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ttravelino

Dry hopping

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I have my first IPA in a ale pail 2 weeks now and I am going to dry hop for 10-14 days before bottling.  My plan is to use a hop sack with some marbles to weight it down.  My question is should I move to a secondary or just dry hop in my primary?  Also is 10-14 days too long, I am looking to maximize my results.

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There are a few schools of thought on dry hopping so you'll probably get a few different suggestions.  So I'll share with you what I do.  

I usually use hopsacks too, but I don's use any weights.  I soak the sac in sanitizer then squeeze out any excess.  Then I put the hops in and tie off.  Since the sac is wet it usually sinks to the bottom.  Sometimes it doesn't, but I don't let that worry me.  

As for the amount of time.  I usually go 7 to 10 days.  I've never gone more than 10 days.  

Oh...and as for the secondary, I don't do it.  It's just one more step that you can introduce oxygen with.  

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Like Chris said, you're going to get a lot of variance here so at some point you'll need to try something and then try something else to compare for yourself.

For example, I tend to dry hop for 5-7 days and I go commando preferring to just toss them in and let them sink on their own - when they are damn good and ready.

I don't know which is better honestly but I'm sure the science is out there to find with enough digging:

1) Less hops for more time

2) More hops for less time

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You can always brew the same batch over and over and experiment, varying the time and the amount of hops and see which gives you a preferred result. My first dry hopped beer is going into bottles today. I dry hopped it for 10 days using an ounce of hops, including a cold crash over the last 3 days. I cold crashed because I threw the hops in commando, and I wanted to be sure that the particles sank to the bottom to minimize getting hop gunk into the bottled beer.

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Someone (Fedora Dave?) started a thread before the forum change, which I can't find now, talking about dry hopping in the last day or two in the fermenter. There seemed to be some pretty sound reasoning behind it.

I've got an IPA cold crashing now that I only dry hopped for 2 days prior to putting in the fridge, so I guess in 4 weeks I'll have some data on the technique. 

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Funny I find this post. I am actually getting ready to make a post about hops/dry hopping and the usage of hop sacks.

I can tell you without a doubt commando is the way to go. You will get way better aroma and flavor using less hops and less time.

At this very moment I have 2 LBKs with the same wort. One has had 1oz of hops in a sack for 5 days now. Barely any aroma or hint of the hops.

The other LBK has 1/2oz of the hops fermenting for just 2 days now and the aroma is amazing. 

The sack limits the needed oils from the hops from fully integrating into your beer.

Go commando, cold crash it to drop everything out of suspension and you should have a great beer. 

Well that's my experience anyways :)

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On thinking about it, commando seemed to me to give the best chance to have the beer and the hops unite, so that's the way I've done the small amount of dry hopping that I've done so far, and I have been happy with the results. It's nice to have your experience agree with my logic, since I have on occasion found that something perfectly logical can still be wrong.

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