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Sanitizing Leaf Hops for Dry Hopping?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by broodog, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. broodog

    broodog Savant (385) Illinois Jul 18, 2009

    I plan to grab a boatload of hops from the Nugget plant in my backyard this weekend for dry-hopping. Any worries about infection from fresh leaf hops? Should I sanitize, wash, or scrub them? Or just throw them in?

    Advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. doobgoob

    doobgoob Aficionado (165) Texas Apr 24, 2010

    Nah, no need. Just toss those mothers in there. The alcohol and low pH are your friend, and hop oils coat cells (like spoiling agents) which effectively negates any impact they'll have on final flavor.
    broodog likes this.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (785) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    You don't need to sanitize the hops, but I would recommend sanitizing any hop bags and/or weights you'll be using. Dipping in boiling water will do it.
    broodog likes this.
  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (605) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Back to the BYO magazine article relating to dryhopping, you don't want to dryhop with wet hops, the moisture can bring bacteria with it. You'll want to dry them out properly before dropping them in your beer.
  5. I never sanitize my home growns before brewing, and they always have turned out great! You should be fine.
    Grohnke likes this.
  6. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (205) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    Bought some fresh cascade hops today ( wet ) and they were vaccum sealed and put in the freezer within one hour of leaving the LHBS. Shouldnt be any bacteria in a airless frozen environment should there ??
  7. jae

    jae Savant (315) Washington Feb 21, 2010

    You should sanitize them in an acidic solution with a moderate alcohol content.
  8. As Brewmaster6141 already said, I have wethopped with homegrown hops many times and other than using 5X the weight, they go in (unsanitized) just like normal dryhops.
  9. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (205) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    Do you get a grassy flavor with a 5 day dry hop using fresh wet hops ??
  10. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (365) Michigan Dec 14, 2006

    Many, many bacteria are anerobic (Meaning that they thrive in an airless environment) and can survive frozen temperatures well below those that you are likely to achieve in a home freezer.

    I would save wet hops for very late in the boil or a hopstand and dryhop with dried hops. (IMHO)
    BrettHead and SFACRKnight like this.
  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (605) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    I'm afraid some people didn't get this...
    Hop_juice, broodog and jncastillo87 like this.
  12. Let's put it this way, the only time I have perceived grassy flavors from dry/wet hopping was when the hops were wet...I used almost 1 1/2# `in a 5 gal batch...go figure : )
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  13. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (205) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    Got it .. thanks guys. Ill save these for a boil or dry them .. Lesson learned again like always.
  14. Not if you freeze them right away. But I would use them shortly after thawing when your ready to brew.
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (785) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    I have never frozen wet hops, so take this with a grain of salt. But have been told that this will result in mush. And is the reason wet hops need to be used right away.
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  16. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Aficionado (205) Texas Jan 27, 2013

    They were frozen literally 30 mins after being vacuum sealed right out of the crate. I cant imagine any damage done to them simply because of how fast they were sealed and frozen. Guess I will defrost them then open the seal and see what happens.. Its not like they only come around every 10 years .. but I can tell you ALL of us will know what happens when you seal and freeze right away. Will report back with what happens. :oops:
  17. Seems like anathema to "fresh hopping", but then again I haven't tried it.

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