Topic of the Month: Dry Hopping
Club member Paul Futer was researching the various methods a brewer can approach dry hopping. Dry hop in primary or secondary? Pellets or whole leaf? What about exposure to oxygen? A question with a lot of possible answers, our members responded with how they each approach the practice. Here's just a few:
I do pellets in primary after fermentation has completed for three days and then bottle immediately. I normally do not use a hop bag.
Primary ferm at a temp of around 60 is my recommendation. Do a light CO2 purge if possible (don't go nuts, maybe 3–5 psi, especially if primary is in glass).
I've noticed a distinct increase in quality doing warm dry hopping in a CO2 purged keg, vs chucking them in secondary or cool kegging.
I usually transfer the beer into a CO2 purged carbon when it's ~5 gravity points from finishing and add pellet hops. I let it sit at room temp for ~5 days making sure to shake it up at least once a day to move the hops around so they don't settle or form a floating mat on top.
In addition to this, club member Ed Coffey posted a lengthy description of his process, which is aimed at eliminating exposure to oxygen at each stage, on his blog. The post (seen here) is very informative and something you should absolutely read if you're looking to up your dry hopping game.