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Keg dryhopping - help!

So, I just recently kegged a batch of denny’s fabulous rye ipa. I dry hopped inside the keg using pellet hops inside one of those stainless steel tea infuser balls. I’ve used this method before without incident, and the resulting hop aroma was spectacular.

I’m not sure if the clasp on the tea ball came loose, or just enough particles got through the screen to cause me problems, or what, but I tried to sample it for the first time last night and - nothing. I depressurized and pulled the dip tube to find it clogged with hops. I cleaned it out and tried again only to have it immediately clog again. At this point I gave up. It was late, my brother was over, and we wanted beer so I moved on to something else.

Anyway, I want to take another crack at it tonight. Any ideas for how to rescue this beer?

Thanks guys.

Nate

I would sanitize another keg, purge it with CO2, then sanitize a nylon stocking or mesh bag and put that over the outlet of your autosiphon. Rack the beer into the new keg, catching all the hop debris on the outlet side of your racking tube.

From now on, do your keg-hopping in nylon stockings. I have managed to cram over 8 oz into a nylon stocking before. It was an awesome hop-sausage. I pick them up at Walmart in a little plastic egg for like a quarter. Pretty cheap. Just buy the white color and make sure to sanitize them first. Tie off the top, and you have no chance of clogging.

Sometimes I weight the bag down with a stainless nut or two, other times I just let it float in there. Some people like to suspend it from the top with unwaxed dental floss or teflon tape, so that the keg-hopping only lasts for the first half of the keg or so, but I’ve found no ill effect from letting them steep in the beer for the whole time. Give it a shot.

:cheers:

Thank’s El Capitan, I’ll give it a shot. I don’t have another empty keg handy, but I could always go to a carboy and back. I don’t suppose oxidation will be too much of a concern. The beer is at least partially carbonated so it will presumably release enough CO2 to protect itself. Although all the foaming will presumably be a PIA, with enough patience I imagine I can do it, and denny’s rye ipa is worth the effort. :slight_smile:

Unless anyone has a better idea, I guess that’s what I’m gonna do.

I would blow gas down the dip tube for about a second which will dislodge the hops and could fix the problem. I have a splitter on one of my gas lines with a liquid hook up attached to it that I just leave on there. If you run gas through it too long it will knock almost of the carbanation that you have in the beer out of it. Just a heads up. If I over carb a beer this is what i use to take the carb out of it. Does this make sense?

[quote=“Nate42”]So, I just recently kegged a batch of denny’s fabulous rye ipa. I dry hopped inside the keg using pellet hops inside one of those stainless steel tea infuser balls. I’ve used this method before without incident, and the resulting hop aroma was spectacular.

I’m not sure if the clasp on the tea ball came loose, or just enough particles got through the screen to cause me problems, or what, but I tried to sample it for the first time last night and - nothing. I depressurized and pulled the dip tube to find it clogged with hops. I cleaned it out and tried again only to have it immediately clog again. At this point I gave up. It was late, my brother was over, and we wanted beer so I moved on to something else.

Anyway, I want to take another crack at it tonight. Any ideas for how to rescue this beer?

Thanks guys.

Nate[/quote]

I hate those f-ing tea balls

May as well give that a try first, sounds easier. I will have to rig something up to put gas in the liquid side but that shouldn’t be a big deal.

Well, tried the blowing back into the liquid post trick, and it did unclog it, but trying to poor it just clogs right up again. So next step is to buy some stockings I guess.

BTW, can the nylon stockings handle being boiled, or is that too high temp for them? Figured it would be an easy way to sanitize, and they could also be used as hop bags in the boil. Been doing this for more than 10 years, and still learning new tricks. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if they can handle a boil, but Star San will work. I use the muslin bags from NB, which I boil to clean wort and hop particles. They do melt like nylons if the water boils off. :oops:

I have used cheese cloth for years. The only time I had a problem is when I dry hopped 3 oz and then moved to a different state. Some hops came out during the drive and plugged up the tube. If you are shaking your keg to carbonate, you may have problems. I usually keg condition with an ounce or so of sugar so I don’t have to shake the keg. I just have to wait a few days to drink it which is usually better anyway. I have also use tea balls. Part of the tea ball rusted out (where the clamp attaches) and made a hole so now I just bend the clip into the hole. It seals pretty well. You can also mix whole leaf and pellets so you get a better flow.

You may have lost the pin that holds the clasp on the tea ball. I have a couple of them and the pin must be made of some cheap metal that the acidity from the beer corrodes. Both of them came off so I use a piece of SS wire or plastic coated bread tie to hold the tea balls (actually spice balls) closed.

I also have a liquid QD connected to a regulator to back flush the dip tube. It works nice to quick carbonate with the high pressure and shake method. You may want to blow back the hops from the tube and let the keg settle to see if the hops might end up under the dip tube. If that works be careful not to stir them up again.

Well, I successfully rescued the beer this weekend, thanks to everyone for your help. I ended up transferring into a carboy, using kneehighs to catch the hop residue, and then transferring right back into the same keg. While I was at it I fished the tea ball out of there, and the clasp had fallen completely off. HD4Mark may be right about the pin corroding, something sure caused it to fall apart. At any rate, I’ll be dry hopping in knee highs from now on, and if anyone I’ve previously recommended the tea balls to is still around on the forum, err, sorry.

Thanks all!

[quote=“Nate42”]and if anyone I’ve previously recommended the tea balls to is still around on the forum, err, sorry.[/quote] No worry. Had I known what was going to happen I would have drilled out the pin when they were new. So far using a piece of wire to hold them shut works fine.

+1. Sanitize a paper clip if need be to hold it together. I leave the tea ball in the keg the whole time without any ill effects.

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