Different ways to use hops to jazz up you’re brew day
Hops are pretty awesome, and they can add all kinds of amazing flavors to your brew. If you're new to brewing, you might be wondering well how can I take hops and jazz up my beer?
Well, we got some basics techniques for you that can help you utilize hops and create your own unique brew.
The first thing you need to consider is the choice of hops you want to use. Hops are categorized by what is called alpha acid.
Alpha acids are the principal component in lupulin, which is the resin of the hop cone. This is the main agent that imparts bitter flavors into your beer. So if you are using a high alpha acid hop you will be able to get more bitterness in your beer than a lower alpha acid hop. Some high alpha acid hops are Chinook, Citra, or Warrior just to name a few.
If you are picking a hop that has a lower alpha acid those tend to be used more for flavoring and aroma than bitterness.
But at the end of the day, it's your brew, so you can use whatever hop you want. The main component that will affect how the hops impact your beer is how you use them.
The most common way to use hops is to boil them. This is how you get bitterness into your brew.
So a few things to consider when doing your hop boil.
The size of your boil will impact the amount of bitterness you can extract from your hops. If your boil is closer to your actual finished batch size, then you can get more bitterness out of your brew. If you are doing a very small boil volume, then you might need to use more hops to get more bitterness out of your brew.
Now the second part about boiling hops is the temperature and the duration.
So the longer you do a boil you will extract more bitterness out of your brew. A shorter boil will result in less bitterness.
Doing a hop schedule will also bring out different flavors and traits of the hops. For example, you boil one hop for 45 minutes. 20 minutes into that boil you add another hop, then 35 minutes in you add another hop.
One way to stop boiling is to chill the wort quickly So once you are done with your hop boil if your remains between 185-210 degrees the hops will still impact bitterness into your brew. This is called high isomerization.
So once you are done with your hop boil try and continue on with your brewing process as soon as you can to reduce getting extra bitterness out of your brew.
The last main thing you can do with hops is called dry hopping.
This is done after the beer has started to ferment. Now doing this does hardly adds any bitterness to your brew. This is more to add aromas and flavors. Doing late-stage dry hopping can have a profound impact on the smell of your beer.