Fining and dry hopping

Just wondering what everyone’s preferred method and order to fining and dry hopping. For me this would be from a bottlers perspective as I don’t keg. My fining agent is Biofine Clear. I’ve heard rumors that fining has an effect on dry hopping aroma so I wanted to minimize the effect.

My plan was going to be to transfer to secondary off the yeast and add the biofine clear at this point and cold crash it for a couple of days to drop as much yeast out. Bring the temp back up to the 60’s then dry-hop for 4 days. Cold crash again to drop the hops and then bottle.

It seems like a lot of temp swings. Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

Well Matt I don’t like to add anything to my beer, kind of my own Reinheitsgebot. What I do is dry hop then cold crash and then carefully rack to bottling bucket and my bottles are clear. They sit in the bottles and settle. I would only consider using fining when kegging. But that’s me. You do comps so maybe your beer needs to be clearer. I don’t think the temperature swings are going to matter primary fermentation is over.

The only fining I add to my beer is Irish Moss. For my wines, I’ll use finings regularly, but try to minimize them as much as possible. They DO strip flavors out of the wine, and I’m always trying to use barely enough to get the effect I want.

For beer, there is almost never a reason to fine - it clears perfectly by itself. Just have to control the pH during the mash, get a vigorous boil, rapid chill and give it enough time.

I do think clarifiers and or filtering do have an detrimental effect on the hops signature. With everything mostly dialed in, fining is not necessary. I would iron things out there, but I like your protocol if using clarifiers, but might suggest forgoing the second crash. I am of the belief to get the most out of dry hopping you need it off the yeast. All this being said, I think bottle conditioning a dry hopped beer will release some of the magic during the bottling process, exposure to O2, and the time it takes to carb will further reduce the overall impact of the freshness.

That’s the tough one. My IPA’s tend to take a couple months to totally clear in bottles at cellar temps. Usually they start suffering from loss of freshness by that time or if not ill need to drink fast.

Another issue I was noticing is that all my heavily hopped beers tend to have the same harsh flavor. I had heard that yeast and break proteins bind to the acids in the hops and was wondering if the yeast still in suspension might be causing this. So this was the first highly hopped beer I planned on using a fining on to drop as much yeast out of suspension before dry hopping and bottling to see if that might be the cause of this harshness.

Yeah life would be so much easier if I could keg…Just need a larger house :slight_smile:

That’s the tough one. My IPA’s tend to take a couple months to totally clear in bottles at cellar temps. Usually they start suffering from loss of freshness by that time or if not ill need to drink fast.

Another issue I was noticing is that all my heavily hopped beers tend to have the same harsh flavor. I had heard that yeast and break proteins bind to the acids in the hops and was wondering if the yeast still in suspension might be causing this. So this was the first highly hopped beer I planned on using a fining on to drop as much yeast out of suspension before dry hopping and bottling to see if that might be the cause of this harshness.[/quote]
The key when fining in wines is to know exactly what you are trying to pull out. If you want to pull all the yeast out in beer, increasing the calcium in your water will increase the flocculation rate. Or gelatin will bind to yeast cells and pull them down very quickly. The problem with gelatin is that it will bind to many things, some of which you would probably like to leave. It is often used in wine along with another agent (like kieselsol) to limit the damage so to speak. Add the gelatin, wait a day, then add the kieselsol to bind to any free remaining gelatin and neutralize it. Not sure if that would work in beer.

You need to figure out where that harsh flavor is coming from, and testing out things like this are probably your best bet on achieving that.

Yeah, I also considered doing an extended cold crash in primary (maybe a week or more) and transferring cold to secondary to dry-hop and skipping the fining but I wanted to have this finished and bottled before I leave for vacation. I’ll probably try that on my next IPA to see if I can achieve similar effect.

I dry hop 1st for a week, then cold crash and gelatin for another week before bottling. But then I don’t do many hoppy batches, about 2 per year(although I do also dry hop my altbiers).

You acidifying sparge?

I built this from 100% distilled so according to Brunwater I only needed 0.1mL of lactic so that’s all I added. But in all my previous recipes that I used either all tap or diluted, I was acidifying my sparge water according to Brunwater’s recommendation.

I don’t recall BNW offering a recommendation for acidification/pH of sparge water. I think you need to pick a target pH in the tab or the acid recommendation just carries over from the mash acidification tab. These days, I am using same pH as mash and works quite well. That said, distilled should help alot. I would think you would not need clarifiers using distilled.

House IPA 12oz hops 5.5G: 4oz @15m, 4oz 30m hopstand, 4oz dryhop, 2 weeks (muni water, no clarifiers):

Yes that’s correct you need to pick a target pH but Brunwater recommends getting it less than 6.0. It still gives you the required amount of lactic to use to get it to the pH that you specify (which I just leave at 6.0)

Dare you to try a brew with sparge same pH as mash once and see if you like it. :cheers:

I have to laugh, I have the opposite problem of you: 2 fridges for brewing but NO HOMEBREW :shock:

Also, bear in mind that IPA’s and APA’s don’t need to be pilsner-clear. In fact, IMO, I think one of the differentiating aspects of Heady (and some of the other Vermont IPA’s) is that when drinking from the can, YOU WILL GET YEAST IN EACH SIP. Kind of like rolling a hefe bottle before pouring it. This dramatically affects the flavor, mouthfeel, and the way you perceive the hops he uses.

Just Friday, I was at a new brewery, and their IPA was good, but I could tell it was S-05, and I could tell the yeast was still in suspension. It had a homebrew/‘extract’ twang (IMO extract twang is more likely YEAST twang) that was unmistakable. The majority of yeast will drop out over time, but unless you fine or filter, it is still in the beer. This is why bottle conditioning works.

So it also depends on what KIND of hoppy beer you like, and what kind of yeast you are using in said hoppy beer. It is hard to get Conan to floc without a bunch of gelatin and a cold crash. I believe Pliny and Blind Pig use Chico (and are crystal clear).

I have had good results by dry hopping at the tail end of fermentation (in the primary, on the yeast), and I have also had good results by dry hopping after dropping the yeast/racking off it. Sometimes I will clarify in the primary, sometimes I won’t. One of these days I will do a side-by-side.

I have been using 1/2 tab whirlfloc 5 mins before the end of my boil on beers for the past year or so and have been happy with the clarity results. I brewed up the Nugget Nectar clone from Denny’s book and dry hopped in the keg in a bag and removed the bag after 10 days before carbing. It finished crystal clear and fantastic with an amazing nose. Over the course of the 1.5ish months it took to kick the keg, the aroma definitely dissipated. It was the first time I have noticed that much of a hop aroma dissipation, having brewed Plinian Legacy twice and barely noticed any and only the second time. Granted, many friends came over to try it and both kegs blew in less than a month. :lol:

The current batches in my kegerator are the North Coast Red IPA (Wyeast 1217 OG: 1.081 FG: 1.019) and the Cascade Imperial IPA (Danstar American West Coast Ale OG: 1.085 FG: 1.015) both extract kits. I used whirlfloc on both, the Imperial cleared, the Red IPA didn’t and is very cloudy. I have left the hop bags in the kegs and am not planning to remove them to see if it makes a difference. Both have a nice hop flavor but not much aroma. The Imperial has 4 oz of cascade, the Red has 3 oz (1 oz each) of cascade, glacier and magnum. Oddly the Red seems to have more nose.

I’m getting ready to brew the AG version of Off the Topper this weekend and am trying to fine tune my process as much as possible to save the hop character. Should I skip the whirlfloc as it’s supposed to be a cloudy beer anyway and see if it makes a difference? This will also be my first attempt at a starter to use the Conan-esque option that comes with the kit.

:cheers:
Rad

Haven’t done a combo of dry hopping and clearing yet. My last few batches haven’t called for it. My current fermenting batch is an IPA but I’m not going to try to clear it.

My current batch is the “Off the Topper” all grain kit with Vermont Ale yeast and has been bubbling away since Wednesday night, although it has significantly slowed. I had a pretty decent starter ready, so I definitely had quite the fermentation (needed a blow off). Pitched at 65 degrees and let it sit at 66 degrees until Sunday night. Bumped it up a couple of degrees and will bump it a couple more maybe tomorrow. I’ll dry hop half of what I have left in the primary and the other half in my keg until it’s kicked, not going to use a secondary. It still looks mighty cloudy. Event the wort I decanted off my starter wasn’t clear and it sat in my fridge for almost two days before I got to brewing.

Cloudy IPAs are kinda a pet peeve of mine… A slight haze is perfectly at home in hoppy beers but an opaque hefe look is not. I took that pic to show some guys in another forum what I meant. There were a consensus of brewers that thought more cloudy meant more hoppier and I had to point out that that is just wrong. We can thank the Alchemist for the confusion… :smiley: While I agree that Conan/HT is hefe looking, as Pietro alludes, it is the yeast not floccing that causes the look not the hops. All this being said, brew an IPA with an overly high kettle pH and you will be extracting polyphenols and harshness from the hops that takes weeks to clear.

If I don’t dilute my water this would take an awful lot of lactic. Somewhere around 3.2mL of lactic just for my sparge. Does that seem excessive?

If I don’t dilute my water this would take an awful lot of lactic. Somewhere around 3.2mL of lactic just for my sparge. Does that seem excessive?[/quote]
Not really, but I am not a fan of lactic acid. From memory I am using something like 2ml of 85% phosphoric acid for my sparge and for some reason I suspect our water is similar… :smiley: That said, using distilled works but overkill for typical ales.