Dry Hopping Temperature

One of the best ways to get good hop aroma in your beer is to dry hop the beer… you can simply stuff a hop bag and throw it into the beer after fermentation and “hope” for the best or you can continue applying temperature control post fermentation for best dry hop results…

See dry hopping at warmer temperatures extracts hop aroma faster, but it also increases the chances of extracting unwanted vegetable hop flavors…

My normal brewing practices is I brew a beer and leave it as long as it needs to mature and turn out the best… Over the last few weeks, however, I’ve been taking on the task of brewing beer for my sister’s wedding…

Time is not on my side on this one…

I do not have the luxury of letting beer sit on the fermentors as long as they need… I have a large family and they are already thirsty for some good ole Brew Beer and Drink It wedding beer.

In order to maximize quantity without affecting the quality of my beers I had to brush up on some knowledge and am reminded of Dry Hopping temperatures as I plan on taking on my white IPA (video to be released in the next few weeks)…

Namely, how do I reduce the amount of dry hop time needed while maximizing the aroma I want on the beer… going past selecting hops with good amounts of oils, etc., I found temperature to be my best tool for this one…

grow-your-own-hopsLiving in the “dry heat” of Arizona allowed me to discover bad hop aroma when I dry hop my beer during the summer when the 120°F (49 °C) sun laughs at the air conditioning unith barely keeping the house temperature below 80°F (27 °C)…

Contrast summer dry hopping with the cruel Arizona winter which keeps the house at a sarcastic freezing temperature of 60 °F (16 °C), it makes dry hopping a technique that makes  hop aroma blast out smoothly from the pint glass…

Knowing that, I began to realize that lower temperatures did in fact keep some of the bad hop flavors from leeching into the beer… it also meant however that the hops had to sit more days on the beer in order to extract the oils…

So a simple experiment found that dry hopping between 55 °F and 68 °F (13 °C and 20 °C) were the temperatures that sped up dry hopping and extracted mostly good hop aromas… this is dependent on the oil amounts and percentage of things like myrcene, humulene and other hop aspects I cover on Better Home Brew Formula in more detail.

So there you have it… hope some day this tool serves you well… warmer temperatures extract hop aroma faster, but the warmer the temperature the higher the risk of extracting bad hop flavors…

Cheers!

7 Comments

  • Martin Roberts

    Reply Reply January 3, 2014

    To get big hop aroma and flavour without the vegetal/chlorophyll effect in the shortest possible time. I find a “Hop Tea” to be far more effective than dry hopping, as well as using 1/2 -2/3 less hops.
    I make up a wort of between 1.005 – 1.015, boil and transfer it to a french press in which I steep the hops, once the wort temp drops to 70C. I let it stand for 30 mins minimum before chilling in an ice-bath then pressing off the hops and adding the “tea”.
    I leave it for a day or two at ferment temp for the added malt to ferment then keg as per usual.
    I find not only the aroma and flavour to be cleaner and pronounced, but more stable, too. Lasting weeks longer than expected.

    • jorgitoz

      Reply Reply January 3, 2014

      Hop tea is awesome! Thanks for sharing…

      Cheers!

    • Terry

      Reply Reply March 14, 2014

      Nice Tip!! I will have to give that a try as I pretty much dry hop everything!!!

  • Art

    Reply Reply January 17, 2014

    Jorge – I live in Chandler, where are you from?

  • Rhen

    Reply Reply February 23, 2014

    What is a typical timeframe that you use for dry hopping in that temperature range? Getting the right timing has been one of my challenges lately while brewing IPAs.

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