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Secondary

I’m going move my BW ale to secondary tonight and I to dry hop yet. The hops are pellets and
was going to secondary for quite a while, do I dry hop now or will that be too long? Could I add
to the primary for a week or two then move to secondary? Directions don’t tell me anything so I’m
stuck. It’s been in primary for 3½ weeks. If I don’t do something tonight I’ll have to wait a week
before I can do anything. I need some insight here.

Dry hop aroma fades fairly quickly in terms relative to a barley wine…and dry hop additions can begin to be overly vegital if left too long in the beer…some find…some don’t…I do agree it does. So all that being said I’d imagine you are going to leave this conditioning for a while. Therefore, when to add the hops depends on what you are after. In a BW you have a lot of alcohol and malt and resulting compounds that you are balancing against so an aggressive hop aroma is sometimes appropriate. Conversely, I’ve heard that when dry hoping in a robust beer like a BW for a long time the vegital notes fade into the mix and becomes part of the character. My recommendation would be to condition the beer for a long while and then dry hop about 1-2 weeks before packaging. If you bottle and leave some for a while the aroma will fade but a nice hop flavor will hang. I guess long put short is I would not dry hop and leave it for months…but others may guide you otherwise.

Thanks for the advice. I’ve put it to secondary and plan to dry hop later. Thanks a bunch!

Happy brewing

You made the best choice, sounds like based on troutguy’s correct reasoning. If you had dry hopped in primary, some of the hops would have been smothered in trub, reducing absorption, and some of their aroma and flavor would have been lost during secondary maturation. Still, I sometimes dry hop in primary no problem, but that’s if I am not going to secondary. Also, at 3.5 weeks into primary there was some (although really minor) risk of autolysis to let the beer sit there an additional 7 - 14 on the trub days while dry hopping. As troutguy said, 1 -2 weeks (maybe 10 days) before you plan to bottle or keg, add the dry hops, and be sure they have sunk to the bottom of the secondary fermenter before racking off the beer above them. It’s fine to throw the pellet hops in loose - just don’t carry them over to your bottling bucket or keg.

Thanks for backing up what troutguy said. Going with what the two of
you have advised.

Happy brewing.

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