So if I do a secondary fermentation for a double IPA and transfer it to a carboy(better bottle) should I use a steeping bag?, or is it better to keep it in the primary fermenter and add the dry hops there and not use secondary fermentation?

2 Answers 2


I usually use a secondary fermentor when I dry-hop something. The idea for that is to get the beer off of the bulk of the yeast cake, so no autolysis flavors are produced.

I also don't use a steeping bag. I could tell you about how the bag gets in the way of proper contact with the beer or whatnot, but I don't really know anything about that. The reason I do it is that it took me over half an hour to get a bag full of wet hops out of my carboy the first time I dry hopped something. I decided that I could live with a few bits of hop material in my beer after that.

  • 1
    taking into account that you are using a Better Bottle, the opening is much larger than glass carboys and hop bags are much easier to remove. Aug 30, 2011 at 15:19
  • 3
    In regards to autolysis, there have been a slew of experiments among brewers in recent times that pretty much disprove the fear of it. You can leave an ale in the primary for months with no off flavors, provided you had a healthy fermentation and temps lower than 80-90F for the secondary.
    – Graham
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:06
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    I only use a secondary in a limited number of cases. Dry-hopping happens to be one of them.
    – baka
    Aug 30, 2011 at 22:10

I agree with baka on the headache of removing a bag of hops from a bottle. Instead I just tie the hop bag around the end of my autosiphon when siphoning into the bottling bucket. This effectively block any hops from ending up in your bottled beer.

  • I do this with a piece of vinyl screen, it works really well.
    – pjreddie
    Sep 1, 2011 at 21:17
  • We use a muslin steeping bag not for steeping but for this purpose when dry-hopping. Works a treat. Sep 14, 2011 at 9:57

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