Best time for dry hopping

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ckirtley

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G'day,

I am new to dry-hopping. Last time I put 60g Cascade in on day 3 of fermentation. It went well, but I thought I'd experiment and put 100g Centennial in today on day 2. It reacted like that Eko crystals ad on TV, krauzen bubbling up like mad. I quickly add some defoaming agent, put the keg lid back on, and cooled it down (was about 21C). It's settled down now, but I guess this is one reason it's better to wait till fermentation is nearly over?
 
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Yes, wait until active fermentation has slowed down. How long is ideal? There is much conflicting advice out there, but very little of it takes account how soon the beer is chilled after bottling or kegging. It probably matters.

My practice and advice to bottlers is to dry hop only a day or two before bottling, especially if you use large amounts. For keggers I'd say dry hop sooner but experiment with different lengths for specific hop combinations.

The actual extraction of hop oils from the hops takes place within two days even if cold crashing has started. On the other hand, biotransformation by yeast of hop oils in the beer continues after extraction and can impart desirable changes in aroma and flavour.

Keggers and professional brewers of hoppy beers often report benefits from dry hopping five or more days in the fermenter. But the opinion is not universal. Best practice could well vary with the hops being used. Who knows?.

Presumably, biotransformation slows or stops after chilling to temps at which yeast is active. But if you bottle there is plenty of time for it during carbing.
 

ckirtley

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Thanks - very interesting. I actually ferment and naturally carbonate all in the same keg. I'm normally impatient, so carbonate with 4oz sugar after about 8-9 days. This one will have a full 2 weeks, though, as I'll be away. I have read that the hops shouldn't be in there for more than 3 days?
 

ckirtley

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They're in a hop cylinder on a bit of fishing line. So I just quickly open the keg lid and pull it out😊
 

Bark0s

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- whatever you whirlpool with is going to have potential for biotransformation
- you can also add first dry hops at high krausen, again chasing biontransformation ( chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/LAL-bestpractices-IPA_Solutions_digital-T.pdf ) you need a yeast that can do it AND hops with high linalool and geraniol - those are the (main) compounds that get transformed.
- If you are carbonating in vessel...why not just add a spunding valve 3 points before terminal gravity? Let the primary ferment provide the carbonation. No need for priming sugar.
- if you have a hop cylinder then unflavoured dental floss/tape could be your friend to raise and lower 1 or 2 cylinders. Or just closed transfer beer out of a fermenter and onto hops in a purged keg. Getting beer off yeast before second dry hopping is advisable. Hops oils stick to yeast cells and fall out of the beer with the yeast. This is why first dry hop is often smaller than second.
- hop flavour extraction can happen in 3 hours with sustained agitation (stir bar in fermenter and stir plate or sustained rocking) - can extract more polyphenols via these method, so be careful.
 

ckirtley

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That's interesting about the oils - I see Centennial has pretty high geraniol:


I did use a spunding valve at first but gave up. Problem is that if you need to open the keg (eg to pull the hops out, add gelatin) you lose the gas. I'm actually finding natural carbonation great - it works overnight so not much delay and gives the beer a nice creamy head like the English cask beers I grew up with.

Also interesting about the effect of hops on the yeast cake - I didn't know that. I confess I've gotten pretty lazy with my one keg system and don't want the hassle of racking, but I'll bear it mind. I usually finish the beer in about 3 weeks so I figured not much could happen in that time?
 

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