Drying Hops

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Meatymc
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Drying Hops

Post by Meatymc » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:15 pm

Well I've had a bit of a success so thought I'd share.......

Made four 50cm x 50cm trays with CLS and galvanised lath. Picked 2.1kg of First Gold last night - 2 bloody hours picking off the hops - and left in the garage overnight to allow most of the creepie crawlies to escape.

Spread the hops over the 4 trays and stacked them on bricks so they sat above a 50 cm cold air only fan. Set a small fan heater about 5 feet away from the stack so only warm (not hot) air would be picked up by the large fan and pushed up through the 4 trays.

Swapped the trays around every 30 minutes and when all 4 had 30 minutes stopped using the heater altogether and just had the cool air fan running - again, swapping around every 30 minutes. Had 2 small windows partly open throughout to allow some additional air circulation.

Had the sense to weigh the 'wet' hops last night which came in at 2.185kg - 1st pick of my First Gold - probably half again still on the bines. Re-weighed them tonight and they're down to 736g. On the basis the 'wet' hops are 80% water and commercially dried hops aim for 10% I was aiming for 665g dried weight. 736g is only 4% off so, bearing in mind they were on the bine at 8pm last night (yes, it was dark!) and they were vacuumed packed and in the freezer by 6.30pm tonight, I'm well pleased.

Not only that, as I was on my own in the office today and did everything there, didn't even cost me anything for the power!!! :D

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Hanglow
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Re: Drying Hops

Post by Hanglow » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:10 pm

Your hops still have a bit more moisture in them than they should for dried hops, but I wouldn't worry, I've used frozen wet hops before and they are fine too. Never got any vegetable type flavours from them before despite reading about that.
Planned: Green Hop ale
Fermenting: Nothing
Bottled: Home grown Halletau Mittelfruh golden ale, centennial golden ale, Brown Kolsch, Strong Burton with Brett C

Meatymc
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 514
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Location: Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Re: Drying Hops

Post by Meatymc » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:46 pm

Hmmmmmmm. All the reading I've done says a hop is 80% water and that to be considered 'dry' that water content should be a max of 10% hence I read that as the final weight being 30% of the original - appreciate I missed by 4%.

It has occured that maybe it's supposed to be the water content should only be 10% of the dried weight but that's surely a bit extreme?!?

Because of upcoming holidays I'm gearing up to bring in the bulk of what's out on the bines on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - aiming to dry them off within 24 hours of harvesting. If I've misunderstood can someone enlighten me so I can adjust the drying set up accordingly.

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Hanglow
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Re: Drying Hops

Post by Hanglow » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:44 pm

The figure i have in my head is 22% of their original weight, so in your case would be 480g.

Don't know where i got that from though :). I've only been growing for a couple of years but when I've dried them before I've dried them out that much

I havn't actually weighed my wet hops this year, I've just been putting them in my dehydrator and then vac packing them when I think they are done. still got a centennial to go
Planned: Green Hop ale
Fermenting: Nothing
Bottled: Home grown Halletau Mittelfruh golden ale, centennial golden ale, Brown Kolsch, Strong Burton with Brett C

Meatymc
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 514
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:36 pm
Location: Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Re: Drying Hops

Post by Meatymc » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:42 pm

Hanglow wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:44 pm
The figure i have in my head is 22% of their original weight, so in your case would be 480g.

Don't know where i got that from though :).
That fits with the theory of 10% of dried weight - 20% being the non-water weight of the hop + 10% (water content) of that = 22%. I used the oven method last year but didn't weigh before or after so no idea exactly what % water was extracted but doubt it was any better than what I've acheived this year. Still have around 250g of last years crop and they are fine.

I'm going to ramp up the process and see if I can get closer to the 22% although, as you've already said, I think my initial batch should be fine. If I can get nearer the 22% I'll probably use that initial 34% batch first though on the basis it's potentially got a shorter shelf life.

Fun this isn't it :wink:

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