Dry Hopping Logistics
Howdy once again,
I will be dry hopping a 10bbl batch in a unitank. The beer will be filtered through a plate and frame after this. What techniques should I use to ensure a complete hopping and not a nightmare filter with hop-clogged pads?
Where is your racking port located? Half way down the cone or on the bottom with a stand pipe? If it is a stand pipe you will need to cold condition until you draw off no more hops from your bottom drain valve. I dry hop 1# per barrel and it takes about two weeks for this to happen and it is still a crapshoot if the filter is going to plug. I have tried everything to remedy this and nothing works with the stand pipe setup without using hop bags to in the fermenter. I hope this helps.
I agree- it is almost impossible to get all the hops out, especially when using pellets. The bags work o.k., but usually it's better to just dump them in. If you don't need to harvest the yeast, and it's a one-time specialty beer, you can add them before crashing temp. for a quicker effect. The yeast will be loaded with hops. Maybe think about not filtering it. The pads will collect a lot of hops, you will want to trash them after filtering, and prepare for some serious backflushing. We finally went with Yakima Chief Aroma-Tabs(shameless plug), and the results have been just as good or better with no beer loss from filtration. They can probably send you some samples to work with. I add them to cold beer that has already had all the yeast dumped, and they take 1-2 weeks to dissolve.
Bitter Root Brewing
I typically add 1# pellets per barrel for my IPA after fermentation and prior to crashing the tanks. I let the hops sit about 6 days, after that I crash tanks and pressurize. Before filtering I blow off as much yeast and hops as I can out bottom of tank and then filter through racking arm. Hop load into filter is fairly low from what I have experienced. You could also go the route of adding a flocculating agent to help settle out any stray hop material prior to pressurizing tanks.
I heard Sierra dry hops with whole leaf in a mosquito mesh tea bag about 3 feet square. We use polyester strainer bags, 5 gallon size, with about 1#in each bag. I just picked up some thin stainless sheet metal at the scrap yard with tiny holes perforated throughout, thinking of making a pre-filter screen that lays in the bottom of the cone, or big tea ball with it.