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Dry Hopping - Techniques, Weighting & Removal (Reducing Oxidation?)

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Luxo_Aussie

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G'day All,

I've been reading and seen some comments which is making me question my dry hopping methods. I've found that having the hops in the fermenter for 3-4 days is optimum for most batches & usually add them in a hopsock when the gravity is 1-2 points from completion. But after these 3-4 days it's usually necessary to remove the hops a few days before bottling just to ensure fermentation has completed / let things settle out. This is always a bit tricky, using sanitized BBQ tongs to grab and pull - is there a better way?

I've also seen that some are submerging their dry hop to increase utilization - but how can you remove them if they are at the bottom of the fermenter and it's not yet time for bottling?

While I'm asking, is there an optimum temperature range for dry hopping? Keen on honing my techniques ahead of a NEIPA in the future - concerned that oxidation will ruin things.

Cheers & Thanks!
 

kadmium

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You can leave them at ferm temps for a few days and then cold crash and bottle. No need to remove them when the beer is cold. Plenty of people hop in the keg directly.

If your dead set on removing them, depending on your fermenter you have a few options.

If it's a PET pressure fermenter, put a stir bar in the hop socks and hold it above the liquid using a magnet on the outside. Then when its time to hop, remove the magnet on the outside and in it drops. The stirbar will help to weight it down.

You can then "grab" it from the outside using the stir bar and magnet and drag it up the side till its out of the beer if you want to remove it.


If you have a HDPE fermenter (barrel/bucket) you can tie a piece of floss to the hop bag and pinch it in the lid when you close it.

SS conical could replace the stirbar with a clean washer or something else that a magnet can grab. Then use a rare earth magnet or similar on the outside.


Or, I just go commando and leave the hops in there up to 5 or 6 days before crashing and packaging.
 

kadmium

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Also, I see you mentioned bottling. I wouldn't, in my opinion, bottle a NEIPA.

I've done it once and it oxidised about a week after it had finished bottle conditioning. It's one of the hardest beers to get right, and to stay fresh and juicy.

Not saying it can't be done, but I would be wary of wasting a heap of money on hops and ingredients and then it oxidises.
 

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