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Some Basic Dry Hopping Questions

I am relatively new to home brewing - 8 extract kits under my belt. So, now the the initial excitment, the holy cow, I made some pretty decent beer, excitement is over, I am looking to work on improving my process, etc. So, that is the quick background.

Now for the question(s):

I am an extract brewer.
I bottle, not keg.
I prefer to ferment in a bucket, without a secondary. But, I can go to a secondary if needed.

What is the best way to dry hop with pellets? Just throw them in the fermenter and leave them behind when I rack to the bottling bucket? I am concerned that I will lose a lot of beer to the trub.

I have been using a muslin bag for 2-3 ounces. But, I am not getting the aroma I am hoping for.

What do you do? What do you recommend?

Thanks all.

if you’re not getting the aroma you’re hoping for, try the same recipe with 5-6 ounces of dry hops. there are other ways to tweak the aroma, but all things being equal this is a significant way to up the hoppiness. try in a muslin bag. when you get braver, you might try without a bag, but you may get more clogs.

Instead of putting the hops in the bag you can put the bag over your auto-syphon. Also, I feel like a lot of kits are can skimp on the hops, especially dry hops, just to keep the price down. How long are you leaving them in there?

Can you get the fermenter cold? If so, just throw the pellets in loose, let it sit for 7-10 days at 68F, then cold-crash for a couple days to drop the hops. The yeast will fall out after the hops do, forming a nice layer on top that makes it easy to rack off with no extra losses from the hops.

+1 Same method I use.

I do the same as MEPNew2Brew and dry hopped the Dead Ringer kit w/ loose hop pellets directly into the secondary. For what it is worth, I didn’t have any issues with clogging or transfering hops to the bottling bucket.

If he cold crashes and drops the yeast out, will there still be enough in suspension for carbonation in the bottle? (I’m not suggesting he wouldn’t, just curious)

I throw the dry hops in loose in the fermenter. On bottling day I let the fermenter sit for an hour or two once I put it on the counter I’m going to rack from to let any trub settle down that may have kicked up while I was moving it. I put a sanitized paint strainer bag lining my bottling bucket before I rack over. This catches the majority of the hop particles. I then add my priming sugar solution, give a gentle stir with a sanitized spoon, then set the bottling bucket on the counter and let it sit for another hour or two. This gives time for hop bits that passed through the strainer bag to settle out before I bottle. Since you’re bottle-conditioning, if any hop particles made it to the bottle, it should settle out with the yeast during carbonation/conditioning.

I dry hop at 68F for at least 7 days. Minimum is 1 ounce/5 gallons, but I generally use 2oz in an APA and at least 3-4oz in an IPA or something that I want a real big hop aroma.

[quote=“althiels”]If he cold crashes and drops the yeast out, will there still be enough in suspension for carbonation in the bottle? (I’m not suggesting he wouldn’t, just curious)[/quote]Couple of days of cold doesn’t drop all the yeast, still plenty to carbonate.

+1 Same method I use.[/quote]

+1. I’ve also used a paint-strainer bag (or a look-alike) for when the dry-hopping was particularly intensive (see the Surly Furious recipes from NB), instead of keeping the hops in a bag. It’s worked well.

Also–I think it may be common sense, but I’ve seen others do it differently–don’t let the bottom of your auto-siphon sit on the bottom of the fermenter. It’s sure to pick up lots of junk that way. Either hold it suspended above the trub-line the entire time, or rig up a simple system to hold it for you. I ferment in carboys, and I’ve used a large binder clip on the outside of the auto-siphon barrel, positioned at just the right spot so that, when resting on the carboy mouth, it keeps the bottom suspended. Nice part is that it’s easy to adjust each time to accommodate different trub amounts.

I’ll have to try a large clip. Because the auto siphon clamp i bought from NB does NOT work on the NB buckets I have.

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