New question. I made a batch of a winter ale a few weeks ago and it seems a little sweet for my tastes. I didn’t use all the hops the recipe called for because I thought it would be too hoppy for my taste. If I dry hop the beer at this point will it remove some of the sweetness and if so how long would it take to work. I realize there are many variables IBU, type hops, amount of hops etc. I am thinking about adding the balance I didn’t use. Pellet form
Sorry to say, dry hopping won’t cut the sweetness, but only increase the hoppiness. The hops need to be boiled to impart bitterness to balance sweetness. You should read up on how to use hops - it is a complex subject, but worth understanding if you want to customize recipes to your liking. The short story:
Hops impart bitterness when boiled, with more bitterness correlating with the AA rating of the hops and the length of the boil, maxing out at 60 - 75 minutes.
Hops impart flavor to the beer, but the flavor compounds get degraded as the hops are boiled. After about 30 minutes of boiling, there is no significant flavor elements left.
Hops impart aroma to the beer, but like flavor these compounds get boiled away. Aromatic compounds will be pretty much gone in as little as 10 minutes of boiling, or even less.
Hops impart preservative quantities to the beer, mostly from the beta acids. Not something that is usually of concern to homebrewers.
As you can see from the above, you will get flavor and especially aroma from dry hops (as well as beta acids), but no bittering. So your beer will stay sweet.
Thanks for the response, you have motivated me to read more about hops.
The perceived sweetness could mellow with a few more weeks of warm conditioning time if the beer didn’t finish at an abnormally high SG.