Assuming we all have a crack at dry hopping, what I am interested in sharing are the finer details of dry hopping.
What I mean by this are the details of the steps. As far as I am concerned there are three areas
1. When you dry hop
2. How you dry hop
3. How you finish your dry hop beer.
In the case of point 1. I am happy to leverage the thesis on dates and towards the end makes sense
Point 2 - How? - I have tended to use hop bags and use a mortar and pestle to grind the hops to increase surface area. This makes sense to me. I have trialled using pastry weights to sink the bag, however, when this results in a bag caked in yeast. Without weights the bag floats
Point 3 - Squeeze, or do not squeeze - that is the question. For those use a hop bag, who squeezes the bag pre keg/bottle? Does this make the beer cloudy (assuming no filtration?)
I don't filter every beer and don't dry hop every beer so hopefully pooling some knowledge benefits all.
Gd'ay mate! I try and dry hop towards the end of ferment, meaning the krausen has usually dropped and the beer still has a point or two to go, most of the time this is about day 7, these days I don't take readings as I probably should, but I can tell how the beer s going from the ferment, if I see anything odd, or it seems slow or something, I'll take a reading just to see whats happening.
I just throw the hops in, I don't have any problems this way, unless its heavily hopped then I line the receiving keg with a grain bag just to get out any hops that get transferred. Normally a cold crash drops out the hops.
I wouldn't bother squeezing, you're just adding oxygen from the splashing etc. although I understand why you want too, as sometimes it seem a waste.
I don't use whole hops for dry hopping either, or any of the process to be honest, even my home grown ones don't get used usually. They are very hard to buy here, well I can sometimes get about 3 varieties, but thats it. I really like the reliability and consistency that pellet hops give as well as the smaller losses in fermenter and boil kettle.
Thanks - I don't have a dedicated fermentation fridge, however, I can probably move two kegs out of the kegerator for a couple of days to cold crash.
I am making a 7ish percent Nelson IPA at the moment. Debating on how much to dry hop and if I filter. I am inclined to save filtration for lagers. A bit of cloud in an ale isn't a bad thing.
I have almost concluded hop bags are a waste of time, the "best bits" seem stuck in the bag once I have kegged and the goodness is there once squeezed so I might as well pitch and let gravity take care of the rest.
I've decided to run a test comparing solubility of pellet vs ground hops. I've added 1g of pellets to 70ml of water and 1g of crushed pellets to 70ml of water. I'll monitor over a few days to see how much aroma appears to come from both and how well they dissolve and settle.
I'll post the results in a few days. My wife will be the control to compare aromas of the two.
So the verdict? I have attached before and after. The before shows that the hop pellets fell to the bottom of the glass while the ground pellets clouded the water.
Testing the aroma a few days on, I was surprised that the appearance ended up very similar. The aroma's were also different. The pellet hops had a gentler aroma, the ground hops were a little acrid, almost as if undesirable oils were released in the process.
Of course, dropping pellets into the fermenter may have its own complexities such as yeast build up. I'll check out the trub when I keg tomorrow.
But considering the evidence - I can't see any benefit from hop bags or grinding.
No problem - Checked the trub/yeast and from my eye it appears as if the pellets dissolved as per the test.
On a side note, this was my second batch in my new BrewBucket and the conical base makes a big difference in reducing the yeast contact patch. I would estimate the contact patch was about 15cm compared to the normal full circumference. It is also super easy to clean. The probe also shows the exact temperature in the fermentation which takes a lot of the guesswork out.
Might write more up on my next batch which won't be for a couple of months I think.
Also saw there is a new Robobrew with a pump attachment. basically now a half price grainfather. That said, it simply looks like another thing to break and clean/manage compared to the original.
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Thanks for this thread Dredd. Dry hopping is something I do without giving it much thought. Like many I started dry hopping K & Ks in an attempt to get a bit more flavour/aroma. I just continued in a similar manner when I stepped up to all grain. Might ditch the hop socks and give a bit more thought to timings.