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IPA Best Practices: Dry Hop and Carbing

I’m looking for some insight into various brewers’ dry-hopping and carbonating procedures for IPAs. It seems like there are a few good ways of doing it, and I’m curious to hear what you all perceive as the pros and cons.

While I’m very happy with the quality of my IPA, I’m still continually trying to make my process better and shorter. Until now, I’ve been dry-hopping cold-crashed bright beer, then transferring to a keg and force-carbonating:

Cold crash–> Dry Hop for 5-7 days → Keg and Force Carb

However, I’m experimenting with something more like:

Dry-Hop Beer as Primary Fermentation Slows → Rack to Keg after 5-7 days–>Dry-hop for 5 days in keg while force carbonating

I’ve heard that the dry-hop as fermentation ends can yield more complex aromatics than just dry-hopping bright beer. It also compresses the timeline for turning a batch around, which I value. Same with dry-hopping during the force-carbonating process.

Anyone out there do it this way? If not, what’s your process and why do you do it that way? Cheers!

I prefer not to ever rush a beer so I do the following:

2 weeks in primary
2 weeks in secondary dry hopping
2 weeks in kegs at serving pressure
Serve beer that is ready. If no room in kegerator, I store it in a chest freezer until a free space comes up.

The yeast does other things after fermentation which help the beer immensely. I learned that you should give it the proper time. I ahve close to 700 batches of experience.

[quote=“MullerBrau”]I prefer not to ever rush a beer so I do the following:

2 weeks in primary
2 weeks in secondary dry hopping
2 weeks in kegs at serving pressure
Serve beer that is ready. If no room in kegerator, I store it in a chest freezer until a free space comes up.

The yeast does other things after fermentation which help the beer immensely. I learned that you should give it the proper time. I ahve close to 700 batches of experience.[/quote]

Totally agree that you shouldn’t rush a beer, especially while the yeast is cleaning up after itself. But let me ask: what is the purpose of giving an IPA a long secondary? Let’s say you’ve conditioned the beer to your satisfaction–what is the additional benefit to a longer dry hop period? And, is it necessary to dry hop before you begin carbonating? You could combine those two steps and have beer that is two weeks fresher. I’m not necessarily advocating this, but I don’t think it’s self-evident that longer = better when it comes to IPAs.

I don’t have anywhere near the experience Greg has. I also don’t have as many kegs as he has in rotation. So as much as I’d like to give them more time I don’t always do it.

I seldom secondary anything. My typical IPA process is 2-3 weeks primary, first week temp controlled in low 60s, then allowed to go to room temp of 68-70, then dry hop in the keg. After 10-14 days they’ve usually dropped pretty clear and the flavors are starting to meld nicely.

I exclusively bottle so not sure how pertinent my info is but my MO is 2 weeks in primary, cold crash for 2 days and transfer to secondary (usually to harvest the yeast so I don’t muddle it up with dry-hops). Dry hop in secondary for 7 days and bottle. Cold crash again and bottle.

I have noticed that my IPA’s tend to taste the best around 8-10 weeks in bottle.

I’ve been experimenting quite a bit, all with results I like. Unfortunately, I can’t really pinpoint which I like best.

Typically:
-primary ferment only (10-14 days, increasing ferment temp)
-cold crash
-gelatin
-rack to keg on top of bagged dry hops, allow to warm to cellar temp
-leave 4-5 days
-second dry hop 2 days
-chill/carb (with 2nd dry hop bag in keg)
-serve

2-3 weeks in primary (3 weeks if i get tied up and don’t get to rack)
5 days dryhop in keg
2 days cold crash to settle hops
closed transfer to fresh keg with finings if using
2-5 days to carbonate and fine

ready after that, though given the rotation, it may be another couple of weeks before its on tap.

I find everything seems to come together about 3 weeks after racking from primary.

[quote=“Flashman137”][quote=“MullerBrau”]I prefer not to ever rush a beer so I do the following:

2 weeks in primary
2 weeks in secondary dry hopping
2 weeks in kegs at serving pressure
Serve beer that is ready. If no room in kegerator, I store it in a chest freezer until a free space comes up.

The yeast does other things after fermentation which help the beer immensely. I learned that you should give it the proper time. I ahve close to 700 batches of experience.[/quote]

Totally agree that you shouldn’t rush a beer, especially while the yeast is cleaning up after itself. But let me ask: what is the purpose of giving an IPA a long secondary? Let’s say you’ve conditioned the beer to your satisfaction–what is the additional benefit to a longer dry hop period? And, is it necessary to dry hop before you begin carbonating? You could combine those two steps and have beer that is two weeks fresher. I’m not necessarily advocating this, but I don’t think it’s self-evident that longer = better when it comes to IPAs.[/quote]I find that most IPAs taste best after they have been in the keg for about 3 weeks. Denny’s rye IPA is the exception imo. My 2 week DH secondary period just works well with my brewing schedule and I feel I also get more bang for the buck with the dry hops.

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