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I was planning on aging my barley wine in a carboy. Is it appropriate to dry hop upon transfer to the secondary for aging. Or would it be better to dry hop after I consider the aging process to be done, i.e. prior to bottling?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I routinely leave dry hops in beers for months and get no vegetal flavors. When to dry hop it up to you. I generally do it in xfer to secondary just because I'm lazy...err, pragmatic....and want to get everything done in one step. From that point, the hops will be in there anywhere from 2-6 months.

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Do you think that hop aroma diminishes over that period of time? Or can you compensate for that by using more hops in the first place. – brewchez Mar 17 '11 at 18:03
I haven't actually studied this, but my gut feeling is that no, it doesn't diminish. I base that solely on taste results. – Denny Conn Mar 17 '11 at 18:31

Leaving dry hops in there for more than a 3-4 weeks usually isn't a good idea, you start to get more vegetal hop notes. I'd do it closer to bottling -- perhaps do several small dry hop additions over the course of the 3 weeks leading up to bottling.

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I find that things like "vegetal" character from dry hopping are more related to the variety of hops you use than time. When I keg hop, the hops are in there for months and don't get vegetal. – Denny Conn Mar 17 '11 at 18:32

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