How to Make a Hoppy Beer? Dry Hopping

Try dry hopping. This trend is where you add hops after the beer has finished primary fermentation. Similar to the way you make a tea, you steep hops in the fermented wort. Dry hopping is a way to impart an aroma punch without contributing to your home brews bitterness. Next time you go to your favourite craft beer bar impress the staff by asking them what variety of hops were used during the dry hopping phase – remember it is more than likely to be an IPA or Pale Ale that this technique is used.

The great thing about dry hopping is that there is little risk of spoiling through contamination as hops have antimicrobial properties which help prevent infection, so next time you are brewing dry hop away.

When you add hops early in the boiling of your wort this adds bitterness, the longer you boil your hops the greater the bitterness but you get less aroma. The later you boil your hops you get more aroma but less bitterness. Boiling your hops drives off the essential hop oils that contribute to the aroma.

When creating your recipes you will see that dry hopping imparts no bitterness to your beer in the form of IBUs, you will see in your recipe builder it will show up as zero IBU regardless of how much you use.

How do you dry hop homebrew?

This is a simple process and the easiest method is to place your hops in a filter bag or hop bomb and suspend in beer.  This is usually done between day 7-10 of your primary fermentation. Leave the hops suspended and in contact with your beer for 24-72 hours to impart as much of the aroma as possible. Any longer and you might start to get some ‘off flavours’ start to develop.

Remember you can use pellets or whole fresh cone hops. Fresh cone hops can be dropped right in the fermenter and syphoned out afterwards when you transfer to your keg.

Small Batch Brew - Dry Hop Beer Filter Bag
Which hops should I use to dry hop?

Hops can be classified as Aroma, Bittering or Both. Try the 3C’s of hops in your next homebrew; Centenial, Citra or Cascade. You can also combine these hops together to get an aroma flavour bomb.

Finally, for best results you should dry hopping with lower alpha acid hops when possible. Higher alpha acid hops tend to have a lower percentage of the delicate aroma oils you are going for, so using lower AA hops is really just more efficient. You can get great results with higher AA hops, however this is a guideline not a rule.

Beer Hops Cones
How much hops should I use in a dry hop?

How much hops you use when dry hopping is entirely up to you and how much of that big aroma you want in your finished beer. My advice would be to start off with smaller amounts say 1 gram per litre of beer up to 4 grams per litre if doing a double IPA.

Small Batch Brew - How Much to Dry Hop Beer

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