Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dry Hopping, With or Without a Hop Bag

Pellet HopsA problem with using a hop boiling bag when dry hopping your beer is that is difficult (or impossible) to remove the bag of hops through the neck of the carboy after the hops have swollen from contact with the beer.

As discussed in prior blogs, the remedy to this is simple. Simply suspend your hop boiling bag with a piece of string and when you are ready just siphon out the beer to your bottling bucket, use the string to pull the hop bag up to the neck of the carboy and then snip a hole in the bag using a scissors. A vigorous shaking will remove the hops from the bag so that the hop boiling bag can be removed. Then just rinse the hops out of the carboy.

You may find that by using a hop boiling bag as opposed to using loose hops that you reduce the amount of hop contact with the beer. Try increasing the weight of the hops used by about 10% and make further adjustments according to your own taste.

If you have not tried dry hopping your beer and you love hop flavor and aroma then you absolutely need to give it a try with your next batch of homebrew.

Wine Tidbit: Merlot is similar in many ways to Cabernet Sauvignon. These two wines have many of the same aroma and flavor traits. Cabernet Sauvignon can vary from being relatively light-bodied to being a very full-bodied wine while Merlot is a softer version of Cabernet Sauvignon.

BlueStem Winery features a complete line of winemaking ingredients including ingredient kits from WinExpert and Cellar Craft. We also feature a complete line of homebrewing ingredients, beer making equipment and home brewing supplies.

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