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Dry Hop in Keg Questions

Hi All - I’m about to try dry hopping in a keg for the first time. When it’s done I’ve decided to try pushing it into a clean keg with CO2.

First question: While dry hopping, I know I won’t have the CO2 hooked up, but should I be releasing the pressure every day or so? Or can I assume that because I gave it a nice long primary fermentation that pressure build up won’t be an issue.

Second question: Any tips for 2nd round dry hopping? I’m thinking about opening it up, pushing a quick amount of CO2, adding the second round of hops, then purging oxygen out of the headspace with CO2, then releasing all pressure until it’s ready to go to the serving keg. The other option is to be quick like a bunny, add the hops, and not worry about CO2 at all. Thoughts?

I’ll be doing this for both Chinook and Plinian AG kits over the next couple weeks so the 2nd round question only applies to Plinian.

Thanks all!

Once you put the hops in the keg, you want to pressurize it and leave it alone. The only time you should open it is to add more hops. If you release pressure once the hops are in, you are letting some of that lovely aroma out to be wasted in the environment instead of into your glass. For Plinian, i put both batches of hops in muslin bags directly into the keg. The keg was only opened to put the second batch in and immediately sealed back up with 2 bursts of pressure release to help purge out any Oxygen that may have gotten in while adding the second batch of hops. I left both bags in for the duration of the keg.

I did closed transfer to a second keg the second time I brewed Plinian to see if it would make a difference, but didn’t notice a difference between that and just leaving the bags in the whole time. It did give a better lasting nose than removing the dry hops, which is what I did the first time I brewed it.


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I agree with @radagast.

I DH in bags in the keg all the time. Drop the bag in, seal it and put the gas on, vent to release air. Keep it on gas. Why wouldn’t you? I also leave the hop bag in for the duration.

Thanks guys. This clears up a misconception I had. I equated dry hopping in a keg with secondary fermentation so I thought it had to occur without CO2. I see now that that was a mistake and that I can dry hop at serving PSI.

@radagast FWIW - I got the idea for pushing to a clean keg from a post you made in Dec '14. You said you liked the results on Plinian and were worried about leaving the dry hop bags in for 1-2 months. I’m assuming that worry has faded the more kegs you’ve left the dry hop bags in.

Thanks again for the quick replies…

I agree with yer replies except, being able to pure out the O2. just can’t this way, and also what little that will enter won’t bum out yer brew. With that said, once yer in the serving keg, do add and leave the hops in, don’t be thinking you’ll re invent dry hopping, it just won’t happen. You’ve got some great brews coming up, and the less fiddling around moving it the better the chances are it won’t become infected. Do tell us yer brews turned out! Sneezles61

I do my first dry hop in the fermenter when fermentation slows then after 7 to ten days rack to keg with more hops carbonate for 2 weeks and start drinking. If for some reason the keg lasts a long time which usually doesn’t happen you could open it and add more. By the way use 1 gallon paint strainer bags those muslin ones get sucked into the dip tube

I brewed 10 gals of IPA recently and DH’d each 5 gal fermenter with the same amount of hops but with one I did half the DH as fermentation was winding down in the bucket and the other half DH in the keg. For the second 5 gals I DH’d the full amount of hops in the keg. I can’t say I noticed much difference in taste, aroma or lifespan of the aroma.

I have noticed that late boil hop bursting results in much better armoa retention than whirlpooling. I get great aroma on a young beer with whirlpooling under 180 degrees but it doesn’t seem to last long in the keg. When I split those hops up and add them in multiple additions under 10 mins left in the boil I tend to get much better aroma retention in the keg.

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Thanks Dannyboy, that was going to be my next direction of experiments with hops. I’ve been doing FO hopping at 180* for so long and just seemed to get a, so so hop aroma. Lately reading stuff there is getting more attention to late addition as the best perceived hop aroma. I’ll go on yer advice. I’ll pause from my next lager and crank out an IPA. I still like this forum for the input all the members bring. Yes it isn’t high tech, I don’t much want to track down molecules and their roles. Technics and basic equipment utilization works good for me. Sneezles61

Don’t get me wrong. I think FO/WP hops definitely create good aroma. Maybe even the best aroma, early on. I’ve done IPAs where all I did was a bittering charge and then used all the late hops at FO or even below 180 and whirlpooled for 20-30 mins. These beers tend to have amazing aroma for a couple weeks in the keg, then it seems to fade.

A keg of IPA will generally last a month or so around here. The ones where I’ve done all late kettle hop bursting seem to retain the best aroma longest. That’s my perception anyway.

As to splitting up the dry hops into seperate additions I’ve always heard @denny say combine them into one. Of course I had to try it for myself. With my latest IPA, a union jack takeoff referenced above, I tried it both ways. I can’t tell any difference.

All great ideas. This is my third batch of Plinian (2nd in a keg) so I’ll try all the dry hops at once in the keg for this batch and let you guys know how it turns out.


Yeah, I do Plinian and Off the Topper every summer around June/July depending on when I get them brewed. First time I did Pliny, I dry hopped in secondary, was good but lost aroma by end of keg. Second time I dry hopped in keg and closed transfered to a serving keg. The aroma lasted much better this time around but still faded by the end. Once I started leaving the hops in, I never looked back. I’ve never had an issue with the vegetal taste people talked about from hops too long in the keg and the aroma holds up much better through the life of the keg. Kegs tend to last just over a month typically and with Pliny and Headdy clones on tap, I have lots of willing samplers so they barely make it a month. :joy:


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