Dry Hopping Methods
The primary objective during dry hopping is to extract essential oils, which is fairly easy. The primary risk of dry hopping is oxygen contact, which is certainly easy. To reduce oxygen contact I dry hop during fermentation, so any oxygen introduced to the beer is consumed by the yeast, or dry hop in CO2 flushed kegs, when possible.
- Duration should last 2-4 days for each addition and I shy away from contact longer than a week
- Temperature range of 62-67 degrees F
- Ensure mesh bags and stainless steel mesh containers allow hops to fully expand
Double Dry Hop Process
- First hopping occurs in the primary while yeast is still active
- Generally I will be using an American or English Ale Yeast strain, so temperature will be 67-69 degrees F for the duration
- Add hops to primary 3-5 days after Brew Day/Yeast Pitch
- Duration of dry hop is 3-6 days
- I switch between containing hops in a fine nylon bag, stainless steel mesh hopper, and throwing them in “Commando”
- Once fermentation is complete and hops have been in contact with the beer for 2 days or more, cool the beer to 50 degrees F to encourage the hops to drop out for racking or leave as is
- Second hopping occurs in a keg (this can be the serving keg!)
- Add hops to bag or stainless steel mesh hop container, place in the sanitized keg, and flush the keg and transfer tubing thoroughly with CO2, leaving the top on the keg, so there is no air contact inside the keg
- Transfer the beer from the fermentation to the vessel using an auto siphon and tubing connected to an out connection on the keg. Once beer is fully transferred, flush the keg with co2 again
- Hop for 2-4 days in 62-67 degrees F ambient temperature
- When dry hop is complete, move keg to serving temperature and carbonate
- A benefit of homebrew scale is that hops can be left in the keg at 37-40 degrees with no detrimental effects on flavor. If presentation is a worry, I will very rarely transfer to a fresh serving keg.
Single Dry Hop Process
For a single dry hop I will complete either the primary or keg dry hop outlined above. For some beers with lower dry hop volume I will add hops directly to the primary after fermentation has completed, but try to avoid this for IPAs and Pale Ales.