Dry Hopping

Just wondering if I can slim down the dry hop procedure for my IPA by adding hop pellets the the primary about two weeks in or if it is recommended to rack to a secondary before adding more hops?

For those who are not secondary friendly, would you recommend adding more hops at flame out versus adding them dry about two to three weeks into fermentation? Would I get the hops to dissolve and therefore taste / smell better if added them to the hot wort at flame out rather than waiting to add the hops to the 65 degree beer? Thanks.

I don’t secondary normally, but I like to when I dry hop. If you want to dry hop in primary, that should be fine. You can dry hop in primary, in kegs, or secondary with varying results. I find that dry hopping in secondary, then cold crashing gives you clearer beer. I don’t think it’s necessarily better, just clearer. If you harvest yeast, dry hopping in primary isn’t ideal, although I’m sure you could wash the yeast and reuse with a similar beer.

You want the hops to be in the beer for 5 days or so and at fermentation range of temps, as opposed to serving temps. You get more aroma that way. If you dry hop around 2 weeks then crash and package around 3 weeks, you should be fine…give or take.

The only time I’ve ever racked to secondary for dry hopping is when I’ve wanted to use the yeast cake for another beer. Otherwise, I always dry hop in primary. I usually add the dry hops at 68ish F, around day 10 give or take, and bottle 5-7 days later. I line my bottling bucket with a sanitized paint strainer bag to catch any hop bits that may pass through my autosiphon. The only time clarity has been an issue was with an IIPA that used an ungodly amount of dry hops. And even then, a few weeks of lagering in the bottle cleared it up nicely.

Dry hops will give you more aroma than flameout hops. You can certainly get a nice hoppy beer without dry hopping, but you may find that its missing that big hop punch in the aroma. That said, I generally use a decent amount of both flameout hops and dry hops when I want a big hop presence in a beer.

I had great results on my last IPA by adding the dry hops at the last 1/3 or 1/4 of fermentation. Because the blowoff does drive off some of the aromatics, you need to use more (I used 4oz of a hop blend that I used during the boil). This is the method used by Tasty McDole who is one of the best IPA homebrewers out there. I add them ‘commando’ by the way (just throw them right into the fermenter), and don’t bother with a weighted muslin bag, unless I am using leaf hops, which is rare.

The idea of this being that you will drive off some of the oxygen in the dry hops, which is important since hop-forward beers can oxidize so easily, and nothing is worse than a cardboard IPA. Its particularly important when using leaf dry hops, since they likely have more oxygen trapped between the leafs etc.

Now for something like a bitter or an APA, where I (my own tastes) WANT some grassiness, I will add them at the VERY end. My favorite APA is Lagunitas, because it has a really pleasant floral slightly grassy aroma. I like to replicate this.

Thanks folks. Going to brew a Falconer’s Flight IPA tomorrow.