From the HBD Archive
From: (Jeff Frane)
Subject: Dry-Hopping & Bruiser Brewers
Date: 1992-03-17 19:36:57 GMT

> Date: Mon, 16 Mar 92 10:02:43 EST
> From:
> Subject: keg hopping
> I recently tried keg hopping with ~ 1oz leaf hops into nylon
> bag. Tasted great for about a week, but then the beer developed
> a very bitter taste. Has anyone else noted this?
> /Mal Card
See my note below on quantities. I think either you've overdone it or
the problem isn't related to the hops per se.
> Questions for the HBD'ers:
> 1.) I want to dry hop. I was going to throw an ounce of whole Cascades into
> the carboy after the krauesen (sp?) falls. If these things are floating
> around loose, how do I rack to secondary without plugging up the siphon
> or leaving a bunch of beer behind? Is it possible to put the hops into
> a sanitized hop bag or something? (Then how do I get it into the mouth
> of the carboy!?) At least in the 7-gallon carboy I've got plenty of
> headroom for it.
Put them in a bag. If your homebrew supply store doesn't stock
ready-made bags (they look like socks) you can use cheesecloth. Hops
floating around loose _would_ be a real bugger to deal with. You may
want to start with a smaller amount--say 1/2 ounce. Cascades are very
aromatic and I've found this quantity to be more than adequate (and I'm
a hop freak). Notice Mal Card's problem with bitterness; it's possible
that the addition of 1 ounce of hops pushed the beer over some sort of
bitterness threshold. In spite of what is generally said about hops
requiring boiling to produce bitterness, Dr. Lewis has established that
the simple addition of dry-hops _and no bittering hops_ is enough to add
some bitterness to the beer.

> 2.) The two yeasts I'm trying are behaving rather differently.

[I didn't scramble these lines, vi did! Really!]

> popping, lots of CO2 and rollicking yeast motion in the carboy, while the
> SNPA guys appear to be working but much more slowly. So far, no sign of
> contamination, just vastly different fermentation rates a t this temp.
> Both carboys were at equal temperature, both were agitated to oxygenate
> the cooled wort...the only visible difference at pitching time was that
> the British batch had more trub in the bottom than the other.
> mechanics of dry-hopping will be appreciated!

I've found that 1056/SNA yeast works very well at 65F, although WYeast
claims that it works well at much cooler temperatures. I think your
sample may prove otherwise, although the pitching rates seem to be quite
different. If the British yeast came from a recently fermenting batch of
beer, they were likely much more active, as well as being in greater
quantities. So, in this regard, I don't think the difference in
activity is surprising. If you can raise the temperature of the SNA you
may improve ferment. On the other hand, as long as the beer ferments out
completely there shouldn't be any problem with the flavor, so maybe just
relax yadda yadda.

> ~~~ Tom Bower

> Fm: Jack Schmidling
> It seems apparent that EDME (I can't speak for any other) contains a
> > If the yeast is in the outer Wyeast packet, then why not just cut it open
> *wihout* ever breaking the inner seal, and just make a starter yourself?
> I find it incredible that, with all the expert opinion on Wyeast, this very
> fundamental question is still floating around.
> Where is Jeff Frane when we need him?
Yo. The answer is yes. And why not, indeed? I use the in-built starter
for oomph, but transfer it into a starter culture; there's no reason why
you can't skip the initial starter. You might try, however, pitching it
into a smaller quantity than 1 quart--say 6 to 8 ounces.

Someone raised the question of poor malt yield. I'm told that some of the
local microbreweries have had a problem with inconsistency in their
Klages, so it's possible that the problem isn't procedural at all. One
suggestion is to slow down your lautering phase. I've taken to
monitoring the OG when the kettle is full, to see if some form of
artificial adjustment is required (e.g., adding some malt extract
((horrors!)) or boiling to a lower volume--or alternatively if the yield
seems to be higher than expected, boiling to a greater volume ()

On the question of the Big Boys and the beer they brew. As far as I can
tell, a letter-writing campaign is unlikely to change their approach to
the market. They already figure they're making Good Beer and as long as
they sell lots of it, what do they care what a few grumpy homebrewers
think? A few years ago, Heileman (?) built a new Val Blatz brewery in
Wisconsin(?) which was designed to brew high-quality
(relatively--anyway, all malt) beers on a smaller scale for draught
sales in the Midwest. Within a remarkably short time they closed down; I
have no idea whether the brewhouse is sitting idle... quite a thought.

If the continuously-expanding microbrewery market ever puts a dent in
the BB's sales, then you might see some changes. Judging by previous
activity, however, this will simply mean a change in marketing approach.
(Garbage like Miller's Plank Road and, pardon me fans, but Coors
Winterfest are good examples.)

What I'm curious about is why anybody gives a rip _what_ AB or Coors or
any of the others brew, as long as decent microbrews (and contract brews
like Sam Adams) are available--or as long as we can brew at home. People
like to eat Cool Whip and Big Macs, too, and it's no skin off my nose as
long as no one forces one on me. What concerns me is that AB keeps its
grubby paws off the Czech Budwar and Pilsner Urquell. Lord knows what
their marketing bozos would do with all that labor-intensive brewing!

- --Jeff Frane

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