Dry hop question

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Darthballs, Feb 24, 2013.

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  1. Darthballs

    Darthballs Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2011 Missouri

    I usually transfer to secondary to dry hop, my current beer has been in primary for 3 weeks now, getting ready to dry hop, would it be ok just to dry hop the primary for another week? Or do I benefit by dry hopping in the secondary?
  2. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    There's nothing wrong with dry hopping in primary.
  3. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Dry hop in primary. The only time I would consider moving a beer to secondary would be to free up my fermenter. I have done many beer styles and specialty recipes with great results, including all manners of post fermentation additions, and have never used a secondary. Is it unessessary? Idk. The question is more like, do you need to to solve a problem? Or just to say you followed someone's directions?
    pweis909 and wspscott like this.
  4. Treb0R

    Treb0R Aspirant (232) Dec 12, 2012 Oregon

    You run the risk of oxygenating some of the beer by racking to secondary.

    Which scenario could you live with more:

    #1 - Possibly having a slightly cloudier beer by leaving it in the primary for the duration
    #2 - Possibly having a ruined beer by racking to secondary for a week or two
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I just dry hop in the primary. Secondaries are not necessary for most beers. I've only ever used a secondary to:

    1. free up a fermenter (once)
    2. do a secondary fermentation with fruit (once)
    pweis909 likes this.
  6. DNuggs

    DNuggs Aspirant (281) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I usually transfer to secondary if I'm scooping up some of the leftover yeast for my next batch....or if I just need the fermentor. Dry-hopping in primary is fine if none of these apply to you.
  7. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,005) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I have always taken the risk and racked my beer over onto the hops in the secondary. Once, and only once, I tried to dry hop in my primary, and it was a mess. I didn't get nearly as much hop aroma with that batch, even though I used twice the hops I usually do. You must realize that this is not the preferred method of dry hopping, but it is the one that works for me.
    wumpshire likes this.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,784) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Sorry to hear that you experienced ‘issues’ with your one attempt to dry hop in a primary. I always dry hop in my primary and I have always had great results.

  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,005) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've got tons of sediment in the bottles, I have a lack of hop aroma, I had my racking cane get plugged from hop debris that made it through my bags. It was a mess. On top of everything else it seemed like dryhopping lead to flocculation issues with my yeast. But this is just one mans experience.
  10. clearbrew

    clearbrew Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    the c02 venting from beer can reduce hop aroma. That is why dry hopping is done after primary fermentation. If the beer is finished fermenting (and you are sure of it), then it is fine to dry hop in the primary. If you want to free up a fermenter, reuse yeast etc... Then move to a secondary.
  11. fastenoughforphish

    fastenoughforphish Aspirant (218) Nov 14, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    But if you always dry hop in primary, how do you know it isn't more effective in secondary. Eh eh see what I did there :wink:
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,784) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “But if you always dry hop in primary, how do you know it isn't more effective in secondary.” What is your definition of “effective”? I am very happy and satisfied with the aroma I achieve by dry hopping in my primary. Therefore there is no need for me to try a different method.

  13. JUNCK

    JUNCK Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2011 Washington

    If you dry hop in your primary how long is too long to keep your beer on the yeast cake? I just brewed a pale on Friday and I was going to let it sit in primary for 2 weeks and then move it to secondary for 2 weeks and dry hop with Citra for the last 3 days and then bottle.

    Now after reading this I am thinking I will let my beer sit in primary for 4 weeks and dry hop the last three days? Or maybe keep it in primary for 3 weeks and dry hop the last 3 days? Any suggestions or preference as to what I should do?
  14. samtallica

    samtallica Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 North Carolina

    How big is this pale ale? A ~5% beer doesn't need 4 weeks. If it were me and I wanted to keep your dry hop schedule, I'd just do a 14 day primary, adding the dry hops the last 3 days, then keg/bottle.
  15. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    It depends on a few factors. Some yeast, like hefe yeast don't hold together well. Other yeast strains do better. It depends on how trashed the yeast are at the end of fermentation. It also depends on the temp of fermentation, the warmer the sorter period of time before they begin affecting flavor. However I have seen anywhere from 7-14 days for dry hopping. And, IMO, it would take 6-10 weeks, depending on other factors, before I would begin getting nervous about yeast autolysis.

    So don't dry hop for more than 6-10 weeks without expecting flavor contributions from your yeast. Otherwise, leave the beer on yeast and let them continue cleaning up your beer until you are satisfied with your dry hopping.
  16. JUNCK

    JUNCK Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2011 Washington

  17. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Im brewing my third pale ale (5%) batch on friday and I picked up an oz of Citra pellets to attempt my first dry hop. My plan is 6 days in the primary and then rack to secondary. Chuck the citra in and let it dry hop for another 5 or so days then bottle up. The last two batches have followed similar cycles and I have racked to secondary both times with great results.. one was extract and the other was extract/grain brew. If I want more hoppy love after this one ill keep the same schedule and add 2oz of citra. Then carry on from there to see what I really like. I have a feeling im going to be trying different cycles and hop amounts for years to come as it seems everyone else does as well.
  18. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Do the yeast know that your plan has them finishing in 6 days? Or is day 6 when you take a hygrometer reading and decide how much longer to leave the beer on yeast to finish fermentation and clean up by products before transferring to secondary for dry hopping?
  19. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,453) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Wait until your yeast floc before dry hopping in primary. Otherwise hop oils that you want in your beer will have greater contact with yeast cell walls, where they may adsorb and disappear from you beer.
  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Dry hopping in the primary should be done when the yeast are almost done so you don't scrub out aromatics. Some really good pro brewers say you want active yeast to work on the hop compounds.

    There are also pro brewers that say dry hop once the yeast has been crashed and/or removed.

    You can do both.

    There are potential issues with a secondary. If you have good technique you will not infect or oxidize your beer. You can learn how to rack gently, and you can also use some extra equipment to rack under CO2 - no oxidation there. You can infect you beer by making a starter, but we don't talk about that do we? That is because with good technique you don't infect the starter and the benefits outweigh the potential negative.
    PortLargo likes this.
  21. ShawDeuce22

    ShawDeuce22 Initiate (184) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Not trying to thread jack but I dont want to post another thread with the same title.

    Does anyone change the temperature at which their beer is fermenting at once you start to dry hop?
    Example: I have my primary at 65* for 10 days. Ramp the temp up/down the day I dry hop.
  22. harsley

    harsley Zealot (567) Jun 16, 2005 Massachusetts

    Interesting. I've heard yeast like to gobble up hop compounds.
  23. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,255) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

  24. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    Crikey !!! I was given instruction to ALWAYS get your primary off the sediment after a week... and i'm sure my racking ability is NOT gentle... my beers have been OK, so thats an indication i haven't totally messed up..
    I've been fiddling around with some pale ales as a newbie, and even a raspberry wheat beer, but the beer i'm wanting to perfect is an american IPA dogfish head clone.. How long would i leave in primary ? would i even rack to secondary after xx days ? dry hopping obviously for this hopped out beer ? I love this forum and hate it at the same time. lol second guessing everything i do..
  25. LAWbrewing

    LAWbrewing Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    Those are yesterday's instructions. In fact, it is well-known these days that the yeast have a lot of clean up to do after the first week. Racking off the yeast cake that early is not at all necessary and, in fact, will result in a lower quality beer.

    Somewhat depends on how big you go. E.g., are you gunning for a 60min or a 90min? Generally, though, two weeks would be better than one for either.

    As noted by lots of folks way more experienced and knowledgeable than I, racking to secondary is no longer a preferred practice for lots of reasons. I recently racked a beer to secondary for dry hopping to free up my primary for an upcoming batch. If I didn't need the fermenter, I definitely would have dry hopped in primary and only racked at bottling time.

    The second-guessing is a good thing. I have learned a shite-load of stuff from the good people on this forum. I am no stranger to feeling like a homebrewing dunce in here, but again, that is a good thing. Besides, these people are (kinda) nice about it ;-)
  26. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    This is about how I've been doing it for nearly two years and my beers come out fine. Obviously if the alcohol is higher I leave it in the fermenter longer, but most of what I've made is along the lines of 5-6%, so this has worked great for me. I dry hop usually 3-6 days (this depends more on schedule than the exact choice of how long to dry hop, hey I do what I gotta do).

    My PtE pseudo-clone will have a more robust dry hopping schedule tho. :rolling_eyes:
  27. EdH

    EdH Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2005 Utah

    If you are going to do a secondary, you should wait until fermentation is pretty much done. The timing of that will vary; so "Always rack after exactly ___ days" is shitty advice, frankly. And yeah--as long as you do a good job racking, it won't reduce the quality of your beer. But still: why do the extra work?
  28. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Nonsense, there's no need to get your beer out of primary after only one week. It's been said lots of times, but I'll say it again. Just leave it be. An average moderate ABV pale ale doesn't need a secondary. Dry hop it in the primary. I bet if you do this and don't mess with your beer, it will come out better. Always give your beer at least two weeks on primary no matter what you do. Give the yeast a chance to work!

    Asking questions and improving your process doesn't have to equate to second-guessing everything you do. Just improve over time, taking in new knowledge as it comes, and incorporating it appropriately. Nobody can digest everything there is to know about brewing in a small length of time, it's a lifelong learning process.
  29. mattsander

    mattsander Zealot (547) Feb 3, 2010 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I always dryhop in the primary or the keg. I think the benefits of racking your beer to a secondary (clarity) for dryhopping are outweighed by the cons (oxidation, hassle, possible contamination). If you are having clarity issues after dryhopping, I would recommend using some keg finings (gelatin works great for me). I can get excellent clarity in a beer with a pound of hops by using gelatin.
  30. tngolfer

    tngolfer Initiate (75) Feb 16, 2012 Tennessee

    Isn't it best to dry hop in primary? I've heard the introduction of oxygen with the hops is good for the yeast while they are still somewhat active (~80% ferm complete). If you you introduce the oxygen in secondary you have a higher chance of oxidation problems because the yeast don't clean it up as well.
  31. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    Thank you for all the advice ! I love reading about home brewing on these forums.. I learn more on this site and simply you tubing to see 'how' other people process their beer.. Really the main reason I rack to secondary is to free up my 5 gallon carboy so I can brew another batch.. Simple solutions.. Buy another 5 gallon glass carboy and keep brewing trying all the different processes of making beer.. Much appreciated...
  32. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Do you have a hygrometer? That is the most reliable method of determining when the yeast have consumed all the sugar they can. BUT, that by no means is an indication of where the yeast stop working. The hardest thing to learn is to fight the urge to do something just for the sake of doing something. I like 2 weeks in primary for pale ales, but that is not an answer that is dependable. When 2 hygrometer readings a few days apart are identical, then wait longer. The yeast still have work to do. The best advice I can give is brew often, brew with a consistent process, take good notes, get to know what you can expect, and forgive yourself for mistakes as long as you learn from them.
    PortLargo likes this.
  33. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Washington

    I do have a hygrometer.. I need to learn the numbers and science of brewing much much more...
    Just walked out of my home brew store.. Another $100 .. Lol
    I'm definately impatient and love to fiddle, so I know I'm doing things way before their time.. Thank you..
    Very sound advice
  34. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    The yeast do not know about my schedule I like to keep them in the dark . Here is the deal .. Im new to the brewing scene and the last two batches I have made were great. Seriously. One was extract/grain and one was extract. One was racked after 5 days to secondary the other was racked to secondary after 7. Both were bottle conditioned for two weeks and both tasted awesome. I have read 20 different ways to dry hop and 20 different ways to primary ferment. Im not saying anyone is wrong or right and I appreciate ALL advice from the more experienced brewers. So im going to do the following based on all the information I have been given.

    Extract pale ale brew: Primary two weeks, then dry hop with oz of Citra hops for 7 days and bottle... No secondary this time.

    P.s the last two batches I have made the hydrometer readings were as follows
    10.50 OG and bottled at 10.10 FG (two weeks)... it tuned out like this and was fantastic.


    Batch two looks like this here

  35. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Nice pun and congrats on successful brews as a beginner.

    You are right that there is a ton of information out there, just not all of it is good. Brew a lot, take good notes, and don't follow everyone's advice, including mine, if it doesn't make sense to you or won't work with your process. Brewing isn't complicated, but we can make it complicated. Take it all in, pick out what is good, and brew.
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  36. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    glad you got the pun ! Ill do exactly what you just said ! Thanks !
  37. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    I was gonna have ten puns in this post if they all made my wife laugh, but no pun in ten did. :(
    drye_hopped, od_sf and jncastillo87 like this.
  38. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Should be about perfect! :grinning:
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  39. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

  40. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,005) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I ramp up my temp at the end of the fesrmentation from low sixties to mid sixties and dryhop at that temp.
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