Using a hop gun is a great econonical way to get more character from hops into beer, in less time, while using fewer hops. It provides better efficiency and quality, reduced dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the finished product and a safer working environment for brewers. Ultimately this means less oxygen is introduced to the beer, and there is a more consistent dissolution of hops pellets than with traditional methods. Employing a hop gun is an effective improvement to the standard dry-hopping process.

hop gun

Traditional Dry Hopping Method

Opening a top hatch of the fermentation tank and dumping the hops straight in has been the traditional dry hoping method. Brewers have their own variety of methods when it comes to adding the hops. However the results are still the same. This is the simple way to dry hop, although it introduces a couple problems. They are O2 levels and safety. Dry hopping the traditional way can sometimes cause a hop volcano, where the beer starts foaming up vigorously and sprays out of the dry hopping port.

Another way to reduce the foam is by adding a smaller amount of hops at a time, to let the wort release the CO2 that’s dissolved in during the fermentation. Then add the rest later. The video below demonstrates the dangers, especially when using a scissor lift or a ladder.

Oxygen introduction into the beer

Another issue with the traditional dry hop method is oxygen getting into the beer. Opening the fermentation vessel will allow the oxygen to dissolve into the beer. Oxygen getting into the beer is a big issue. Oxidizing the beer results it tasting like cardboard. Also when opening the top hatch, while the beer is in there, also risks introduction of foreign particulates.
One way to avoid the oxygen dissolving is to add the hops before the fermentation finishes, but there are disadvantages with this. By dry hopping before the end of the fermentation there will be undesirable aromas due to the higher dry hopping temperature and also it increases the chance of a hop volcano.

How does hop gun work?

A hop gun is a piece of brewing equipment to effectively dry hop your beer in a closed-circuit environment. The hops are placed inside of the hop gun, out side of a stainless wedge filter. The wedge filter will help containing the hop matter in the hop gun when the beer is recirculating though. The brewer run the hop gun recirculating the wort for at least 4 hours, while sensory testing and stop the flow when the beer reached the desired aroma level. Once it reached the level then push all beer back to the tank with CO2. This means the dry hopping completes within 1 day while minimising the amount of oxygen dissolving into the beer because the process is done in closed CO2 circuit.

hop gun how it works

We have various sized hop guns to meet your requirements. These can be 50L to 300L or larger, if required. Send us message to get a quote on a hop gun.