This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert. Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer. Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.
Brewers Hardware Dry Hopper
Dry hops. Homebrewers debate their favorite dry hop, how to calculate their IBU contribution, and when is the best time to add dry hops. While many love them, the technical challenge of adding them “right” is a hefty one. Whether you’ve heard of hop creep, or tasted an oxidized IPA, you are interested in minimizing the introduction of oxygen to your beer when you add dry hops.
Dry Hopper Assembly
If you add oxygen to your beer at the tail end of fermentation, you can spur your yeast on to keep going. When they would otherwise be content to be finished, the addition of oxygen gets them going, converting more sugars. The result is a lower FG, and a highly attenuated beer. And if you introduce oxygen after the yeast have officially called it quits, instead of the yeast using it up in fermentation, the oxygen is available to make oxidation compounds in your beer. These oxidation compounds are the things you taste in stale beer, and I’ve personally battled with harsh hop bitterness in IPAs when I got sloppy with oxygen intake on a finished beer.
Bottom Valve and Mounting Flange
Another dry hopping challenge is how to add the hops to a beer you’re fermenting under pressure. If you’ve gone through the work to finish up fermentation with your beer under pressure, you don’t want to simply vent the pressure to add dry hops. And if you’ve ever watched pressurized beer in a fermentor drop to 0 pressure, you know the whole thing becomes a churned-up mess- totally undoing all the work of precipitating trub and yeast.
Related: Fermenting Under Pressure
Sight Glass Hop Chamber
Brewers Hardware came out with the Dry Hopper to specifically deal with these challenges. The Dry Hopper attaches to a Tri Clover flange on your lid. There are two sizes- one for a 1.5” TC port, and one for 3” TC port. Both designs contain the same 3 elements- a valve at the bottom that mates to the lid of your fermentor, a tube in the middle to hold the hops, and a fixture on top with a gas ball lock port and a PRV valve. The 3” TC version is larger and holds more dry hops (14 oz) than the 1.5” TC version (4 oz).
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