Hop spider

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guypettigrew
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Hop spider

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:40 pm

Dry hopping in the FV seems to be a highly regarded technique. So I'd like to try it!

Usually I dry hop in a King keg, but perhaps dry hopping in the FV as well as the keg would give much better results.

Putting loose cones or pellets into the FV doesn't seem like the way to go. The former would probably block the racking arm, the latter would probably end up as unattractive bits in the finished beer.

Would one of these solve the problem? And how soon into fermentation should the hops be added, and for how long?

Many thanks.

Guy

Edit. Forgot to say. My FV is a SS Brewtech 7 gallon Chronical. Not sure if the spider would fit, as the lid squeezes down very tight.

richard080561
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Re: Hop spider

Post by richard080561 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:48 pm

I just ordered one of these for dry hopping. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GQYQ5PT
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Kev888
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Re: Hop spider

Post by Kev888 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:35 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:40 pm
Not sure if the spider would fit, as the lid squeezes down very tight.
That would be my concern, too. Do you have a racking arm on the chronical? If so then you could probably avoid most hops if whole, and if pellets then you could probably dump them to clear out of the way. At least, this has been the case with my (non-chronical) conicals over the years - the very occasional fragment of hop can get through, but it'll settle in the keg.

There are at least three different opinions on when to dry hop in the FV... One is after FG has been reached, such that the expulsion of CO2 has ended and so doesn't carry away the aroma. Another is somewhat before the end of fermentation, such that they yeast are more active and so will better clear up oxygen introduced with the hops. Another (which I've only come across recently) is quite early in the fermentation, as supposedly biotransformations can occur due to interaction with active yeast, which help retain the aroma in the beer. And of course people may choose to combine any of these.

Personally I've had good results with the 'after FG' approach for years. I've never had problems with oxygen introduced, so saw no reason not to wait until the end (still earlier than hopping the keg, after all). I am currently trying earlier in the fermentation though, in case these biotransformations work; so far its too early to decide unfortunately.

You will find that the aroma from FV hopping dissipates slowly during storage of the beer. Topping it up with hops in the keg closer to drinking time may still be a worthwhile addition - but you may well find it simply better. I wouldn't therefore invest 'too' much in FV hopping equipment until you've given it a fairly good trial or three. A boiled nylon hop bag will do fine if you feel the need to contain them.
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Re: Hop spider

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:55 pm

Thanks Kev. Sensible and practical advice, as always.

At the moment I dry hop with whole hops in the keg. About 8-10 days after pitching the yeast, usually.

Next brew I think I'll just go for it and chuck some whole hops into the FV once the fermentation has got underway. After 24 hours, perhaps. I'll just have to hope they don't clog the racking arm or cause problems in harvesting the yeast from the dump valve at the bottom of the FV.

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Re: Hop spider

Post by Kev888 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:16 pm

Harvesting yeast from the bottom can be a bit annoying combined with dry FV hopping, as you tend to get hops in the otherwise clean slurry or (as you say) in the case of whole hops blocking the dump valve. Thats another reason I've tended to only hop after FG, as it gives the opportunity to harvest the yeast first. Presumably hopping in a bag would avoid that though.
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orlando
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Re: Hop spider

Post by orlando » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:48 am

Kev888 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:16 pm
Harvesting yeast from the bottom can be a bit annoying combined with dry FV hopping, as you tend to get hops in the otherwise clean slurry or (as you say) in the case of whole hops blocking the dump valve. Thats another reason I've tended to only hop after FG, as it gives the opportunity to harvest the yeast first. Presumably hopping in a bag would avoid that though.
Agreed. This is what I do. Hit FG harvest yeast then dry hop. Dry hopping early in the fermenttion is something NEIPA brewers advocate. Only if your attempting this style do I think it is worth doing. If you decide to dry hop early and want to contain hops be prepared to use a lot more than when loose. For all other styles I think whirlpooling once the boil is over and the wort temp reduced to 80c is an extremely effective way of ramping up aroma before dry hopping later. Don't be afraid to let this go for an hour if you are using highly aromatic C hops, the affect can be quite startling. Be aware though, it will increase the perception of bitterness. I think the brewing world has given up believing that hops don't impart bitterness without isomerisation. :wink:
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Re: Hop spider

Post by Kev888 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:15 am

orlando wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:48 am
For all other styles I think whirlpooling once the boil is over and the wort temp reduced to 80c is an extremely effective way of ramping up aroma before dry hopping later. Don't be afraid to let this go for an hour if you are using highly aromatic C hops, the affect can be quite startling. Be aware though, it will increase the perception of bitterness. I think the brewing world has given up believing that hops don't impart bitterness without isomerisation. :wink:
I changed my mind on <80c steeping over the years and am now quite a fan of it again. IMO it adds another dimension when combined with dry hopping, and one which doesn't seem to die away as rapidly either. So yes definitely, the two together are a good pairing.

As for the bitterness, hopefully most people now accept this isn't purely about >80c isomerisation, since it is very easy to demonstrate otherwise. I haven't yet got a method of predicting this for <80c though; I'm not even sure there is a reliable one, perhaps thats why a lot of brewing software ignores it, which might lead people to think it doesn't happen. IMO it is less than the bitterness imparted from hops used between flame-out and 80c, so not massive, but can still be quite significant with larger quantities.
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Re: Hop spider

Post by Robwalkeragain » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:52 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:15 am
orlando wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:48 am
For all other styles I think whirlpooling once the boil is over and the wort temp reduced to 80c is an extremely effective way of ramping up aroma before dry hopping later. Don't be afraid to let this go for an hour if you are using highly aromatic C hops, the affect can be quite startling. Be aware though, it will increase the perception of bitterness. I think the brewing world has given up believing that hops don't impart bitterness without isomerisation. :wink:
I changed my mind on <80c steeping over the years and am now quite a fan of it again. IMO it adds another dimension when combined with dry hopping, and one which doesn't seem to die away as rapidly either. So yes definitely, the two together are a good pairing.
I know an excellent craft brewer that recommends the same and finds his dry hop only beers have a "flavour hole". Personally I like dry hop only, but all a matter of taste of course.

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Re: Hop spider

Post by orlando » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:09 pm

Interesting point about hop flavour. I find most home brew lacks it, including my own, is it something about boil size that makes commercial scale beer more flavoursome from the hops?
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: Hop spider

Post by scotsloon » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Another approach is to make a "Hop Tea" by blitzing your hops in a food processor and putting them in a large Cafetiere or French Pump. then pour over boiling water and leave to steep for 30 mins then press down the filter and pour the tea into the beer, I've found this works very well.

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