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Long secondary vs fresh for IPA

I’ll be attempting my first IPA this week so have been doing a little reading before getting started. I’ve found two pieces of info that seem to contradict and am hoping someone can fill in the details for me. While reviewing recipes some call for long secondary fermentations. I’ve also come across material that suggests drinking an IPA as fresh as possible before the hop flavor fades. Is someone able to provide insights on this?

When people talk a bout the hop flavor fading they are usually talking about the dry hop addition which is pretty standerd in an IPA. So you can do both ferment as long as you want and then do your dry hop 5 days before bottling.

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Did find out. Transfer to second. Leave it longer standing. Than what the recipy says. Works good. A cleaner beer. Normaly leave it. 2or 3 weeks longer in second. Indeed two weeks before bottle or keg. Dry hop.

To secondary or not to secondary? You’ll get as many opinions as there are brewers. I seldom secondary any beer. For IPAs it’s 3-4 weeks (unless I’m trying to rush it then 2) in the fermenter then dry hopped, usually in the keg it will be servied in.

If you’re going to secondary then just follow the advice above and DH it the last 5 days or so before bottling.

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Just to clarify you can dry hop in the primary if you are bottling and not doing a secondary.

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Let your recipe be your guide. If you’re doing a traditional English IPA, that does not have any late hops additions, then you can leave it for an extended aging period before packaging. If your recipe has a lot of late hops additions, whirlpool hops, hopstands, etc., then it’s in your best interest to package and drink it as quickly as possible. Any amount of aging will be counter-productive, as the purpose of those late hops additions is to deliver as fresh and bright a hops character as possible, and these flavors are the first to go with aging.

For an IPA with lots of whirlpool hops, I try to bottle within two weeks, be drinking within three weeks, and finish the batch or give them away within two months, as the flavor and aroma just dies after that. But for a traditional IPA, or a mixed fermentation with brett, you can age those for months to let them develop character.

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I dry hop my IPAs cold in the keg. If the dry hop flavor fades, I bag a fresh dose of dry hops, drop them into an empty keg, purge the keg a couple of times with CO2, then transfer the IPA into the new keg.

For some added excitement, you can open the original keg and drop the second dose of dry hops into the beer in the original keg. It’s a lot of fun watching the carbonated beer foam out of the keg like a volcano. It’s slightly less enjoyable cleaning up the mess.

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I haven’t tried that…. yet. sure sounds fun! I suspect someday, not paying attention, I will. Sneezles61

I’ve done it. You just need to be fast

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+1

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