Optimum Hop Contact Time

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benchharp
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Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by benchharp » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:17 pm

Continuing to learn and tweak my techniques.

I know there are many different opinions for dry hopping, when to do it and for how long, but a note in a recipe i'll be trying states:

"Keep hop contact time to less than 72 hours if possible."

And another resource i saw stated "So, the ideal amount of time is about 48-72 hours. After that, package it up."

My typical schedule would end with a temp drop, maybe to around 16c add the dry hops, typically for 3 days, but i would also, especially on a hoppy beer, cold crash for two days.

So would the two days cold crash make up 48 of the hours?

Or would you somehow remove the hops before cold crashing?

Or do they just mean, 48-72 hours then cold crash?

Any thoughts?

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Galena » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:50 pm

My understanding, and I may be wrong as I am pretty new to it myself so hopefully somebody will be along to confirm or otherwise, is that the cold crash does not count as part of the three days dry hop. I had the same question myself and researched it but cannot recall where I got the answer

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by orlando » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:28 am

Have a look at this paper. Most of what you are asking is discussed in it. In essence cooler and shorter at home brew scale appears to be the way to go but as usual it depends on what you are aiming for. Choice of hops for example can also change your approach. Even at cold crash temperatures extraction can occur so experimenting with that too may provide dividends. Time and temperature has implications for clarity, astingency and head retention. Fascinating stuff. :D
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Kev888
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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Kev888 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:39 am

Yes, opinion seems headed towards generally shorter times being adequate than was previously thought (in homebrewing). I tend to agree that they can still be effective, though to some extent shorter times are just a preference, not a hard and fast rule, and there are a great many things that affect the results - whole vs pellets, variety, stirring, amount, characteristics wanted etc. There is even also a school of thought that it is best done sooner, before the fermentation has finished (related to biotransformations and oxidation). So IMO you really need to test things and decide what works best for yourself and your own circumstances

For the sake of context, it should probably be said that I haven't personally seen any negative effects of longer periods (much longer in fact). There can be vegetative flavours develop if one overdoes it, but the amounts and/or times need to be fairly high - probably either weeks or NEIPA levels of hopping. Even then an extra day or two wouldn't normally cause problems, so I wouldn't worry about being very accurate (except possibly for reasons of repeatability).

In answer to the questions, the hops oils still infuse whilst chilling so that can be combined with dry-hopping. However things are slightly slower at those temperatures (and some would say also give slightly different results) so I would allow a bit longer if the two are combined. I can't see any need to immediately remove the hops afterwards though; I would just leave them unless it were to be a long time (many days) before racking off the beer or unless you were using very large amounts. You/others may or may not think differently.
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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Meatymc » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:07 am

I've been playing around on this topic for a number of months. I primarily brew IPA's and have tended to major on Citra - best (and most consistant) results have come when dropping to 8C and then dry hopping for 3 days maximum. 2 days seemed just a little less aroma but little in it.

Have now tried exact same recipe and process using Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mosaic and Foresters F.B. and all have been excellent!

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:54 am

Meatymc wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:07 am
I've been playing around on this topic for a number of months. I primarily brew IPA's and have tended to major on Citra - best (and most consistant) results have come when dropping to 8C and then dry hopping for 3 days maximum. 2 days seemed just a little less aroma but little in it.

Have now tried exact same recipe and process using Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mosaic and Foresters F.B. and all have been excellent!
Do you use pellets vs whole hops? Just drop them in loose or in a bag? What sort of quantities have you used for a 23 litre batch?

Apologies for multi questions but also just dipping toe in dry hopping waters and have a Citra / Cascade IPA at day 2 of ferment now ( very modest hopping schedule from recipe). I'm somewhat apprehensive about potentially infecting a whole batch +/- oxidation.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Meatymc » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:54 am
Do you use pellets vs whole hops? Just drop them in loose or in a bag? What sort of quantities have you used for a 23 litre batch?

Apologies for multi questions but also just dipping toe in dry hopping waters and have a Citra / Cascade IPA at day 2 of ferment now ( very modest hopping schedule from recipe). I'm somewhat apprehensive about potentially infecting a whole batch +/- oxidation.

Thanks in advance.
No problem - that's what we're here for and I've picked up the vast majority of what I(I think :wink: ) I know from others on the forum. With dry hopping though it was following an experiment on brulosophy.com - an American web site where they do some controlled experiments to check out different methods of brewing - worth a look.

I have used whole hops but have had far better results using pellets. I've used up to 125g in the past but since switching to 8C/3 days I've found 75g is plenty - depending of course how hoppy you like your beer. I use home made hop bags (about 20cm square made out of voile) - 25g in each bag plus a 4th bag with weights (bags of glass beads from Dunelm - I think it was Wales Ales who came up with that one) so they all remain under the surface . I then attach a string to the lot so I can drag them about a bit without cracking the fermenter lid.

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by benchharp » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:37 am

Meatymc wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:07 am
I've been playing around on this topic for a number of months. I primarily brew IPA's and have tended to major on Citra - best (and most consistant) results have come when dropping to 8C and then dry hopping for 3 days maximum. 2 days seemed just a little less aroma but little in it.

Have now tried exact same recipe and process using Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mosaic and Foresters F.B. and all have been excellent!
Thanks for your insight, so following your 2-3 day contact, would you then cold crash? or are you including your cold crash in the 2-3 day period?

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Kingfisher4 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:22 am

Meatymc wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm


No problem - that's what we're here for and I've picked up the vast majority of what I(I think :wink: ) I know from others on the forum. With dry hopping though it was following an experiment on brulosophy.com - an American web site where they do some controlled experiments to check out different methods of brewing - worth a look.

I have used whole hops but have had far better results using pellets. I've used up to 125g in the past but since switching to 8C/3 days I've found 75g is plenty - depending of course how hoppy you like your beer. I use home made hop bags (about 20cm square made out of voile) - 25g in each bag plus a 4th bag with weights (bags of glass beads from Dunelm - I think it was Wales Ales who came up with that one) so they all remain under the surface . I then attach a string to the lot so I can drag them about a bit without cracking the fermenter lid.
Thanks again, have read the Brulosophy piece too. Pellets and 75gm ish is very helpful. I'm planning to try a sanitised veg bag from Aldi / Sainsbury's and also got some of those glass beads from Dunelm. Only dry hopped 3 times before and found about 6-8 old stainless steel teaspoons worked well as weights and were easier to separate from the hops and clean after. I usually prefer whole hops for the brewday, but am buying a small selection of pellets for dry hopping now too.

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Meatymc » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:17 am

benchharp wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:37 am
Thanks for your insight, so following your 2-3 day contact, would you then cold crash? or are you including your cold crash in the 2-3 day period?
Dry hop for 2/3 days and then cold crash (2C) for 6 days bring back to 18C overnight and bottle.

Everyone will do things slightly differently but after producing some rubbish IPA's towards the end of last year I started paying more attention to my process. Despite keeping copious notes since my 1st all-grain brew, I only realised when setting up a spreadsheet for my process that the timescales were all over the place - basically doing everything to suit when I had time. Current process is based on trial and error since and simply seems to work best for me and my personal taste.

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Re: Optimum Hop Contact Time

Post by Meatymc » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:22 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:22 am

Thanks again, have read the Brulosophy piece too. Pellets and 75gm ish is very helpful. I'm planning to try a sanitised veg bag from Aldi / Sainsbury's and also got some of those glass beads from Dunelm. Only dry hopped 3 times before and found about 6-8 old stainless steel teaspoons worked well as weights and were easier to separate from the hops and clean after. I usually prefer whole hops for the brewday, but am buying a small selection of pellets for dry hopping now too.
As I split my hops into 3 seperate bags - and particularly when I use whole hops, I've found it takes a bag of glass beads plus 8oz, 4oz, 2oz, 1oz brass weights to keep everything below the surface. I use 3 bags simply because I've tried it with 1 but despite agitating it as described above, the middle of the 'mass' seemed dry'ish - want to get as much out of the hops as I possibly can obviously.

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