When I’m making a Double IPA, this is what I like to call a dry hop charge:
In my opinion, which is always evolving, dry hopping creates the best hop character (= aroma and flavor). Thus, my IPAs are dry hop heavy, supplemented by a little flame out charge and single bittering charge.
But dry hopping has clogging issues, which is why I tend to use a bag or shark cage. Even still, when using whole cone hops, those little bastards float – it’s like a huge floating island, where some of the hops clearly don’t even touch the liquid. Besides dunking my hand in the water, I still haven’t found a great way to get hops submerged into the beer in a practical, uniform way. Normally I use pellets, which is easier, but when I use home-grown hops (as in the picture above), I always worry about not getting enough out of them. Thus, I overcompensate the dosage. Then, I worry about getting vegetal or “grassy” flavors.
In a few days, we shall see. Harvest IPAs are fun because you really have no clue what you’re going to get. In fact, since many of these hops are from a random friend that said “hey, take these hops”, I don’t even know the damn hop varietal! Could be Fuggle for all I know.
In all seriousness, for most IPAs nowadays, I dry hop about 4-6 ounces max, supplemented by perhaps 2-3 ounces at flame out. In the interest of money, I try not to go beyond 8 ounces total for a beer (1 ounce is for bittering). Maximizing your hops is really the key, which probably involves dialing in your water pH and using gypsum.