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Alternative method for late hopping

Dryhopping toward end of primary is becoming popular especially with the NE IPAs. Got me to wonder if a whirlpool/hopstand could be done after primary fermentation was mostly complete. Hope would be to not drive off as much volatile aromatics from the full effect of primary.

I am considering holding back 10% of the unfermented wort until primary is nearly done. Then reheat that small volume to hopstand temp, do the hopstand in that small volume, separate hops from liquid and add it to the primary.

Anyone ever heard of this?

Interesting. I haven’t personally heard of a similar process, but it may be done by someone, somewhere.
I guess you would freeze the wort in the interim to reduce risk of contamination?

I would worry about oxidizing the beer by adding an unfermentable late in the fermentation. Might not be a problem but I would worry about it.

I was thinking oxidation would be limited because the wort addition would be highly fermentable, and O2 would be consumed by the reactivated yeast and/or driven off by degassing. But if my reasoning is wrong, then yeah it might be a problem.

Yes, I would freeze the wort until time to add.

My error the wort would be fermentable. I was just trying to remember an article about adding to the fermentor after the initial budding phase of the pitched yeast was over.

I think you could just use water to make a hop tea, and add that at the end of fermentation. You’re not looking for isomerization, just extracting volatile compounds, so water heated to 180F should be nicely de-aerated after a 30-minute whirlpool as well.


The idea of recreating the hopstand conditions (vs a hop tea) when trying to do this is something that is ‘new to me’. I’m not aware of anyone who has tried it, but at first glance, it looks/feels promising.

I came across the idea of adding a hop tea in secondary a couple of years ago ( may have been where I first read it ). At the time, related articles / forums were warning about possible grassy flavors coming off the hop teas. My experience with hop teas for tasting hops is that I get a lot of grassy flavor, so I’ve never trying adding a hop tea in secondary.

Back to your suggested approach: consider using DME, rather than saving some of the wort, for the 1st couple of experimental batches.

Finally, when I did a web search on homebrew hop tea secondary to find the BYO article, I did it using both google and duckduckgo. The search results were radically different. duckduckgo came up with this potential gem (“diamond in the rough”? Cubic Zirconia?):

That was then, and this is now… I say to Steeler, do an experiment and see what you get… Also report back… Sneezles61


I would think the risk of oxidation would be no worse than racking a beer post primary fermentation onto fruit for a secondary fermentation. I also wonder how much oxygen we introduce when dry hopping post primary fermentation, especially whole cones. I say go for it.

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Well it makes intuitive sense that it should work, but that doesn’t mean it will make practical sense. Hopefully a way to enhance/prolong the short-lived fresh hoppy flavors and aromas.

I am going to give it a try and will certainly report back.


ever tried that? It’s some of the most vile stuff I’ve ever encountered

Are you saying you wouldn’t add the tea it’s so vile? Or just that it’s vile?

Seems that I recall some European traditional breweries doing just that to adjust bitterness after fermentation. I’ll have to dig up some links.

Both…the tea is vile and I didn’t care for the way it tasted in the beer.

Thanks for the insight @denny

So it seems like @steeler_d may be on to something, kind of a “hop krauesening”!

Now that I think about it I believe there was a write up in the special BYO Hop Lovers Guide. Might want to look into it.

Yes! We shall see. NE IPA brewday tomorrow. I’m optimistic. One concern is I have no idea if there are solubility limits of hop oils in solution, and cramming 5 gal worth of hops into a half gal might exceed the solubility. But I also want to keep the hopstand fermented volume to minimum.

We shall see.


In case anyone was interested, I attempted my alternative method for late hopping and although not ground-breaking, it turned out pretty well.

I am not so sure there was much difference in flavor/aroma compared to the standard late hopping whirlpool method consumed super fresh. The advantage to this post-primary whirlpool did become apparent though, when I performed the whirlpool approx. 2 months after primary and added back to the “base” beer. It was just like drinking on day 1 from the tap of a fresh IPA.

I think brewing IPAs is a PIA sometimes because of such short shelf-life. So if you would be interested stocking up on a base beer in storage, and then at later date go back and add this whirlpool secondary fermentation for a fresh IPA, then this method could be of use.

I’d be happy to give the details of what I did, if anyone is interested.


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