Do You Even Dry Hop, Bro?

When I’m making a Double IPA, this is what I like to call a dry hop charge:

IMG_20170311_190410944

as you can see in the background, I’m not even done yet.

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.

 

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4 thoughts on “Do You Even Dry Hop, Bro?

  1. Clint says:

    What about weighing down the hop bag with a glass lid, or some other type of heavy inert material?

    Also, I am curious to what your kettle efficiency is? I am just starting BIAB and mine is pretty low.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you tried marbles? I don’t know where I got it, but I’ve got a huge marble that’s probably 1.5″ in diameter that I’ve been using to weigh down my hop bag both during the boil and for dry hopping. Just found your blog today and am really enjoying it. I think I’m gonna try a 30 or 45 min mash on my next batch to cut down on time. Maybe this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you’re enjoying the blog. I haven’t tried marbles but that would work just fine. My goal is to not use a hop bag at all. I like the idea of letting the hops into the beer naturally.

      Like

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