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When dry hopping, should you try to submerge the hops after you add them to the secondary?

Half the hops in my last IPA weren't wet after a week, so I'm thinking they couldn't contribute much flavor.

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  • 4
    I read this as "should I have drunk my dry hops?" I wouldn't recommend that at all.
    – sgwill
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 18:16

3 Answers 3

6

I generally add the dry hops to the secondary vessel before I siphon the beer in, to try to get around this issue.

I think you do want them wet, so they are really in the beer, and can leech the flavors into the liquid.

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  • That makes sense. I'm not sure why I always siphon then add the hops.
    – Scott P
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 19:49
  • This also goes for most other late additions.
    – Martin
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 8:31
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Boil or sanitize a few marbles and toss them in a hop bag with the hops. Tie off and let it sink to the bottom of your secondary vessel. The marbles will keep the hops submerged.

Once you've siphoned out the beer and it's time to remove the hops, the marbles will also make it easier to get the hops out, especially when using glass carboys.

To make things even easier (both for dry-hopping and cleanup), use multiple bags and fewer hops in each, rather than placing all of your hops in one bag.

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  • In my experience marbles aren't heavy enough to submerge a hop bag. Even small stainless weights aren't enough if you have a lot of hops. I know off some homebrewers who use sterilised smooth stones, as they're the only thing heavy enough for the job.
    – fatboab
    Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 8:52
  • As long as the total weight of the object used to submerge the hop bags is greater than that of the bag + hops, and assuming no trapped air, then it's pretty straightforward to figure out how much weight is needed to prevent buoyancy.
    – Bill Craun
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 4:11
  • It's not the weight of the hops and hop bags, but the weight of the water displaced by them that matters. Still, given enough marbles or other weights, you would most certainly be able to keep a hop bag submerged. Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 3:28
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When I use pellets for dry hopping I don't have these issues as they sink like tiny stones.

But, if you have added hops after siphoning, then giving the vessel a good slosh around can get then into the beer.

I sometimes freeze leaf hops then smash them up before using them for dry hop as they tend to wet faster as smaller pieces and you will get better aroma extraction from them. But, pellets I find best for imparting flavour.

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  • I guess this really depends on how the pellets are pressed, and the gravity of the beer. I've had pellets just sit on top like happy boats for weeks. No amount of shaking would get them to start absorbing wort. I suspect it was a little oil water effect and the high gravity that didn't lend well to them sinking. Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 14:42
  • I have never had this issue. They always drop like stones for me. I can see how it could happen.
    – Mr_road
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 8:55

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