Let’s go to the Hop…

20140723_195412Yesterday’s mash finally cooled enough to pitch my yeast at around 3.30pm today – a full 24-hours after I shut down the boiler. 

After pouring off a jug-full of cloudy, sludgy, trub-infused liquor, out came the sweet stuff.

Once again, I’m very pleased with the clarity at this stage and OG was still at 1048, so no major quibbles there either.

I pitched the yeast/yeast nutrient and there was movement pretty much straight away, with a thin layer of cream-like foam forming on top as I gave it a good stir.

It was about a half-inch in depth by the time I put the lid on my fermenting bin.

As of 7.30pm UK time, it was fizzing away like mad and the lid of the bin has puffed up like a mushroom, with little give when pressed.

My porch now smells like Mansfield did when I was a kid. 

It’s darkened a notch overnight and is now a lovely dark ruby, rather than the burnt amber hue of yesterday, although I expect it to lighten back up once the yeast gets to work and does its thing.

My last batch went exactly the same, a really vigourous primary which was over in around 72 hours – if this one follows the same path, I may be able to transfer to secondary before I go back to work next week.

Which leads me to the main point of this post…

HopMy plan with this one is to dry hop it with a mix of the EKG and Citra hops I have left over from the bittering process yesterday. I’ve done a bit of reading up on the best way of going about it, but the internet being the internet, you can read ten different sites and get ten different and conflicting pieces of advice. 

My main concerns are around clarity (and if dry-hopping makes a noticeable difference); infection (although, to be fair, almost every site I have read has said I shouldn’t have any issues with this) and method. 

So, my questions to the awesome homebrew community – and especially to those with a more experienced and nuanced technique than mine currently is – are:

1) Do I contain my hops in a muslin bag or just drop them straight into the wort? And if the former, will it make that much of a difference to the final clarity of my brew?

2) Anything I can do to minimise the floaty bits and ensure my finished brew is as clear as can be?

3) Any general tips, ideas or things that have worked for you in the past?

As always, all advice appreciated and I’ll share some link-love and Tweet props to all who help.




6 thoughts on “Let’s go to the Hop…

  1. I would use a muslin bag unless you plan on filtering before bottling. I dry hopped an IPA without a bag and I had little hop particles in my finished product. I won’t do that again.

    • Thanks. Not got any filtering equipment over and above a fine mesh sieve so may have to use muslin. What’s the best way of sanitising – ten minutes soak in boiling water?

      • I’ve sanitized the muslin in starsan, though boiling water would work. You can’t really sanitize the hops (that I know of anyway) but I didn’t have any contamination issues. So sanitize the muslin, put your hops in, tie it off and drop it in.

  2. I’m not sure if its actually on my blog somewhere but I loose-dry-hop in the FV with either whole or pellet hops.
    When bottling time is drawing close I chill down the FV to between 4-8c this settles out the vast majority of Pellet hops, some whole hops will still float, i then syphon to bottling bucket through a piece of tube with a Teaball Infuser poked onto the end. With this method i get the clarity I want in my bottles with minimum hop particles.
    I boil the stainless steel Teaball for 20mins in a pan prior to using it as Mesh can be an excellent place for bugs to hide. If using a hop bag I would also boil that the same before puting hops in it along with something sanitisable and heavy as a weight. Stir the FV and give the bag a squeeze against the side of the FV with a sanitised paddle every day or two to try get the most flavour out of your hops. (Nylon mesh bags let less hop particles through than muslin)

  3. Unless you are using more than 2 oz on the dry hop you shouldn’t have too much troubles with the clarity. Do you have the ability to cold crash after you finish your dry hop? If you can put your entire batch of beer at close to 0c for 24 hours or so, all the hops along with any yeast would collect on the bottom and you could rack your clear beer off of it, if not definetily use a muslin bag to help keep everything contained. Good luck and rdwhahb

  4. Pingback: Hot n Hoppy Chilli Sauce | Jon's Homebrew Adventures

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