Hops harvest and drying

Growing hops, fruits, spices, herbs, or anything else you plan on throwing into your brew? Tell us about it!
Winger
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Hops harvest and drying

Post by Winger » 3 years ago

I have been harvesting this years hops already. The types I've picked were light and airy with the cones opened and lupine all throughout. They were starting to get brown tips on the cones. I tested them by bending the cone between my fingers and thumb, when they were breaking I started to pick. I dried my cones on a homemade rack with a wooden frame and burlap secured inside it. I used a small fan and a Halogen 250 watt light pointed toward the concrete floor to give more heat throughout the night. I left them there for 16 to 18 hours then vacuum sealed in my foodsaver in 8 oz packages. I was wondering how long you guys dry your hops and how to get an idea of the alpha content. When drying, do you weigh before and again after to estimate your moisture loss?
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Warthaug
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Warthaug » 3 years ago

I put mine on a screen and bag them when I remember that they are in the garage...which reminds me, it's been 3 days.

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JimmehBrew
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by JimmehBrew » 3 years ago

My wonderful swimbo this year helped me tremendously, by using our dehydrator on the lowest setting and they were vac packed in 2 days. As for the alpha percentage who knows, I just count on the regular BS setting for that hop and brew as normal. I think you would need a lab for that, but hey maybe there is a formula out there for it ?
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Wingeezer
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Wingeezer » 3 years ago

JimmehBrew wrote:My wonderful swimbo this year helped me tremendously, by using our dehydrator on the lowest setting and they were vac packed in 2 days. As for the alpha percentage who knows, I just count on the regular BS setting for that hop and brew as normal. I think you would need a lab for that, but hey maybe there is a formula out there for it ?

Not sure but are the Beersmith numbers not based on pellet hops? If so, I think I read someplace that cones might be somewhat less - maybe a reduction to 85% of the pellet figure?

Brian.

(PS - made your Molson Ex clone recipe today, a seemed to go well. The only change I made was to add a few ounces of Crystal 120).
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Doc_Drive
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Doc_Drive » 3 years ago

There is a formula, I actually taught a brew master class how to do the assay. You need solvents, a really precise scale and a UV spectroscopy meter... I might do that with my harvested hops this year....

Winger
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Winger » 3 years ago

So if I have 5 lb of fresh picked hops how much should I expect that to weigh when dry. I had read that it was basically 10/1. 5 lb should weigh .5 lb after drying, but that takes so long that all the alpha is lost to the air for me. I don't have a kiln or oven. I'm finding that I can dry 5 lb to about 30 oz in 18 hours on a hot day here with my method and still have a good aroma when I smell the dried hops.
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Doc_Drive
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Doc_Drive » 3 years ago

So you want the hops to be at about 8 - 10% moisture. Freshly picked hops have a moisture content of about 76 to 84 %. So let's say 80%.

If you have 100g of wet (freshly picked) hops, you have 80 g of water in there, which leaves you with 20 g of dry hops matter. So to get into the ideal range, you would reduce the weight of the hops from 100 g to 28 - 30 g, so about a third of the freshly picked weight...

Does that make sense?

EDIT: I had a bit of a thought mistake here. If you have a dry matter of 20 g and want a target moisture content of 10%, then 20g are 90%, so the formula would be 20/0.9 = 22.2 g

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JimmehBrew
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by JimmehBrew » 3 years ago

Wingeezer wrote:
JimmehBrew wrote:My wonderful swimbo this year helped me tremendously, by using our dehydrator on the lowest setting and they were vac packed in 2 days. As for the alpha percentage who knows, I just count on the regular BS setting for that hop and brew as normal. I think you would need a lab for that, but hey maybe there is a formula out there for it ?

Not sure but are the Beersmith numbers not based on pellet hops? If so, I think I read someplace that cones might be somewhat less - maybe a reduction to 85% of the pellet figure?

Brian.

(PS - made your Molson Ex clone recipe today, a seemed to go well. The only change I made was to add a few ounces of Crystal 120).


Hey Brian, BS give the option of pellet, plugs, or leaf in the program and Heck I'm never worried about being exact LoL.
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Winger
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Winger » 3 years ago

If I'm vacuum sealing and freezing will it matter if there is still extra moisture?
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Doc_Drive
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Re: Hops harvest and drying

Post by Doc_Drive » 3 years ago

It might help break down the hops into finer matter, as ice crystals might break the cell walls. Not sure but you might not be able to filter out the hop matter when you go from kettle to fermenter.

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