From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!utah-cs!!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn)
Subject: dry-hopping and infecting beer
Date: 1989-02-10 08:43:05 GMT

I've done near-dry-hopping a handful of times with good results. I don't
think there are any inherent problems with it.

As for the bacteria &c which might live on the hops: They may exist, but
it seems reasonable to guess that the critters that find hops hospitable
are unlikely to be the same as those that find wort tasty.

If you're trying to think of ways to sterilize the hops before you use
them, consider that you don't want to use a lot of heat, because heat will
destroy or dissipate the same aromatics you're trying to retain by dry-

My near-dry-hopping procedure is to put the hops in the primary fermenter
and transfer the wort onto them after I've boiled it and I'm ready to cool
it. This seems to retain good hop character without problems. However,
note that I use a wide-top primary; if you hop with whole-leaf hops and use
a carboy for a primary, you run the risk of clogging the blowoff with hops.

As for whole-leaf vs pellets, there really isn't any reason to prefer one
to the other for reasons of cleanliness or risk of infection. Pellets are
made by squishing leaf hops; there's no cleaning or sterilizing along the

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