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Thread: Increasing Aroma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada!
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    Increasing Aroma

    While running my cleaning cycles, I notice beutiful hop aromas in my heat exchanger and my bright beer tanks which do not seem to transfer into the beer.

    I don't think this is simply a case of "add more hops" or "dry hop" because I've already done both. The way I see it, I'm somehow losing aroma:
    1. Between the kettle and the fermenter, and
    2. In the bright tank during dispense.

    I may be able to convince the brewpub owners of a hopback, but if I'm losing aroma in the exchanger, it wouldn't matter.

    As for the dispense end, I push the beer from grundies to the tower with 1/2 nitro and 1/2 co2 - @ 22psi. It takes about a month to go through 800 liters of beer.

    Anybody have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for the ideas. Follow the link for a look at the brewery.

    Dave Rudge
    Bushwakker Brewing Co.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2002
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    Sweden
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    Dry hopping

    I have similar problems. I dry hop with 90 pellets in nylon bags, with a nice hop aroma from sample valve in maturation tank but I loose very much of that aroma after bottling. Low bottle oxygen. What will happen if dry hopping with hop pellets before DE filtration? Clogging filter bed? Dry hopping rate is 1 gram / liter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    West Chester, PA
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    you aren't losing hop aroma in the heat exchanger....there is nothing there to pull it out. Are you filtering your beer? Also, remember that hop aroma, and dry hop aroma esp. if very volitale. You can expect dry hop aroma to be gone, or at least greatly reduced in your bottled product in as little as 3-4 weeks. Make it well, sell it fast.

  4. #4
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    The brewery I work at currently has a strict no filtering rule - which is a bonus for me. Up till now, I've been dry hopping with whole hop in a nylon bag that floats loose in the serving tank. I've tried weighting the bag with mixed results, too.

    Anybody think there's any weight behind the thought that pellets make for better dry hopping because the lupulin are essentially shredded in the process?

    I've used a DE filter before, and would be a little leary of using pellts loose before filtering. I think they'd bind the filter bed up, and raise the pressure too quick.

  5. #5
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    We only dry-hop with pellets...and the aroma is better than with the same weight of whole leaf. increased surface area and exposed lupulin. Also, we do the dry hopping in the fermemte\or before a DE filter. There is a little more pressure pick up than regular (ie lager) beers, but if your settle correctly, and dose at approptiate levels, you shouldn't have a problem

  6. #6
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    Mar 2003
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    Hey Dave,

    Glad to see you are doing well!

    Try these two things:

    1. Dry hop with loose pellets in the fermenter towards the end of the fermentation but while the beer is still warm. That made a big difference in our IPA. When we added the pellets, the beer released a lot of CO2 which I imagine helped disperse the pellets somewhat as well. We got much better hop aroma than by adding the pellets to the secondary, cold and in a muslin bag.

    2. Fermcap from Crosby and Baker or some other type of antifoam agent - only if you are filtering the beer afterwards. I saw an improvement in hop flavor and aroma when we began adding this to our kettle and to the fermenters. We did it to squeeze out another 20% without adding any fermenters. But I think it had the added benefit of not having as many hop resins stuck to the sides of the fermenters at the krausen line.

    Cheers,

    Linus Hall
    www.yazoobrew.com

  7. #7
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    Oct 2002
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    I feel your pain...

    Man, nothing is more of a bummer than when you add some really awesome smelling hops and you get little benefit in the beer.

    A few points to consider:

    1. Smelling very intense hop aromas when you are cleaning doesn't necesarily mean that you are losing any aromatics in a certain part of the process. The turbulent flow and warm/hot water will rapidly volatilize any aromatic oils.

    2. When dry hopping it is critical to add the hops after 2-4 days fermentation. During those first few days you are venting and sedimenting like crazy. A lot of your aromatics are going to be vented and absorbed into the yeast. Also, although the iso-alpha acids in hops have a strong antibacterial effect, adding hops at the beginning of the fermentation innoculates your brew with all sorts of wild yeast and bacteria!

    Research shows that these spoilage microorganisms living on hops are rapidly killed off by the low pH and alcohol content of beer at 2-4 days fermentation.

    3. Oxidation can really kill your hop aromas fast. Regretably, there is a volatile compound in hops that as it degrades it actually yields oxygen into the beer! This is one of the reasons why most Central European brewers boil their aroma hops for at least 10 minutes.

    Don't get me wrong, I love dry hopped beers, but that terrific, rich aroma and flavor you get never lasts for long!

    Without knowing your hopping regime, it is really hard to pin point the problem. Can you give more info? Something like hopping regime, rates, times of addition, and varieities?
    Steve G

  8. #8
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    Can you give more info? Something like hopping regime, rates, times of addition, and varieities?
    I'll do 38 different beers over the year, everything from Kolsch to Barleywine, Wit to Wheat Wine. So the above is difficult to nail down. Let's just say, we're a brewpub, and prefer do do things by style. German beer, German hops - and so on. You get the picture. As I stated before, I'm dry hopping in the serving tank, so the yeast dragging down the aroma is virtually nil - aside from what's left behind in the fermenter.

    Possibly the oxidation has something to do with it. Because we're not filtering, the beer gets long aging times, and I have no way of measuring it in the tank. I do my purge from the bottom up with co2, but who knows if it's actually working. In the case of my lagers, we're talking 14 days fermenting, and 60 - 120 days in conditioning at 1 deg. C.

    We discussed DO meters a while back. Anyone know a ballpark figure for one of these puppies?

    Linus, looks like you've got a sweet setup in Nashville - any chance you could send some samples my way? Good to see you're doing well.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Oct 2002
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    Got it. I actually have absolutely no experience with dry hopping in a serving tank, and I don't know anyone that does that. My only experience is with real ales dry hopped in the cask and doing tank to tank transfers to complete secondary fermentation in a tank that has hop bags in it.

    Just throwing this out there, but I'm wondering if it might be a temperature issue? Dry hopping after all was traditionally done in casks during secondary fermentation while the beer was still quite warm.

    Here is something someone might want to try (or has already tried) as a cheap and quick experiment. If you have kegging capabilities, maybe make a batch of real ale, with secondary fermentation in the cask and a bag of hops in there as well. Allow it to warm condition and tap it in a week and see if you get better hop character that way. Use the same recipe as the brew in the serving tank when you make an ale and compare.

    I would do it myself, but I no longer have the capability of making cask beers or dry hopping.
    Steve G

  10. #10
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    Dec 2004
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Dry Hopping.......

    At DK, we dry hop about 70% of the beer sold from our Brewery. We are quite known up here in Washington for our IPAs, and have been making it dry hopped for 11 years. All our IPA kegs are dry hopped for all markets.

    There are a few factors, in my humble observations, that affect hop aroma in beers:

    1.) Add aromatics extremely late in the hot side of the process. We add our final addition at kettle knock-out just prior to whirlpool. Also, we used to use a hopback, but opted to add late in the kettle in lieu of cleaning the hopback. We now use our hopback as more of a kettle grant just prior to cooling in the heat exchanger.

    2.) The heat exchanger isn't taking out the aroma. In fact, you want to cool quickly to retain hop volitiles in the beer. Heat drives off hop aroma volitiles.

    3.) CO2 from fermentation will scrub hop volitiles from the beer. This is the worst culprit. Violent and quick fermentations scrub a lot of volitiles from the beer and if you are running your fermenters at their max, that snotty kreusen you see ll over your floor (or in your blow-off bucket) is what's left of you aromatics.

    4.) Hop selection.........try to choose hops that have a greater essential oils content. There's a correlation between oils (and volitility of the oils) and uptake of hop flavor. Oils create flavor. There is also some relativity between high Alpha Acid content and essential oil content, though there are some higher oil hops out there that aren't necessarily 13%+ AA.

    5.) Warm aging. As steveg touched on, dry hopping was originally performed in cask ales. Our observation is that if you dry hop your Ale and keep it at a cold temperature, your getting very little from the hops. The warmer you age the product at, the better. A week at room temperature produces some great hop flavors in your kegged beers. We see it all the time, especilly when we have to rush a batch.

    6.) Keg rolling. Probably the last act of a hop fetishist! After keeping the kegs warm for a week then rolling them into the walk-in, you are swirling the hop bag around in the beer and mixing the beer that was close to the bag around in the keg.
    Why would this work? It emulates the rocking of the ship for IPAs that were shipped overseas. To do a test, take a pitcher of water and add a cup or so of sugar (or salt). Odds are it will sink to the bottom and remain there. Now, stir the water with a big spoon or rod and the sugar (or salt) goes into solution. Mechanical agitaion aids in hop volitile soluablity so long at the temperature is warmer.

    If you're loading to a serving tank, and you can roll it outside the walk-in, I would attach a weighted nylon bag inside the tank to a fitting or similar (off the bottom) so it was suspended and hung about half way up the tank. Keep the tank warm for a week, then cool and carbonate.
    Is it a hassle? You bet.
    Will you get big hop aroma? Yes.

    Dry hopping for production is a serious labor of love..............just the lowly observations of a poor hop-head............

  11. #11
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    Oct 2002
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    Mmmmmm...IPA

    Those IPAs sound delicious!

    Thanks for answering that question about warm conditioning of dry hops, as I was curious myself!

    One last note:

    rudge75, without knowing any more about your hopping regime and rates, my only guess is that you are just not adding quite enough hop material to your brews.

    From your last post it is clear that you try to brew to style with classic ales/lagers and use the right hop varieties such as Saaz, Hallertau, EK Goldings, Fuggles, etc. Keep in mind that these have extremely delicate aromas.

    I have encountered reluctance from other brewers who hesitate to use large quantities of these hops to their brews, but in my opinion and experience you will need to 3/4 to 2 pounds of these hops at the end of boil to get that nice big aroma that I think you're looking for. These hopping rates are exclusive of dry hopping as well, so I have been known to craft beers using up to 2 pounds of hops/barrel at knockout, and up to 2 additional pounds/barrel for dry hop without excessive hop character!

    Good luck, and I hope this helps.
    Steve G

  12. #12
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    May 2004
    Location
    Delaware
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    The 1st brewery I worked in had a hop percolator (back); we had open fermenters & the aroma of the hop-tea was spectacular. BTW hop tea is a sure cure for insomnia. Hop backs have advantages of (obviously) adding nose & act as a filter bed for trub; the down side is they can be temperamental. The one I used did not have a PR valve so it could act as a hop grenade on occasion when the seal failed. I've herd that some micro’s use a very late hop addition well after the boil & before knockout. Im not sure of the ratio of the addition, but I know they let the hop pellets steep for 30 minutes after the end of boil. A lower temp would appear to be favorable to attain fragrance so long as it is above pasteurization temperature. The effectiveness is as good or close to the results of a hop-back without the hassles, expense, & calculating in that additional water (hop-tea). The down side, a monster trub cone & potential H/E clog. Best of luck
    Brewers enjoy working to make beer as much as drinking beer instead of working. -Harold Rudolph

  13. #13
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    Oct 2002
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada!
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    Thanks to everybody who replied.

    I'm going to try moving one of my grundies into a warm space (18 c.) and then dry hop there. I'll keep the beer in there for 2 weeks then transfer to the serving tank & carbonate (with head pressure).

    I'll be doing my APA soon, so I'll keep you all posted!

    Dave

  14. #14
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    Dec 2004
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Originally posted by rudge75
    Thanks to everybody who replied.

    I'm going to try moving one of my grundies into a warm space (18 c.) and then dry hop there. I'll keep the beer in there for 2 weeks then transfer to the serving tank & carbonate (with head pressure).

    I'll be doing my APA soon, so I'll keep you all posted!

    Dave

    Dave,

    I would be real appreciative if you would post your results. As we are finding here at DK, the Hoff Stevens - Sankey Mods are becoming a thing of the past and true dry hopping in the keg will be done only in Brewpubs and not in production. In fact, just last night my colleagues and I were postulating this exact procedure, and surprisingly we were discussing using one of our Grundies in the same application you are proposing now.

    A concern that was raised was that we wondered if the CO2 carbonation phase would scrub out the aroma. Also, effective dry hopping in the kegs, we believe, is also a function of some agitation (movement) of the hop bag in transportation. We were racking our brains trying to come up with a method of emulating that in the "Hop Tank".

    I could learn something from your findings.

    Regards,

  15. #15
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    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
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    Tie the hop bag to a racking arm on the Grundy and wave it around from time to time.

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