Author Topic: Dry Hopping with Pellets  (Read 9028 times)

Offline philm63

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Dry Hopping with Pellets
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:00:05 PM »
Anyone have experiences you'd like to share regarding the use of pellets for dry hopping? Tips? Tricks? Spectacular successes/failures?

My next brew will be my first IPA and it's getting dry hopped whether I like it or not, 'cause, well... that's just the way it's supposed to be done!

I plan to rack to a secondary and add the pellets. Will they be distributed well enough if they're just dropped into the secondary, and will they settle out within, say, 5 days? Longer? Temperature dependent? Should I drop them in first then rack, or rack and then drop them in?
On Tap: Air
Fermenting: Kolsch
On Deck: House IPA

Offline bucknut

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 07:17:11 PM »
I dry hop, but I use hop bags. Not sure how going commando would turn out (floaties), you might want to cold crash before bottling.

Offline pcollins

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 07:45:43 PM »
I use pellets all the time to dry hop. (as an aside: I really, really dislike whole hops for any use. Whole hops are the reason that pellets were invented)

I either throw them in to the bottom of the carboy when racking to secondary or will drop them in the neck of the carboy in primary or secondary. They absorb the beer very quickly and turn in to a bit of a sludge which I will disturb occasionally with a swirl. They do settle out mostly within the week of dry hopping and the bulk of the remainder will settle during cold crashing. I would definitely cold crash before bottling.

Pellets are fine for this purpose you my just have to be a bit more careful with transfers so as to not suck up too much of the hop sludge.

Offline grathan

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:14:46 AM »
I made a Pliny clone one time that used many onces in the dry hop. I bought a wine degasser and hooked to a drill to stir the carboy to get the floating hop particles to sink. Also put a nylon straining BIAB type sack over the racking cane (leave some slack on the bottom) when transferring to the bottling bucket.

Offline philm63

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 12:45:34 PM »
Thanks for the tips - much appreciated. A Pliny clone, eh? That must've left quite a layer on the bottom...
On Tap: Air
Fermenting: Kolsch
On Deck: House IPA

Offline grathan

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 08:57:16 AM »
yeah probably. There is a hint of grassiness in the beer 2 years later now, was probably there all along, just not as detectable when the flavor was fresher.

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 09:42:34 AM »
I use pellets to dry hop in nearly every beer I make.   I use a spray bottle of starsan and spray around the carboy opening and my hands.   I usually use aluminum foil to make a crude funnel and pour the pellets straight in.  I sanitize the bung and put it back in.

I tried using a hop sack in a carboy but it was nearly impossible to remove when full of saturated hops.

I used 12oz in a hop sack in a keg once.  I tried removing I after three days and it was much bigger than he opening and had a nice cascading waterfall of beer down the sides of the keg as it squeezed the beer over the top.

Like grathan, I secure a double layer of hop sacks over the end of my siphon hose when transferring from the carboy to the keg.  I soak the hop sacks in sanitizer for minutes and wring out the excess sanitizer.   Wet strings help keep the sack in place in the transfer tube.

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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Dry Hopping with Pellets
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 04:43:47 PM »
I just drop them in, no bag.  They can take a while to settle, especially if there's any residual fermentation going on in the secondary, since little CO2 bubbles will stick to the hop bits and cause them to float. On the other hand, when they finally do sink you can be sure that all fermentation is complete.

One time I dropped the hops into a carboy without much head room, and it threatened to overflow as the hops absorbed the beer and expanded up the neck towards the mouth.  I quickly siphoned off a cup or two and a potential mess was averted.  Now I make sure there's room for expansion before dropping them in.
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