Dry Hopping
Home Brewing Recipes
Brooks Brewery Associate Brewer
Arny Lands
Beer Nexus
the crossroads of the beer world
Hello from Brooks Brewery  I hope you stop by to try some of our great
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for me or even better our award winning head Brewer Artie Hanneman.  
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I've received quite a few e-mails asking me about dry-hopping.  So
instead of my usual recipe let me answer them all in this column.

Dry-hopping is one of the hottest brewing techniques out there right
now. It’s referenced in abundant ways, with “Dry-Hopped IPA,” “Dry-
Hopped with Galaxy,” and so on adorning beer labels to signal to
consumers that “there’s big hop flavor in here.” The same can’t be said
for other parts of the brewing process — cold crashing or fermenting
under pressure rarely make it onto beer labels, for example — and that’s
because these just aren’t as sexy as dry-hopping! More importantly, dry-
hopping is one professional technique that is very easy to replicate at
home. In fact, homebrewers have the benefit of being able to pile on
even more hops than commercial brewers because, relatively speaking,
the cost of materials is so much lower.

These are the basic considerations when dry-hopping for
the first (or hundredth!) time.
Any hop added after the wort has been chilled on brew day is
considered a “dry hop” no matter what form the hop comes in. As such,
any hop addition to wort or beer after it has been chilled to fermentation
temperatures is considered dry-hopping. At these lower temperatures,
different aspects of the hops are utilized. Since the additions take place
at cool temperatures, beer does not become more bitter from hops
added during dry-hopping because alpha acids are never converted.

As opposed to alpha acids that only offer bitterness to beer, hop
essential oils contain aroma compounds that supply myriad flavors
including “dank,” tropical, vinous, or fruity. These oils are highly volatile
and boil off or escape into the air after only minutes at high
temperatures. Therefore, they are best extracted at the cooler
temperatures of fermentation. Capturing these essential oils and the
complex aromas and flavors contained within them is the main goal of
dry-hopping.There are also downsides to prolonged exposure to dry
hops: Polyphenols that cause astringency, a drying or rough mouthfeel,
can be extracted during prolonged exposure to the hops vegetal matter  

There are two things to consider: First, what hop varietal or varietals to
use; and second, what form the hops will come in.  When selecting a hop
varietal, the most relevant consideration is the flavor profile. Hop oil
aroma can range from citrus to floral to woody and even coconut. Don’t
worry too much about the “total oil concentration” of a hop. This states
what percent of the hop’s mass is made up of essential oils.

The most iconic dry hop is Cascade. Other homebrewing fan favorites
are Citrus for intense grapefruit and lime flavor; Mosaic, carrying mango
aroma mixed with pine needles and herbal notes; and Nelson for white
wine aromas; and Galaxy for a passion fruit punch.

Once a hop variety is chosen, it’s time to decide whether to purchase it
as a whole cone, pellet, or Cryo Hop. Whole cone hops are certainly a
rustic option, but generally, they don’t benefit homebrew. Hops are
added to the fermenter as whole flowers, just as they were harvested.
The large amount of vegetal matter absorbs a higher quantity of beer
than is necessary, and that same vegetal matter dulls the aromas
extracted from the hop oil.

Pelletized hops are the most common and most affordable form of hops
for homebrewers, and most homebrew recipes are written based on
pellet hops. To make pelletized hops, whole dried hops are crushed,  
into a pellet-shaped mold. The major benefits of this form of hop is that
they absorb less beer (because some plant matter is removed), and
they “dissolve” back into the hop dust they are compressed from, so
wort or beer can fully surround particles and better extract oils from them.

Finally, the hot new form of hops on the scene is Cryo Hops, which, as
their name indicates, are made by freezing whole hops and removing
almost exclusively the lupulin glands that contain hop essential oils and
acids. Since so much of the plant matter is left behind in this form of hop,
the result is a fine powder that packs a serious punch of aroma and oil.

The last question is when to add your hops to the wort or beer to
achieve the desired flavor impact and beer appearance. If you add
during fermentation while yeast is actively fermenting, an interaction
between hop polyphenols and protein occurs, which causes a
permanent haze in the beer. This haze is a distinguishing characteristic
of the extremely popular NEIPA style.  The standard American IPA was
built on dry-hopping after fermentation. It’s hard to think of an IPA or
pale ale brewed before 2003 that wasn’t dry-hopped this way: From
Stone to Deschutes, and Goose Island to Sierra Nevada, hoppy
American ales were dosed with hops after fermenting and before bottling.

For homebrewers, this means waiting for activity in the airlock to cease
for 12 to 24 hours before adding a dose of hops. Amounts for a
standard 5-gallon batch vary from about half an ounce for something
subtle like a blonde ale to more than 5 ounces for hoppy IPAs.
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New brewers don't forget to review my article
.Home Brewing Tips and
the complete guide
Beginning Brewing Guide.

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That's it for this month.  
Hope to see you next time!

Good Brewing and Cheers!

Arny Lands
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