Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

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brewbrew
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Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by brewbrew » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:56 pm

Just got my first corny keg - I have a 300 micron mesh dry hop stainless steel hop capsule.

I'm planning to sanitise it with boiling water before dropping into the corny - but what about the hops?

Should I make a hop tea by boiling the capsule and hops and then add to the keg? Or is it OK to sanitise the stainless capsule and then add hops and drop in the untreated hops into the brew?

Any experience in this??

Cheers,

Brewbrew

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by gaunt_paul » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:12 pm

The hops will be fine without boiling, they have some antibacterial qualities. As long as your hands are clean, just pack the hops in the sanitised capsule and get them into the keg would be my advice.

I use a similar capsule myself and this approach has worked well for me so far. This works great with whole leaf hops, though pellets could escape through the holes in the top if your unit is the same as mine

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Dave S » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:07 pm

brewbrew wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:56 pm
Just got my first corny keg - I have a 300 micron mesh dry hop stainless steel hop capsule.

I'm planning to sanitise it with boiling water before dropping into the corny - but what about the hops?

Should I make a hop tea by boiling the capsule and hops and then add to the keg? Or is it OK to sanitise the stainless capsule and then add hops and drop in the untreated hops into the brew?

Any experience in this??

Cheers,

Brewbrew
Commercial brewers have been dry hopping in the cask for at least a couple of centuries without taking any particular sanitary precautions so you should be fine.
Best wishes

Dave

Robwalkeragain
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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Robwalkeragain » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:19 pm

Hops fine. Use a proper sanitizer though, boiling water is ineffective

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by orlando » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:17 pm

pH and alcohol helps as well.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Drowning in Dusseldorf (Alt Bier)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS), Party Like A Russian (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), California Sun, Black Night
Up Next: Near Mild Heaven, Peaches (Peach IPA),
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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by richard080561 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:42 pm

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:19 pm
Hops fine. Use a proper sanitizer though, boiling water is ineffective
Why is boiling water ineffective?
Richard M
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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:10 am

May have jumped the gun a little there, as I was assuming you're doing the "pour the kettle on it" method I used to use! 85c+ for at least 20 minutes is "ok" sterilising, total sterilisation (not often required in brewing) needs 120c steam for 15 mins. Much easier to keep a bottle of no rinse steriliser knocking about imo.

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by orlando » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:22 am

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:10 am
May have jumped the gun a little there, as I was assuming you're doing the "pour the kettle on it" method I used to use! 85c+ for at least 20 minutes is "ok" sterilising, total sterilisation (not often required in brewing) needs 120c steam for 15 mins. Much easier to keep a bottle of no rinse steriliser knocking about imo.
Defeats the object if you flash off the aroma compounds. Dave S' comment suffices here. Centuries of no worries. :D
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Drowning in Dusseldorf (Alt Bier)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS), Party Like A Russian (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), California Sun, Black Night
Up Next: Near Mild Heaven, Peaches (Peach IPA),
Planning: Autumn beer.

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by guypettigrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 am

orlando wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:22 am
Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:10 am
May have jumped the gun a little there, as I was assuming you're doing the "pour the kettle on it" method I used to use! 85c+ for at least 20 minutes is "ok" sterilising, total sterilisation (not often required in brewing) needs 120c steam for 15 mins. Much easier to keep a bottle of no rinse steriliser knocking about imo.
Defeats the object if you flash off the aroma compounds. Dave S' comment suffices here. Centuries of no worries. :D
I think RobWA was talking about how to sterilise the hop container--not the hops themselves!

Guy

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:20 am

guypettigrew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 am
orlando wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:22 am
Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:10 am
May have jumped the gun a little there, as I was assuming you're doing the "pour the kettle on it" method I used to use! 85c+ for at least 20 minutes is "ok" sterilising, total sterilisation (not often required in brewing) needs 120c steam for 15 mins. Much easier to keep a bottle of no rinse steriliser knocking about imo.
Defeats the object if you flash off the aroma compounds. Dave S' comment suffices here. Centuries of no worries. :D
I think RobWA was talking about how to sterilise the hop container--not the hops themselves!

Guy
Yeah the container, not the hops. Incidentally I washed out an empty cask yesterday that had been sat with the remaining dry hops in since at least the summer. Beer smelled awful but hops were still a vibrant green with no mould

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by brewbrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:40 am

What about dry hopping with pellets and no bag in the secondary vessel - any advice?

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by orlando » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:50 am

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:20 am
guypettigrew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 am
orlando wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:22 am


Defeats the object if you flash off the aroma compounds. Dave S' comment suffices here. Centuries of no worries. :D
I think RobWA was talking about how to sterilise the hop container--not the hops themselves!

Guy
Yeah the container, not the hops. Incidentally I washed out an empty cask yesterday that had been sat with the remaining dry hops in since at least the summer. Beer smelled awful but hops were still a vibrant green with no mould
Apologies. Definitely sanitise any container. If I use hop bags I always boil then dunk in peracetic or starsan before filling. Loose they go straight in.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Drowning in Dusseldorf (Alt Bier)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS), Party Like A Russian (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), California Sun, Black Night
Up Next: Near Mild Heaven, Peaches (Peach IPA),
Planning: Autumn beer.

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Kev888 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:11 pm

In general I agree with the other answers. There may be a small technical chance of contamination from dodgy hops, but brewers (at home and commercially) have been dry hopping forever, with vanishingly few issues that can be laid at this door, so the chances are tiny. And even those can probably be reduced by smelling/checking that theres nothing odd with the hops first.

Partly it is due to the preservative powers of the hops themselves, and partly because the yeast use up most of the attractive sugars and make an alcoholic environment (beer!) that a lot of potential competition doesn't like. Though if using whole hops, these days I like to first check there aren't foreign objects in the pack (stones, lots of soil etc.) as this can occasionally happen. I also don't like to dry hop with packs that have been open for months on end. But otherwise yes, just lob them in.

Dry hopping in secondary will not usually be a problem, though obviously you still need a way to rack the clear beer off them when kegging/bottling. Some people worry about oxygen being introduced with the hops at later stages, but personally I've had no problems that I can detect with the tiny amount involved (even when dry hopping later still, in the keg); the yeast may be settling down but they are still there helping to clean stuff up.

I don't often use any equipment to dry hop, but the only no-rinse disinfectant I would entirely trust to alone is Peracetic Acid. In its absence, I would prefer to first disinfect with something better than (e.g.) starsan or weak no-rinse sanitising solutions - I prefer strong bleach, strong iodophore, or heat - I especially like heat for porous things that are hard to get completely clean, like nylon bags.
Kev

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Re: Dry hopping in a keg - sanitation question

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:40 pm

I go straight into fermenter too. 3 days at 20c then crash for 4 days, lovely clean hop aroma as a result. Syphon with a simple mesh filter on the end will remove any significant amount of loose hop matter. Gets a bit trubby but nothing a waggle won't sort out
orlando wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:50 am
Robwalkeragain wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:20 am
guypettigrew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 am


I think RobWA was talking about how to sterilise the hop container--not the hops themselves!

Guy
Yeah the container, not the hops. Incidentally I washed out an empty cask yesterday that had been sat with the remaining dry hops in since at least the summer. Beer smelled awful but hops were still a vibrant green with no mould
Apologies. Definitely sanitise any container. If I use hop bags I always boil then dunk in peracetic or starsan before filling. Loose they go straight in.

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