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09/13/10 10:36 AM  
Hops: to dry or not to dry
It was that time of year again, for a change I actually harvested my cascades at the proper time! This year I decided to see what the difference was between boiling and "dry" hopping with both freshly picked hops (within 24 hours of harvest) and dried hops (used about a week after harvesting. Both beers used the same volume of hops, though of course the weight of hops between batches differed greatly. Looking forward to seeing the results.

Been such a slow brewing year. 2010 stated out with some serious structural support work in the basement, so I was closed out of my brewery for a while. I dragged my feet getting everything in order again and before I knew it it was May. Found out I have a blood sugar issue hanging over me so beer consumption is WAY down. These two beers were my first and second batches of 2010!

09/13/10 11:13 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Nice to see you back and functioning even at a lower capacity!!
09/13/10 11:29 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Thanks Cisco, not dead yet!! The upshot of the lower capacity functioning is I've dropped 23 pounds so far, first time in my adult life I've managed that. I have a shot at sidestepping diabetes, I plan to make the most of it.

The dry hop phase involved putting a gauze "sock" inside the keg that is nearly the size of the keg, filled with hops. I put the beer that could not fit because of all the hops in a second keg. Yesterday I racked the beer off the sock o hops, it had the greatest smell. Made me miss brewing more.

09/13/10 01:47 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Welcome back! Good to see you around. I'll be interested to read your results. I've been debating this the last few years, but ended up just drying all of it and vacuum sealing since I didn't have a brew planned at the time that I wanted to use as a hops experiment.
09/13/10 03:57 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Thanks Jaymo. How old are your vines? It took me several seasons before I started getting hops that were tasty.
09/13/10 10:23 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Just moved into a new house last winter, so these are new Cascade vines. All 3 yielded decent smelling cones this first year though! The Willamette plant didn't grow any, but more than anything I just wanted them to get established and healthy this first year anyway.
09/14/10 07:00 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
My first year was far from impressive. I was talking with someone at the NHC about it the following summer and they told me the gardeners principle "sleep, creep, leap" applies to hops. Sure enough, the 3rd year was a big upgrade. They leapt on schedule!
09/19/10 01:35 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Man, took my first taste of batch #1 (attic dried hops) now one week into cold conditioning after racking off the hop bag. Hot damn. After a couple lousy hop years and a couple good ones I finally have a great one.
09/19/10 06:54 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Awesome! I used the majority of last year's hops (we had first year plants in huge pots at our condo that didn't make it through the winter prior to moving) in an all-brett IPA inspired by Victory Wild Devil. I brewed it in late December, but it just finally stopped dropping in gravity this month at FG 1.001. I dry hopped it again with some new Cascade to give it a boost of newer hops flavor after months in the carboy.

We bottled it a week ago and I'm looking forward to trying it soon.

09/20/10 11:56 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Where abouts are you jaymo?
09/21/10 10:46 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
If anyone out there in a north Jerseyer, I can say that in 20 years of brewing I have my first keg that I can't seem to keep my hands off of even though it has nearly no carbonation. Love to share some with somebody. Steve
09/21/10 11:37 AM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Racine, WI. About a half-hour south of Milwaukee.
09/21/10 04:46 PM  
Re: Hops: to dry or not to dry
Well, this beer is a good one but not worth the drive!!!
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