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Dry hopping = bad bottling

When I bottled my Dry Hopped Dead Guy Ale last week I ran into a problem. Bottling was almost a failure. Let me start off with the fact that this way my first dry hopped beer that didn’t have the hop leaves contained in a bag. Needless to say there were a lot of hop leaves floating around in the carboy. I didn’t think that this was going to be a problem, but my auto-siphon was continually getting clogged wit the leaves.

This clogging had two negative effects. The first was that it took forever to transfer from the carboy to the bottling bucket. The second was that it introduced a lot of air/bubbles into the line from the auto-siphon to the bottling bucket. Air is great when beer is just starting it’s fermentation, but not so good when it is finished. In fact, it is downright bad to have that much air introduced into the beer. The beer did turn out pretty tasty (at least what I tasted from the bottling bucket) but we will have to wait a few week for it to carbonate to see how it really turned out.

Next time I think about dry hopping I am going to be getting a stainless steel sleeve that hops the flowers and also fits perfectly into a carboy. It was a fun experiment and hopefully the results will reflect the fun.

2 thoughts on “Dry hopping = bad bottling

  1. One alternative I’ve seen in a few places, and which in fact I used when bottling a heavily dry-hopped IPA this morning, is to use one of those metallic scrub brushes that one can buy for the kitchen as a kind of filter. It should be unused, of course, and boiled for the appropriate amount of time in order to sterilize it. Then stick it on the end of your siphon and, after the first little bit of beer, what comes out should be gloriously clear. It worked for me, anyway!

    It also helped to rack the beer to some other container (like a bottling bucket) and let it settle a bit before bottling. Normally I bottle straight from the carboy, but this helped considerably. Lastly, I moved the beer before bottling, so I darkened the room (avoiding light) and let it settle for a bit. Some people even cold crash the beer before bottling, to get all the hops to drop down. I haven’t tried that, but I will be doing so with the next beer I dry-hop… which won’t be for a while, but anyway…

  2. Thanks for the comments. I did rack it over to the bottling bucket and the beer was actually very clear and I haven’t had any hop particles in the beer. My main problem was the leaves clogging up the little sediment cap thing. Next time I am going to put the hops in a hop sack and weight it down so it sinks to the bottom. I think it should help out.

    I like your idea of the metal scrubbie, I think I will try that next time around.

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