Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:51 am

This past weekend I kegged a batch of Pils and added my dry hops to the keg. Since the un-dry hopped beer tasted so fantastic I was excited to check the progress after a couple of days on the dry hops so I poured a sample last night. I was disappointed to see that my beautiful pale golden pils had turned into a turbid, murky, milky mess. It looked a lot more like a really cloudy wit beer than anything else. To make matters worse the flavor was pretty bland. I usually add dry hops to the fermenter and let things run its course before any evaluation (flavor and appearance) is made so I don’t know what a “normal” progression would be. I’m not freaking out (yet) and would just like to get some feedback and, hopefully, some reassurance. Is my beer in trouble?
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Re: Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:05 pm

Some hopheads will tell you if you are making an IPA, IIPA or happen to be dry hopping the shit out of beer, a little hop haze is expected and appreciated because it shows that the hop flavor is in the forefront. Some people will even give you a hard time if you have a crystal clear beer that was highly dry hopped. This is all of matter of opinion of course and not really what you are looking for in a Pils.

Which hop did you use, how much did you use, how long did you dry hop, what temp did you dry hop at and what size batch did you do? What sort of hop flavor/aroma were you going for? It sounds like you may have used too much of the wrong hop for too long a time.

If you added too many oz. or gms. of hops or the wrong type of hop you may be getting more of a bland vegetative flavor than an actual hop flavor/aroma. Some hops simply blend better with certain malts. Typically but not always you are looking to dry hop with your higher alpha acid, higher oil content hops because at this point you are really just looking to get those oils mixed into your beer as much as possible. This is usually the case for IPA's because you can extract citrus flavors from the oils of higher alpha acid hops. If you are using a noble hop or something like EKG, Fuggles or Styrian Goldians you may be getting more of an earth grassy flavor that clashes with your clean Pils flavor because they don't have much oil to contribute to the beer.

Using cold crashing, a little gelatin and time helps to clear those hops out. Not to mention what you get from dry hopping fades significantly over time.
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Re: Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:48 am

In total I used 2.0 ounces of Saaz, Hallertau and Tettnanger hop pellets in the five gallon keg of Pilsner. I placed all the hops in a coures hop sack along with a piece of satinless steel to weigh it down. The batch had conditioned in the secondary at around 35F for a month before racking so it had already dropped very bright. I guess it is possible that the cloudiness is a result of hop residue escaping the sack and will hopefully settle out over time.
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Re: Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:34 pm

The hop residue will either pour out of the keg (hopefully w/o plugging your dip tube) or will settle and clear out in time. For that reason, I have always dry-hopped in primary, then cold crashed for several days, then racked to a keg for lagering and serving. Gives me a nice crystal clear beer!
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Re: Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:45 am

If I'm hopping in the serving keg, I use a sanitized mesh bag.
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Re: Murky Beer From Dry Hopping

Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:07 pm

I dont keg my beer so I dont know anything about dry hopping my beers in kegs, however I do a lot of dry hopping in a secondary.

Typically, I will transfer to secondary when the fermentation is about 90% of total attenuation and add my hops. I have tried doing both 1 and 2 weeks of dry hopping and have tired both pellets and whole hops. I find I get the proper extraction of flavor and aroma with two weeks regardless hop form. The way I see it, the longer you keep the hops in the beer the more they break down thus adding more vegetative notes and more particles that are causing your haze.

Therefore, I would keep beer-hop contact to a minimum, but enough to get the desired flavor. This will call for experimentation to find the right balance.

This is what I have had success with, but I am sure its not the only way.

Also I have great success when I dry hop with amarillo, cascade and centennial. Fuggle also had nice dry hopping character.
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