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Hi me and my future wife are brewing a bunch of different beers for our wedding. Next up is an IPA so we are curious of how the dry hopping process works. I'm looking for do's and don'ts and also a description of the process from the fermentation until the finished product.

Here are some additional questions.

  • What types of hop are best for dry hopping?
  • Can I bottle ferment after dry hopping for carbonation?

Any help is appreciated!

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Dry hops are usually applied in the last 3-7 days of secondary fermentation.

Typically only "Aroma" hops are used, but any hop you're partial too can be used. Just use caution with high doses of high alpha acid hops, as you can actually also add bitter with dry hops.

Really the only other caution that comes to mind is the possibility of grassy off flavors, generally caused by high alpha acid hops and not enough time to rest out. Basically 7 days min for 10%+ AA.

One other draw back to dry hopping is they can take a lot of time to clarify. May want to consider a cold crash & gelatin or other fining.

Yes, you can still bottle condition. However keep in mind most IPAs are best fresh, so force carbonation is preferred.

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    How fresh is fresh? Do I need to add extra yeast after the secondary fermentation before bottling? How much hops should I add for say 20L batch? – Pablo Jomer Mar 28 '16 at 7:16
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    @PabloKarlsson you shouldn't need to add more yeast, but it is a hard balance between clarity and being able to bottle condition when dry hopping. As for the amount, some IPAs can use less than an ounce, others have several ounces. Find a recipe you like and follow it for your first time at least. – Evil Zymurgist Mar 28 '16 at 12:55
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    @PabloKarlsson fresh is fresh. Its hard to put into a simple answer. As an IPA ages it's changing, losing the fresh hop aroma and flavors until your left with just a bitter malty beer where the circus has left town. Each recipe is different, some are best in the first week, others need a few weeks to allow hops to calm down. Its all a matter of taste and what you like. – Evil Zymurgist Mar 28 '16 at 13:48
  • Allright then. We are brewing for our wedding in 5 months so perhaps it is to soon to do a dry hopped IPA. I guess keeping the beer cool could slowdown the aroma processes but it still seems a bit early. Do you have any advice for how to go on with this batch. We have brewed it as if it was going to be an IPA but we have not yet dry hopped. It we are planning to do so in the end of this week. Would you go on with that plan or change the idea of the beer at this late a stage? And do you think it will be servable after five months? – Pablo Jomer Mar 29 '16 at 6:26
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    @PabloKarlsson bottle condition warm , as you normally would. Then move to cold storage. – Evil Zymurgist Mar 29 '16 at 12:14
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Brew closer to your wedding. Any reason you cannot keg and carbonate? If its for your wedding, nice fresh keg conditioned IPA would be better than bottles with the crap on the bottom. Bottles are usually poured with some finesse by the home brewer and not handed out at a wedding where guests may be drinking from bottle or just not used to sediment at the bottom.

Lighter pales typically should be drank within a couple months of brewing. So, plan to brew and dry hop about 6-8 wks before the wedding. These 5 months can give you time for some practice, trying out different recipes, hops to use (I like higher alpha hops for dry hopping, but then I dry hop for 2-3 weeks to let them settle out). For your wedding, I agree use a low alpha so it is more pleasant for your guests.

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  • A keg and some carbonation equipment are on our wish list but we don't have them yet. Maby we can fit it in to the budget. – Pablo Jomer Mar 29 '16 at 20:22
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https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/beer-fermentation-hops-along/

Enzymes originating from the non-heated hops added during dry-hopping may break down starches previously unbroken by the mash and boil, thereby creating an excess of yeast food. My recommendation is to bottle, using the dilute syrup method (NOT PUTTING SUGAR CUBES IN YOUR BOTTLES) at the lowest level recommended for your particular style. You're gonna have to do some maths and research, but it'll be worth it :) EXCELSIOR!

Mosiac IPA

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