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Thread: Dry Hopping with Pellets - best way?

  1. #1
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    Dry Hopping with Pellets - best way?

    I am going to dry hop with pellets in the uni tank for the first time. What is the best way to get 30 pounds of pellets into a 40 bbl fermenter?

    Do i need to climb up to the top and dump them in?
    Can i fill up a 1.5" hose with pellets and hook it up to the uni with CO2 on the other side and push them in?

    any suggestions would be appreciated.

    cheers,

    Scott

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    Helena, Montana
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    We get up on a latter and dry hop directly through the PRV port on top. However, we are just using 15bbl tanks and not using as much poundage. The only problem I foresee with "blowing" them over via hose is getting plugged up in either the hose or butterfly valves. If you try the "blowing over" method, I'd like to hear how it comes out.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2005
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    Dry Hop

    The best way (I have seen) is to use a tank like a grundy. You put the hops in the tank after sanitation, and a CO2 purge. You connect the tank to your racking arm, and let some beer come in to the grundy mix the hops until they break up. Then push or pump this mixter into the fermenter. You will get over the top aroma, because the hops are broken up and stay insuspension longer. Oh and nobody falls off of the tank!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck
    Graydon

  4. #4
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    Dec 2006
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    I have tried blowing hop pellets into a tank before. Lets just say I will never try it again.

  5. #5
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    I suggest waiting until very near terminal gravity, and using a funnel to get them through a port on the dome of the uni (bust them completely up inside of the mylar bag to avoid top of the ladder frustration). Cap it immediately to keep all of that goodness in there. An added advantage is that the rousing activity caused by all of those nucleation points will often help you to acheive lower than usual final gravity.

    ps (why only 30#???)
    Jeff O'Neil
    Brewmaster
    Ithaca Beer Company

  6. #6
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    If you feed into a funnel at the top and don't wait for close to final gravity, you'll get a nice trub shower. If when you're feeding your pellets they start blowing back at you, replace the PRV quickly and wait for things to settle down before you open it back up again. If you feed pellets at the top, you get a nice cascading effect of the hops as they slowly break up and settle all the way to the bottom, making a very nice even dry hopping effect. Also, when you finish feeding all of your pellets at the top and replace the PRV, make sure to immediately "bung" your fermenter, too (i.e. close your airlock valve). That way, you don't lose any hoppy goodness.

  7. #7
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    Dry Hoppng with Funnel

    So i bought a funnel from McMaster-Carr, with 2" NPT threads on the outlet, attached a 2" TC x 2" NPT fitting, climbed up on the FV and dumped the hops in. In two days i already have a great aroma.

    I highly recomend the funnel from McMaster, it is large and works great.

    thanks for all your help

    Scott

  8. #8
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    Nov 2002
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    Mobile, Alabama, USA
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    I have similar issue with dry hopping into a fermenter with only 1 1/2" TC at PRV. It is difficult to get even a few pounds of hops in the fermenter before the beer volcano begins to blow. There is also very little clearance from tank top to ceiling further hampering the procedure. I am thinking about trying aroma extract oils for the dry hops. Anyone with opinions on oils for aroma? They are much more expensive then pellets, but if they produce a good hop aroma, the frustration savings would be immense.
    Todd G. Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    Sterling Heights, MI.
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    Home-made funnel

    I drop hops through the PRV port using a home made funnel that one of my assistants put together out of a short piece of PVC and some foil. It's somewhat ghetto looking but it helps speed the process without the typical funnel log jam. I'm dumping about 9# of pellets into 7BBLs of beer in about 5 minutes.

    Happy hopping,
    Ray

  10. #10
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    I have similar issue with dry hopping into a fermenter with only 1 1/2" TC at PRV. It is difficult to get even a few pounds of hops in the fermenter before the beer volcano begins to blow. There is also very little clearance from tank top to ceiling further hampering the procedure. I am thinking about trying aroma extract oils for the dry hops. Anyone with opinions on oils for aroma? They are much more expensive then pellets, but if they produce a good hop aroma, the frustration savings would be immense.
    __________________
    Todd G. Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    For you case, I'd suggest trying the method of adding the pellets to the fermenter before adding hopped wort to the fermenter that was talked about in a previous thread. You'll lose some aroma out the air lock with the CO2 during fermentation, but you can compensate by adding a little more. Others say it works great, but I've never tried it personally. It seems like a viable option though for those who have very little space above their ccv's.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabewilson50
    For you case, I'd suggest trying the method of adding the pellets to the fermenter before adding hopped wort to the fermenter that was talked about in a previous thread. You'll lose some aroma out the air lock with the CO2 during fermentation, but you can compensate by adding a little more. Others say it works great, but I've never tried it personally. It seems like a viable option though for those who have very little space above their ccv's.
    This to me sounds like a sanitation nightmare. Certainly hops aren't a good growth medium, but they aren't exactly sterile either. You'd be adding contaminants to your unfermented, cool wort.

    I've tried the funnel-PRV method and it was easy enough but gave me almost NO aroma. I had a lot better results when I put a bag of pellets inside my brite tank and racked into that. I kind of like the idea of putting the hops in a grundy (I'd just use a corny keg or two) and using beer or sterile water to mix them up, then blasting them into the fermenter with CO2. I've fined this way and don't see the problem. Do the hops clog things up or what?

  12. #12
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    heh, I tried the "liquifying" method with the pelltes once...

    Word to the wise, it takes ALOT of liquid to make the hops pourable/pumpable/injectable.

    I ended up with something akin to 30 min old quickrete;-)

    For what its worth, I do the addition right at the end of fermentation during my D-rest......I let the hops warm up if its a big addition so I dont drop my tank temp any....I know, probably over kill.


    Ray, 9 lbs in 7 barrels, impressive! whats yout total hop load on that beer? and whats your loss from flameout to serving tank?

    JackK

  13. #13
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    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sauce
    For what its worth, I do the addition right at the end of fermentation during my D-rest......I let the hops warm up if its a big addition so I dont drop my tank temp any....I know, probably over kill.
    JackK
    Ah... maybe the reason it didn't work for me was I crashed the beer before I added the hops. Low temp = less dissolution. Can anyone comment on the effectiveness of this method at different temps?

  14. #14
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    Yea, that could be your issue Woolsocks, though increased contact time should compensate.

    JackK

  15. #15
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    This to me sounds like a sanitation nightmare. Certainly hops aren't a good growth medium, but they aren't exactly sterile either. You'd be adding contaminants to your unfermented, cool wort.

    I've tried the funnel-PRV method and it was easy enough but gave me almost NO aroma. I had a lot better results when I put a bag of pellets inside my brite tank and racked into that.
    Okay, let's just all agree that although dry hopping allows for a great aroma that really contributes to our enjoyment of beer, the process itself is a "dirty" process. Even under the best conditions, you're adding a foreign product to what should be a sterile product. Adding hops to unfermented wort is actually better than adding it to beer in a finished container (calm down, cask conditioners) especially if that beer is filtered. Yeast is a wonderful thing, and fermenting yeast helps to protect against other microbial growth and infection. If you were to add hops (or any unsterilized product for that matter) to a filtered beer in a brite tank, that would be asking for trouble. Now if you don't filter your beer and there is still plenty of yeast present in your brite tank, then go ahead and add all of the hops you wish. I would then agree that is the best method of dry hopping, as you would have the minimum amount of aroma loss.

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