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Dry Hopping in Keg or Primary

I just got a keg set up and can’t decide If I should dry hop in my primary or the keg. In the past I have always dry hopped in a five gallon carboy, but If I can skip that step and just dry hop in the keg that would be awesome.

Then when researching dry hopping in a keg I found that a lot of people have been dry hopping in their primary when fermentation has slowed to help reduce oxidation.

I also couldn’t tell if people left the hops in the keg or not. Seemed like people did but this doesn’t make sense to me since everything else I have read about dry hopping says no more than 10 days.

If you dry hop in your primary can you tell me why and how?

If you dry hop in your keg can you tell me why and how?

Cheers!

I dry hop at the last 3rd of fermentation. This may or may not be accurate, but in my mind it drives off vegetal/grassy flavors from the hops, and any oxygen they might have. If you use enough hops (no less than 2oz for a 1.065ish IPA), it will still retain plenty of the volatile aromas you want.

Further, I feel that especially for hoppy beers, an extra transfer to a conditioning/brite vessel/carboy (I don’t call them secondaries because there isn’t a secondary fermentation happening), means more possibility of introducing oxygen, which sucks for all beers, but especially hop-forward beers.

Of all the conflicting information out there on dry hopping, there seems to be one constant: the only way to tell if the beer has had enough dry hopping (contact time with the dry hops) is by taste. Not days, hours, or temperature (though I’ve heard 70 is better than 40 for dry hopping).

Doing it in the keg is a great way to go, but you want to have a way to easily remove the hop mass/bag when the flavor is right. Most do this with an unflavored piece of dental floss tied to a muslin bag full of hops, with the other end tied to the inside of the pressure release valve on the lid. This method also works great for dry hopping in another vessel. Also, it doesn’t matter much to me, but clarity is tough to achieve when adequately dry hopping (for my taste!) I wouldn’t leave dry hops in a keg for a month as you slowly consume the keg though. Muslin bag is a must for keg-hopping.

I’ll usually dry-hop in the keg using a 5 gallon nylon paint strainer. X number of days at room temp then cooled, carbed and served. I leave the hops in until the keg blows and haven’t had any issues of grassy or vegetal flavors.

After reading Stan Hieronymous’s article about the effects of yeast on hops in the latest Zymurgy, I’ve decided to go back to using a secondary when I dry hop. It appears the interaction between yeast and hops significantly affects the hop aroma, making it more estery and floral.

Have you had good/noticeable results Denny? It would seem to me that you brew (and taste) enough hoppy beers to perceive a difference if there is one…

Do you CO2-purge your secondary vessel, or not worry about it?

Now I need to find what I did with that $#@*d magazine…

[quote=“Pietro”]Now I need to find what I did with that $#@*d magazine…[/quote]Or buy Stan’s new book instead and get a LOT of useful info.

[quote=“Pietro”]Have you had good/noticeable results Denny? It would seem to me that you brew (and taste) enough hoppy beers to perceive a difference if there is one…

Do you CO2-purge your secondary vessel, or not worry about it?

Now I need to find what I did with that $#@*d magazine…[/quote]

I haven’t done it sonce reading the aricle, but in thinking back I think it’s possible it does make a difference. I intend to try it with the batch I’m brewing this weekend. I don’t purge the secondary…

Or read the issue online.

Thanks for the info. Think I will try in the keg and see how it goes.

Since I started kegging, I’ve been DHing in them. Up until my last few batches I was tying my bagged hops with piece of floss and dangling them about halfway down the keg. I thought that would limit the beer’s exposure to the hops once I drank it down below that point. About 4 batches ago I just threw the bagged hops in and let them go the whole time. I haven’t noticed them getting floral or vegetal. I’ve heard since I’m DHing in the fridge at 40*F, the effects of the DH slows down.

Any problems with hops in your dip tube or beer lines? issues with cleaning? I usually dry hop using a muslin bag is that what you use?

You will want to contain the hops in the keg. $.99 panty hose work well.

I rack to a “secondary” keg to dry hop, using a stainless steel hose braid on the intake end of the liquid dip tube to block hop material. I then cold crash, add finings to a new keg, push the beer to the new keg, carbonate and serve. This works great for me. Also sawed about an inch off the dip tube to reduce yeast sediment in the serving keg.

I believe my procedure is no different than the “secondary” Denny is referring to. Just a different type of vessel. I prefer using a keg for dry hopping, because it’s easier to add hops (compared to a carboy), air can be purged and it fits better in my keezer for cold crashing.

If I’m not dry hopping, I modify my procedure slightly. I rack to the purged “secondary” keg, cold crash, add finings, rest for a few days to a couple weeks (depending on how flocculant the yeast strain is), and then push to a serving keg.

Yes, muslin. Never had hops clog anything. You’re not going to get the mess if they’re bagged that you would get if they were just thrown in.

If you do extract kits you get muslin bags with the specialty grains. I put my grains in the bag and tie a knot as low as I can and steep. After steeping, I cut the bag below the knot. Now I have another ready to use muslin bag!

I use whole leaf hops mainly, so I’m happy just tossing them into the keg. Here’s another option, particularly for those who use pellets: http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Dry-Hopper_p_155.html

Hey Denny,

Any update on whether or not you got a different DH character in the keg/secondary after removing yeast, as Hieronymous suggests?

I’ve got a Rye IPA in primary that I just added gelatin to in an attempt to remove as much yeast as possible. I’ll rack to a keg and DH with just enough pressure to seal the keg, not carbonate.

[quote=“Chinaski1217”]Hey Denny,

Any update on whether or not you got a different DH character in the keg/secondary after removing yeast, as Hieronymous suggests?

I’ve got a Rye IPA in primary that I just added gelatin to in an attempt to remove as much yeast as possible. I’ll rack to a keg and DH with just enough pressure to seal the keg, not carbonate.[/quote]

I’d have to say it made a definite difference. I just kegged the new batch and compared it to another batch that was exactly the same, only it didn’t use a secondary. The new batch (with a secondary) clearly has a much hoppier, less floral profile. I intend to try this a few more times to verify it.

very interesting stuff. God I love this forum.

[Mainly directed @ Denny] Would there be any ill effects to the following:
-ferment in bucket/carboy
-cold crash/gelatin (if desired)
-rack to keg with removable dry hop sack
-dry hop for intended time frame
-remove hop sack
-carb
?

I’m just a little bit gunshy about oxidation, particularly in hoppy beers, that can be introduced with racking the finished 3 different times…or can’t it?

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“Chinaski1217”]Hey Denny,

Any update on whether or not you got a different DH character in the keg/secondary after removing yeast, as Hieronymous suggests?

I’ve got a Rye IPA in primary that I just added gelatin to in an attempt to remove as much yeast as possible. I’ll rack to a keg and DH with just enough pressure to seal the keg, not carbonate.[/quote]

I’d have to say it made a definite difference. I just kegged the new batch and compared it to another batch that was exactly the same, only it didn’t use a secondary. The new batch (with a secondary) clearly has a much hoppier, less floral profile. I intend to try this a few more times to verify it.[/quote]

Can you briefly describe the method you used? Primary, cold crash, rack to secondary (fermenter or keg?), warm back to room temp then DH in secondary? If you dry hopped in secondary, did you use a bag or just toss them in? How long did you leave them in?

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve added gelatin to primary and will keg tomorrow. Planning on dry hopping with a hop bag in the keg after warming it to the mid-60’s.

Thanks for the reply!

[quote=“Pietro”]very interesting stuff. God I love this forum.

[Mainly directed @ Denny] Would there be any ill effects to the following:
-ferment in bucket/carboy
-cold crash/gelatin (if desired)
-rack to keg with removable dry hop sack
-dry hop for intended time frame
-remove hop sack
-carb
?

I’m just a little bit gunshy about oxidation, particularly in hoppy beers, that can be introduced with racking the finished 3 different times…or can’t it?[/quote]

If you’re careful the chances of oxidation are very small. I can’t recall ever having a batch oxidize due to tracking. OTOH, there’s nothing wrong with your plan. The idea is to remove as much yeast a possible before dry hopping and your plan would accomplish that.

Why the hell would you remove the dry hops? :wink:

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