Questions about dry hopping with whole hops

I dry hopped my Chinook IPA this morning and decided to go crazy. The recipe calls for dry hopping with Chinook pellets which I put in a tied off sanitized muslin bag. Then I also threw in 2.2oz of Cascade and 0.7oz of Chinook whole hops I got off my first year plants in my hop garden this summer. The carboy is full right up to the neck of the carboy! I gently tilted the carboy a couple of times to wet the hops. Two questions:

  1. Will the hops saturate with the beer and sink down into the beer over the next few days? Most of it is still above the beer.

2). Does adding a lot of hops at dry hopping time add any grassy taste to the beer like when they are added at other points of the brewing process? Thank you.

Whole hops do saturate, however they will continue to float.

I’ve never had a grassy taste in my beer. I typically use 4 oz. of whole hops when dry hopping IPAs.

I put a little weight in them to keep them under the surface but not sink to the bottom

It really doesn’t matter. They work just as well without a weight.

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Thank you for the responses. The hops are starting to saturate and settle in. I would say half are at or below the fluid line at this point.

Maybe a bit of off-topic here but I dry hopped with whole hops once and will never do that again. I lost almost a gallon to absorption and they clogged my auto-siphon about 10 times during the transfer…big headache…never again.

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Iv wondered about that myself. Pellets seem to swell to ten their size. Dry not so much. I wonder if anybody has run a test. I use hop bags for both kinds so no mess. I guess I can drop an oz of each and see how much liquid I can squew out. Unless someone has tryed it already and can report it.

I had posted a related question regarding how much wort is lost in the kettle due to absorption by whole hops. The answer I got was 0.1 quarts per ounce of whole hops. I figure it would be the same for dry hopping, but maybe not. I will be bottling on Saturday, so I will try to get an idea. I just figured that the dry hops would create a filter bed and catch all the little pieces as the beer is racked. Didn’t count on plugging up my auto-siphon. I used to wrap a copper scrubber pad around the end of my auto-siphon when transferring wort from the BK to the fermenter before I drilled holes and added ball valves. Maybe I can do that for racking the beer off the whole hops.

Whole hops used for dry hopping can be a real problem when racking; I’ve had them clog my autosiphon as well. A piece of cheese cloth over the input end of the siphon doesn’t help and the hops won’t act as a filter bed because the flow rate into the siphon is too high. I resorted to a piece of cheese cloth tied around a wire cage (about 2 inches in diameter) tied to the end of the siphon. That worked.

Is there something wrong with putting hops in bags? Does it effect utilization?

The ROT is that bags reduce utilization by about 10%. So when I use bags, I use 10% more hops to compensate.

Even for dry hopping? I’ve read that for boil hops but never heard that for dry hopping.

Sorry for not being more specific…the ROT doesn’t apply to dry hops. It only relates to isomerizatin of the hops in the kettle.

Bottled this IPA yesterday and wanted to share my experience racking off that mass of whole hops. Since I brew in glass carboys, I didn’t have enough space in the opening to get the auto-siphon and something else wrapped around the bottom end. So instead of having the carboy up high, I just put it on a chair with the bottling bucket on the floor. By the time I got to the last couple of gallons, the siphon vacuum was slowing down due to the high level of beer in the bottling bucket and the reduced pressure in the carboy due to it being almost empty. Anyway, it racked slowly enough that I didn’t actually end up clogging the autosiphon. I certainly sucked some small pieces of hop debris, but it kept flowing until I got as much beer out as I usually do. The hardest part was getting those hops out of the carboy. So I guess it is a viable option as long as you’re not siphoning too quickly.

I use buckets so I put my hops in 1gallon paint strainer bags. Is it possible to use bags in a carboy?

I’ve used bags in carboys. Easy to get in, difficult to get out. I’ve found the easiest way after racking is to add water, swish the hop bag around, pour out. Repeat as necessary. The bag will then just pour out once enough hop matter is out of the bag.

Probably helps to loosen up the caked on trub.