Looking to add that extra hoppy punch to your beer. Dry hopping is a great way to get more flavor and aroma in your beer without increasing the bitterness. If you haven’t dry hopped before and want to know more check out the article here. One potential issue when dry hopping is residue from the hops dispersing through the beer. Fortunately, there are a few options to help you avoid this ranging from budget to almost professional.
Cheap and effective. This is a nylon mesh bag that loosely holds the hops to allow as much surface area as possible. The thing to make sure of when using these are that however they close is nice and secure. There’s not too much point to adding one of these to the process if you are going have them opening out and leaking all the hop residue into the beer. Easy to sterilize by submersing in either boiling water or sanitizer.
Pros: These bags are cheap. Cloth bag can be contorted to fit through glass carboy neck if it isn’t too full
Cons: Some users have difficulty getting a good seal on the bag. After a few uses they can start to gum up with hop residue.
A little more solid in construction than a nylon bag, this is a stainless steel mesh tube that can hold your hops loosely and allow the wort to permeate into the hops soaking up the hop oils. These seal firmly at the end so there’s little fear of it leaking hops into the fermenter. As an added bonus you can use this to dry hop in a keg (this can’t be done with the bag as it may get sucked into the outlet) giving a burst of hop aroma as you dispense. Again this can be easily sterilized by submerging in boiling water or sanitizer.
Pros: Solid stainless steel construction. If mesh is clogged with hop residue you can easily flush it with water. Can be used for dry hopping kegs.
Cons: Its size can limit which fermenters this can be used in (won’t fit in a carboy).
As mentioned in the article, using a hop rocket isn’t dry hopping. It is another way to get similar results though. The hop rocket is in an inline device that is part of setup that has a counterflow wort chiller. As with any Blichman product it is high quality, well-engineered and all stainless steel. It’s only suitable for leaf hops not pellets. The hop rocket is installed inline between the brew kettle outlet and the wort chiller. Straight after the wort comes into contact with the hops it is cooled. Just like dry hopping there is no increased bitterness, just additional flavor and aroma. Additionally it can be positioned inline when dispensing from a keg.
Pros: Inline use means no risk of contamination. Solid construction with easy connections and assembly. Disassembles for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
Cons: More expensive than other options. Requires a wort chiller.
All of these are effective. You’ll just have to consider your budget and set up.