast and will drop out of the beer before packaging. These effects lessen as the fermentation completes. Krausen falls. Trub drops out of suspension. Yeast flocculates. If you dry hop then, you will retain more of the aromatics. That is why some people use a gravity reading to decide when to dry hop, so they can know whether they are close to the end of fermentation.

Personally, I just eyeball when the krausen falls and plop in my pellets for about five days.
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Offline millstone

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 05:33:21 PM »
I'd recommend using a sanitized "something" (I use a dedicated turkey baster) to pull a gravity sample rather than putting your hydrometer in the bucket.


I would thing there is more surface to contaminate using a baster.

tom
AJ says: 5.2 works great for brewers that don't check pH and doesn't work at all for those that do check.

Offline denny

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 05:53:44 PM »
I'd recommend using a sanitized "something" (I use a dedicated turkey baster) to pull a gravity sample rather than putting your hydrometer in the bucket.


I would thing there is more surface to contaminate using a baster.

tom

As long as your sanitation is good, it isn't enough difference to matter.  But I find it's easier to get a reading if I pull a sample than if I put the hydrometer in the fermenter.  Plus, if you ferment in a carboy, it's darn hard to get a hydrometer out of it.
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Offline millstone

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 06:07:10 PM »
I agree, good sanitation is key. I use a bucket to ferment, so using the hydrometer is the way I go, I use a refractometer as well (from the dripping of the hydrometer). I use a dedicated baster to pull wort from the bucket  to add to the yeast  jar, mix it a bit and  then add it to the yeast to the bucket.

tom
AJ says: 5.2 works great for brewers that don't check pH and doesn't work at all for those that do check.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 06:21:19 PM »
Setting aside the question of gravity readings and the many uses for a turkey baster, we're talking about dry hopping here.

What's the rush?  I've never been in a hurry to dry hop.  In addition, dry hopping is one of the few instances where most people recommend a secondary vessel.

So, relax, let the krausen fall, transfer the beer (if you so desire), and add your dry hops.

As mentioned above, you don't want active fermentation to scrub out the aromatics, so patience is your friend here.

And take a gravity reading when your comfortable doing it.
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Offline DaveR

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 12:31:05 PM »
I never use a secondary any more. If I dry hop I'll add hops after 2 to 4 weeks in the primary. Around 21 days is the norm. I normally dry hop for 1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes I go longer. 

Generally, I rack to kegs 4 to 6 weeks after brewing. I may age for several months in the keg before drinking, or I may not age at all. Usually more aging is better than less. At least that's been my experience. It helps to have plenty of corny kegs.


Offline richardt

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Re: Adding dry hops timing advice needed
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 01:18:26 PM »
Yet another reason why fermentation buckets/bottling buckets with spigots are the bomb! 
I just loosen and remove the airlock and put a plastic kiddie cup over the airlock hole in the lid.
(Why?  Because when I do the next few steps, I 'm going to create a vacuum inside which might suck in the fluid within the airlock--whether it be vodka, starsan, boiled water, or whatever--I'm not crazy about it being added to my beer).
I remove the Ranco thermometer probe from the cheap pouch I've made on the side of the fermentation bucket.  [I create it by folding paper towel multiple times so that it is the size of a 6 inch ruler and apply it over the probe on the side of the fermentation bucket.  I then use clear packing tape to secure the folded paper towel to the bucket.  It acts like an insulated pouch so I can be pretty sure that the probe is monitoring the temp of the bucket, and not the ambient air in the fridge.]
If you need to transfer it to a counter top or work bench, do so.  However, I can do this straight from the fridge just by sliding the bucket closer to and just over the front edge of the fridge.
Sanitize the external portion of the spigot using a sprayer containing StarSan.  Also squirt a few shots up the nozzle internally, as well.  Give it a minute or two.  I then use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes on the spigot and let it dry (1-2 minutes).  Some even have special squirt bottles with isopropyl alcohol to aid in squirting inside the spigot.  Let it dry.
Bring a cup under the spigot (it doesn't have to be sanitized so long as you don't touch the spigot) and open the tap to fill half a cup or so of beer.  Set this beer aside--it is okay if chunks of trub or yeast come along with the sample.
Close the tap.
Squirt StarSan on the outside and inside portions of the spigot to rinse away the beer and yeast.  Do this twice.
Squirt or wipe with isopropyl alcohol.
Put the bottling bucket back in the fridge.
Re-attach the Ranco thermometer probe to the side of the bucket.
Take the kiddie cup off and re-insert the airlock.
Close fridge door and go figure out what your SG readings are at your own leisure (even allow the CO2 bubbles to off gas by swirling/spinning your hydrometer and let the sample come to a measurable temp [say 60F], if chilled.)
Drink your sample.
No contamination of the beer using this method.