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Adding water to wort & Dry Hopping

Hi… Two more noob questions:

  1. I’m struggling with the best method for adding water to my wort (to bring it to 5 gallons) after the boiling and cooling. Out of the tap, the water is ok… But a little to chlorinated for my tastes. I can run it through a Britta filter and pitcher, but I get worried about possible bacteria or mold in the filter. I can boil the tap water and then cool it down. Or I can go to the grocery store and buy a couple gallons of water (in the plastic jugs). What do you all do?

  2. I’ll be doing my first dry hopping in a couple weeks. Is it ok to just throw the hops into my primary bucket fermenter? Or do I need to steep them in with the grain bag? Or should I be doing this all in a secondary fermenter? Any tips would be great- thanks!

As for adding water, I have horribly icky slimy stinky softened water, so I always buy bottled. When I did extract, I’d just dump it in. If you wanted to use a filter like a Brita, I think it would be fine without boiling/cooling. While sanitation is important, I personally think we sometimes take it too far. I just watched a show where someone brewed in an open fermenter on the top of a building in San Francisco, and still made beer. I’d feel comfortable dumping any water I’d be okay with drinking in, especially if you’re going to be pitching yeast immediately after.

Dry hopping is pretty simple. Use a grain bag if you want to keep the dry hops together. I just dump them in, personally. Sometimes, it takes a swirl or two to get them to drop… hops like to float at the top of beer on their own. I guess if you were using a bag, you might weigh it down with something sanitized, like glass marbles or something. Without making any judgement on whether secondary is worth it or not, I will just say that I use a secondary when I dry hop. I suspect lots of folks don’t.

I just add straight bottled spring water - no boiling.

You can add the hops to a primary, but secondary is preferable. Apparently the hops can react with the yeast cake to produce off flavors. Denny posted an article about this several months ago, so a secondary is becoming more the way to go for dry hopping.

Thanks to you both ^

Sorry, one more unrelated question:
This will be my first time using the liquid yeast. How long before brewing is the right time to take the yeast out of the refrigerator and smack it? Can this be done same day/hours before you brew, or should it be 24 or 36 hours? Thanks!

[quote=“Beerfan80”]Sorry, one more unrelated question:
This will be my first time using the liquid yeast. How long before brewing is the right time to take the yeast out of the refrigerator and smack it? Can this be done same day/hours before you brew, or should it be 24 or 36 hours? Thanks![/quote]

Long enough for it to come up to room temperature, but not so long that it’s sitting out for way too long. I usually take it out and smack it right as I’m gathering ingredients for the boil. I don’t worry too much about watching it puff up. So that’s what, two to three hours before pitching?

Now if you’re making a big beer (high gravity/lots of stuff for yeast to chew through), you’ll want to plan further ahead and start thinking about yeast starters. That’s a whole nother conversation, though.

[quote=“Beerfan80”]Sorry, one more unrelated question:
This will be my first time using the liquid yeast. How long before brewing is the right time to take the yeast out of the refrigerator and smack it? Can this be done same day/hours before you brew, or should it be 24 or 36 hours? Thanks![/quote]

I tend forget till the last minute and take it out too late. According to the package you should have it going 3 hours before pitching at least. I have pitched sooner than three hours after smacking with OK results, but I’d say earlier the better.

Assuming you are not doing a starter, keep a few things in mind. I would never use it for anything above 1.05ish without a starter. Always make sure the package date is as recent as possible.

My recomendation is to get it out and smack it after you start your mash-in, or right before you sparge. That should be lots of time.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”][quote=“Beerfan80”]Sorry, one more unrelated question:
This will be my first time using the liquid yeast. How long before brewing is the right time to take the yeast out of the refrigerator and smack it? Can this be done same day/hours before you brew, or should it be 24 or 36 hours? Thanks![/quote]

I tend forget till the last minute and take it out too late. According to the package you should have it going 3 hours before pitching at least. I have pitched sooner than three hours after smacking with OK results, but I’d say earlier the better.

Assuming you are not doing a starter, keep a few things in mind. I would never use it for anything above 1.05ish without a starter. Always make sure the package date is as recent as possible.

My recomendation is to get it out and smack it after you start your mash-in, or right before you sparge. That should be lots of time.[/quote]

I’m doing the NB Caribou Slobber, which is right around the 1.05. I spoke with someone from NB, but they didn’t mention the need for a yeast starter. Should I be using the powder yeast instead? Or perhaps going to the store to pick up yeast starter? (I’ve never used yeast starter… But I’m also pretty new at all of this.)

I think you’re fine with the smack pack as is. Double check the date. Make sure it is within the last 3 or 4 months max. 1 or 2 months would be better.

You technically would never achieve the desired pitch rate without a starter, but whether you would detect any real impact on the beer is debateable. If anything goes wrong with the batch blame uberculture :mrgreen:

Nah, you’ll be fine.

:cheers:

Try yeastcalc.com

Be sure to read the links in the upper left.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]I think you’re fine with the smack pack as is. Double check the date. Make sure it is within the last 3 or 4 months max. 1 or 2 months would be better.

You technically would never achieve the desired pitch rate without a starter, but whether you would detect any real impact on the beer is debateable. If anything goes wrong with the batch blame uberculture :mrgreen:

Nah, you’ll be fine.

:cheers: [/quote]

I resemble that remark :mrgreen: I always seem to forget that I have a knack for sounding like I know more than I do.

Filter your tap water with the Brita filter. You don’t want to have chlorine in your beer. Britas contain something like 1% silver in the beads to kill bacterial as well. I do this for every batch and haven’t had an issue.

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