From the HBD Archive
From: inc@tc.fluke.COM (Gary Benson)
Subject: Dry Hopping, Wort Chilling, Overdoing Things
Date: 1990-05-09 06:50:11 GMT

Only a few bottles remain of my first batch that used dry hopping, and I'm
very pleased wiht the results. I only tried dry hopping as a result of the
discussion here. It was a brown ale from extract, and using all leaf hops,
this was my hopping schedule in a 1 hour boil:

1 oz Cascade - 1 hour
1/2 oz Cascade - 40 minutes
1/2 oz Fuggles - 20 minutes
1/2 oz Fuggles - dry hopped

It was in the primary about 1 week. Starting at 1040, it was 1030 when I
transferred it to the secondary, where it was for about 10 days. Activity
really got slow, so when SG was at 1020 for a week, I bottled. Apparently
this is not very good attenuation. I was hoping for at least 1010. This was
two cans of John Bull dark unhopped extract with no added sugars or other

Questions: do hops adversely affect the vitality of yeast? Specifically, are
yeast less attenutative in the presence of higher concentrations of hop
oils? Are these gravity numbers what I should expect of Edme yeast? Is 1040
a reasonable starting gravity for a two-can, 5-gallon batch boiled for an
hour? Could it have been higher and I just measured it too warm?

My second topic: wort cooling

I GOTTA get a get wort chiller! Again, after reading here about the many
advantages of swiftly lowering the wort temperature, for this batch I put
the entire kettle in the kitchen sink. I use an enamel canning kettle.

I rigged a sponge in the drain to regulate outflow, and just let the cold
water drizzle into the sink around the pot. It worked great, lowering the
temperature to 90F in about one hour! (Accurate measurements courtesy of
my Fluke DVM with temperature probe!)

Of course, now that I think of it, perhaps I got such a lot of hop flavor
because I did not strain the boiling hops out until I poured into the
primary. I'v begun rehydrating at the suggestion of many here in this
digest, to good effect. It sure was fun, though, pitching the yeast on the
same night as I brewed, and waking up the next morning to the cheerful
sounds of bubbling yeasties!!

Final topic: overdoing it

I think for novice brewers (like myself), there is a certain value in
occasionally going overboard as part of the learning process. In fact, I
understand that to learn to be an official AHA brew judge, you must go
through a course that uses exactly this technique.

Often I've heard and read of "overhopped" beer, and couldn't imagine such a
thing since I am very fond of hops smell and flavor. Well, this batch is
overhopped, but even so, it is valuable for me to know just what overhopped
tastes like. It is still drinkable, (what me worry?) but has taught me at
least that it IS possible to get too much. The secret is balance, according
to what I've read, and while this batch may be overhopped, the same amount
of hoppiness might be very desirable (or even necessary) in a more robustly
malt flavored brew or in a sweeter one.

Similarly, I never really knew what "cidery" meant when applied to beer. A
few batches ago, I purposely added 3 pounds of cane sugar to see if I could
find out. Well guess what? It tasted like cider! Not unpleasantly so if
that's what you were expecting, just not a real beer kind of flavor. I wound
up retiring that "recipe", and called the batch Cider Beer.

For my stout, I gradually increased the amount of brewer's licorice until I
finally could locate the particular note it was adding - one it turns out I
had not cared for all that much, so I will probably be dropping the licorice
in the future! The last batch had one full 6-inch stick, and the flavor was
unmistakable, although not readily identifiable as licorice.

Enough from me! I'll go back to reading and enjoying our wonderful Digest,
and thanks once again to all who make it the quality reading it is.

Happy hoppy brewing, everybody...

Oh! ps: Would the person who has the quote in their .signature reading:

If it's good for ancient druids,
running nekkid through the wuids,
drinkin' strange fermented fluids,
then it's good enough for me.

please tell us where that came from? Is it original? 14th century England?

oops - one last thing: the recent remark about using a hydrometer being just
a form of worrying too much struck a real chord with me. I agree that thef
information you gain is minimal against the chance of infection; but mihgt
that only be true after some learning period? As a relative newcomer, I
don't feel I have enough experience yet to "know what the meter is going to
show anyway". I was also interested in the digital meter someone proposed a
while back - what became of that? I have visions of plugging a hydrometer
probe into my FLUKE DVM, then hooking up a (borrowed) Data Logger and chart
recorder. "What me Worry? Hell, Jake, brewin' beers' a cinch. Just watch that
line, and when it stays level for three days, bottle it!"

- --
Gary Benson -=[ S M I L E R ]=-

I never loved another person the way I loved myself. -Mae West

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