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I have been bottling my beer for years now and am just getting in to kegging. I would love to start to dry hop directly in the keg but am worried about sediment in my beer. Is dry hopping in the keg even an option or should I stick to dry hopping in the carboy?

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Anyone ever dry hop with fresh hops? –  J Times Dec 31 '09 at 13:19
    
@J Times: It's called wet hopping. –  PMV Dec 7 '10 at 19:01

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There is a thing called a SureScreen that can slip over the dip tube of the keg so you can dry hop in the keg. Here's the description from Northern Brewer:

"The SureScreen is a welded stainless steel screen that slips onto your racking cane or keg dip tube and filters out fruit or dry hops from the fermenter or whole hops and trub from the kettle. Also allows dry hopping to be done directly in the keg. Stainless steel construction makes it easy to sanitize (do not use bleach!). Not recommended for use with plastic racking tubes or plastic fermenters. Pellet hops have a tendency to clog the SureScreen - it works far better with whole hops"

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I will sanitize a mesh bag, put the whole hops in the bag, roll it up and shove it up near the top of the keg, between the dip tube and the keg wall. When you drink about a gallon of your beer, the hops will be suspended above the beer preventing over-exposure. I've done this at least a dozen times with great results.

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Sometimes the hops will float. Sanitize a metal washer or something else non-reactive and heavy and put it in the mesh bag. I leave the drawstring of the mesh bag poking out of the lid. You can't pressurize the keg this way. –  Dean Brundage Dec 29 '09 at 15:17
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That's different then my method. In my method I pressurize the beer, and serve it at the same time as I am dry hopping. I push the hops toward the top of the keg to reduce hop/beer contact time. Once a gallon or so is drank the hops are no longer in contact with the beer. I remove the hops after the keg is finished and empty. –  Tim Weber Jan 4 '10 at 15:37

For those using pellet hops, the stainless steel mesh balls usually used for steeping tea are an option. I've used ones I bought from Northern Brewer on several batches and each one can hold up to about an ounce, though I try to go lighter to make sure liquid can flow through and around the hops. I typically just toss the SS balls in there and leave them until the keg blows. I've had some batches where the hop aroma just kept getting more and more intense as the keg stayed on tap.

Something to consider: Although they are billed as all stainless, the pin that connects the closure will eventually corrode away in beer. When that happens I just tie them shut with dental floss and hope I haven't ingested any carcinogens.

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After my latest experiment with it, I'll be sticking with dry hopping in a carboy/secondary fermentor from now on. It was mostly a process fault, but even so, the keg will be harder to clean with all the little vegetative bits left in it.

Basically, I made a "bag" out of some cheesecloth and put my 2oz of cascade pellets in it, tossed it into the keg, and racked the beer onto it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the bag tied very well, so now (2 weeks after I fished the bag out), every time I move the keg at all, either the plumbing gets clogged with hop bits, or my first 2 or 3 pints are muddy with hop solids.

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