|So what the heck does Cryo-hop mean? Essentially, these are hops that have been put through a cryogenic
process, meaning the components lupulin (the essential component that provides much of the flavor and aroma of
the hop) and bract were separated from the whole hop cone using an extremely low-temperature processing
method. The process results in a powder of lupulin that, is sen as being more powerful in flavor and aroma than if
the hop underwent a more traditional processing method.
In answer to several e-mails from readers let me say a few words about CBD and beer. CBD is acannabidiol, one
of the active ingredients in cannabis and has proliferated across North America in the past couple of years. Its
advertised benefits include relaxation without marijuana’s THC high, plus a litany of reputed health benefits that
are generally either unproven or unprovable. Still, considering its growing popularity, it may seem surprising that
we haven’t seen more brewers put the stuff into beer. On a commercial level, there’s a good reason why not: It’s
not technically legal—yet. The issue lies between the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). .TTB won’t grant any approval until the FDA finally makes a statement
that CBD is safe for consumption,so, even though CBD is legal, and the FDA isn’t telling people they can’t
make it, the FDA also hasn’t technically said it is safe.
While commercial brewers wait for red tape to be snipped, let us state the obvious: Homebrewers don’t need TTB
approval. We also share this disclaimer: Certain CBD and hemp-based products may contain small amounts of
THC; the legality of brewing with that at home is unclear, and it may depend on your state. Got it? (Now, please
sign this release form before proceeding.) Please note that the CBD products that don’t contain any THC—such
as CBD tinctures or isolates—are not water soluble. That presents a puzzle for someone brewing a product that is
typically 95 percent water. For home brewers who want to try it the easiest way is to just make an infusion of
organic CBD hemp tea, and add it to the secondary.
Many homebrewers form very strong opinions regarding the secondary fermentor. Some claim that the secondary
is almost always necessary, while others brag about how many months their 1.112 (specific gravity) barleywine has
been sitting on the yeast. First of all, even though we all say it, secondary fermentation isn’t really the right term.
Little to no fermentation actually takes place in secondary, which is why I often go out of my way to refer to this
phase as conditioning, maturation, or lagering (in the case of the eponymous cold-fermented styles). Whatever
you call it, secondary is simply the vessel to which beer is racked away from the yeast and trub that remain after
primary fermentation is complete.
Those homebrewers who favor secondary fermentation generally offer two excellent reasons for racking to a
carboy for bulk conditioning -.1 Moving homebrew off the yeast reduces opportunities for yeasty off-flavors such
as those associated with autolysis. 2. Aging in a secondary results in clearer (brighter) beer. Glass carboys are
not oxygen permeable, making them the preferred vessels for long-term aging without oxidation.
Many homebrewers however prefer not to bother with a secondary vessel. Here are three points in their favor-
1. Racking is just another opportunity to introduce oxygen. Foregoing the transfer to secondary can delay the
onset of stale flavors. 2.Leaving homebrew on the yeast for an extended period of time gives yeast an opportunity
to clean up after itself, re-absorbing unwanted compounds such as diacetyl. 3. Bright homebrew can be achieved
without transferring by simply giving yeast the time to drop out of suspension.
As with so many aspects of homebrewing, the decision to secondary or not is mainly one of personal preference.
In my case, it often comes down to time constraints and the style of beer I’m working with. I never rack German
Weißbier to a secondary carboy because the style is meant to be cloudy and yeasty, and Hefeweizen should be
consumed early: no time to condition! But I almost always transfer high-gravity ales and lagers to conditioning
vessels because these usually need to mature for several weeks or months, and I’d rather not risk the possibility
of off-flavors. I think the secondary debate isn’t really a debate at all. Leaving your homebrew in primary has a
place and a time, as does transferring to a carboy for aging. If you’ve never tried a secondary phase, give it a go.
If you’ve always secondaried, try bottling or kegging straight from primary. See what you think and let your
observations take you the rest of the way.
Hope you found this month's column of interest. If you have any questions about beer or brewing
or just want to submit a word for me to discuss here just e-mail it to me.
Thanks and Cheers!
|Cryo Hops // CBD Beer // Secondary Fermentation
|A new column by
|Jack O'Reilly attended the
famous Siebel Institute/ World
Brewing Academy in Chicago.
|I'm very excited to be part of the BeerNexus team. I think my many years in the
beer business both as a brewer and manger will enable me to explain and
investigate many topics of interest for those who really love craft beer.
Hope you join me every month.
More by Jack: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14,
#15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30,
#31, #32, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37, #38, #39, #40
|Techniques and insights
for the serious ceft beer
fan and home brewer.