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Dry hopping 101: How to get hop flavour into your beers

Dry hopping 101: How to get hop flavour into your beers

The craft beer scene is growing ridiculously fast forcing the standard for what a ‘hoppy’ or ‘juicy’ beer is to constantly be pushed to new extremes. There are a few ways of getting hop flavour into your beer, the simplest and most effective is a process called dry hopping.

 

Dry Hopping

Adding hops to your beer during the ferment or during a secondary conditioning phase. Dry hopping is our go to for getting hop flavour into your beer. You can either add your hops loose to the fermenter or put them into a sanitised hop bag then add. Adding your hops to a bag minimises the amount of oil extracted from your hops and therefore the amount of flavour you will get in your final product. However it means your hops won’t block your bottling wand or end up in your bottles or kegs. If you plan on using a bag tie it as loose as possible to allow the most flavour to be extracted from the hops. To get the most bang from your buck we recommend adding hops without a bag, then syphoning your beer into bottles or a keg to avoid getting hop material into your packaged beer.

 

How much hops should I use?

This is a general guide and equivalent flavours are estimates. To calculate how much hops to dry hop with multiply the Dry Hop Dosage by your batch size. 

E.g. for 20L of a super juicy beer multiply 8 by 20 for 160g of Dry hops.

 

Hop Flavour

Dry hop dosage g/L

Equivalent flavour in commercial beers

Little to no hop flavour

0

Emu Export, Crown Lager

A little bit hoppy

1 - 2

Furphy, Little Creatures Pale

Fairly Hoppy

4 - 6

Balter XPA

Very hoppy

6 - 8

Hop Hog, Initial Brewing XPA

Super Juicy

8 or more

Biggie Juice, Nail Red

 

 

Dry Hop Timing

Does the timing of your dry hop matter? Yes, but it’s not the end of the world (or even close). Earlier dry hops will typically interact with yeast more creating haze (good for a hazy or NEIPA) but will also lose more flavour and aroma from CO2 stripping (essentially flavour and aroma being lost through the airlock). The later you dry hop the less aroma is lost through CO2 stripping and will interact with yeast less. We recommend dry hopping before your ferment has finished as to not introduce too much oxygen to your fermenter which can negatively effect flavour down the track. A good mid point is to dry hop mid way through ferment and allow at least 48 hours contact time to get the best of both worlds.

 

Hop Variety

One thing that is often overlooked ism hop variety. Unfortunately not all hops were created equal. Different hops have different concentrations of oil (mg/100g) ranging from very little (<0.5ml) to a lot (>3.0). Since oil is the main driver of hop flavour hops higher in oil will give you more flavour when compared to a lower oil content hop. To ensure you get a huge hop flavour we recommend using high oil hops (Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Nelson Sauvin, El Dorado, Ekuanot, Simcoe, Columbus) and pairing it with other interesting hops to get more complexity.

 

We have tried to keep this relatively straight forward while still being informative; if you have any further questions feel free to reach out!

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