Dry hopping in secondary or primary?

Is there any benefit to racking to a secondary in order to dry hop a beer? I really have no way to do this. I usually dry-hop in the primary. I listened to Matt Brynaldson(spelling?), head brewer Firestone Walker, discuss dry hopping right at the end of primary while there was still a slight amount of movement from fermentation. It seems as though most on this forum dry hops in secondary, is there a benefit to this or a science behind it that I am unaware of, or are you just trying to keep your yeast cake clean? thanks as always.

I wouldn’t say that the majority on this forum dryhop in secondary - I think it’s about split of using a secondary in the first place. You’ll get the most out of dryhopping as late in the process as possible.

From what I’ve heard and understand, dry hopping while there is still a little bit of yeast activity in primary helps keep the hops suspended in the beer. Some say they get better hop utilization from doing this.

Primary for me. Works great with less hassle.

[quote=“Baratone Brewer”]Primary for me. Works great with less hassle.[/quote]Yep. I’ll second that.

I’ve only dry hopped in primary…the only time I’ve used a secondary at all was to add fruit… :cheers:

If you late hop in primary, does it affect the yeast for reuse?

The only reason I really still use a secondary is because we have a ton of them and only a few primary fermenters. That said, I do it in the secondary

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]If you late hop in primary, does it affect the yeast for reuse?[/quote]The yeast is the same and there’s a little more sediment - if it bothers you, just do a rinse.

This would be the main reason to dry hop in a secondary. You will not dirty the yeast cake with hop residue.

I don’t wash my yeast. I put it all in a mason jar and pull a couple spoonfuls out to put in a starter.

I brew enough to have plenty of yeast saved. Doesn’t hurt to toss some out every now and then.

The only reasons to ever rack to secondary are:

  1. You want to save the yeast on the bottom and not muck it up with hops or other stuff,

  2. You want to rack your beer onto some fruit or other chunky substance for flavor enhancement, or

  3. You’ve primaried in plastic and do not believe you will be able to bottle or keg for several months (for whatever reason).

The other 95% of the time, your beer will be fine with just a primary.


I typically let my primary fermentation go for at least 14 days before even checking FG. Then throw in my dry hop. I use a muslin bag so I can still save yeast if I wish.