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I recently made an IPA. I put an ounce of Cascade pellets in the secondary (for a 23-litre [6-U.S.-gallon] batch), but there is hardly any hops aroma in the finished product. By the end of the two weeks, the hops had all sunk to the bottom, so I know they were exposed to the beer and not just floating. Is an ounce not enough? Is there some other way this could have failed? I trust my LHBS and would assume that they sold me fresh, properly-stored ingredients.

I was using Danstar Nottingham yeast, which is highly-flocculating. Could that have pulled the dry hops out of the wort and deposited it in the trub during the secondary phase?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Hop aroma will dissipate over time. I found that dry hopping just as fermentation was ending (primary vessel, no secondary) resulted in losing most of the aroma over the next 1-2 weeks, but the room smelt great.

I'd suggest:

  • More hops.
  • Don't leave them in so long. Try 3 or 4 days before you bottle. Longer times might also result in unwanted grassy or plant flavours.
  • Consider making "dry hop tea" and pitching that, "dissolving" the pellets first. If you used pellets and they sunk to the bottom they might not have been as effective as they could have been.

There is an episode of Brew Strong dedicated to dry hopping: http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-12-08-08-Dry-Hopping

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+1 for thebrewingnetwork.com –  spoulson Nov 12 '10 at 13:05
  1. Try using more hops. 1 oz. is really not a lot for dry hopping an IPA. If you're going for that west coast grapefruit/fruity hop aroma then Amarillo hops will be more suited as their aroma/flavor is much more intense.

  2. Try using a yeast that's going to accentuate the fruitiness of the hops. Dry notty yeast has almost no flavor/aroma, which can be desirable in a lot of beers. However if you're looking to really highlight the aroma/flavor of the hops then you want a yeast that will produce similar flavors and aromas. Wyeast 1056 is known for producing subtle citrus notes and light fruitiness.

Hope this helps!

You can also try first wort hopping. Take 30% - 35% of your hop schedule and move it to first wort hopping. Adding some hops here reduces the pH level of your wort and increases the isomerization of the rest of the essential oils and AA in your hops. This will you a more refined and distinct hop/flavor aroma. Here is a great read from John Palmer on how to FWH.

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If you're looking for a big aroma rather than hop notes, I'd add more like 2-4 ozs depending on what you're looking for. IMO Cascades are great for dry hopping though.

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This is the simplest answer, so +1. 1oz of dry hops in a 5gal batch will give just a very slight hop aroma, which is fine for some styles. For an American IPA, I'd go with 2oz to start with and go up from there. Mix in a little Amarillo or Simcoe for variety. –  Graham Apr 5 '11 at 13:27

"Mr. Malty" offers an alternative to dry hopping with a large addition of late hops.

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