Hops are trendy. Craft beer is booming.
But how are all these mega flavours and aromas being made?
It’s not like they were commonplace in the ‘real ale’ scene of 6 or 7 years ago.
Since launching the Artisan Project we’ve been experimenting with ALL aspects of small batch brewing and the latest set of tests have been to do with aroma hops and dry hopping.
If you chat to craft brewers, or trawl the darker corners of homebrew forums, you’ll see a few hot topics going around – one of them is typically phrased as:
How do I get that big hop aroma in my beers?
As a homebrewer/micro brewer, once you’ve pushed late boil hopping and standard ‘submerged’ dry hopping methods as much as you can…your playful side inevitably wants to keep pushing.
Pre-oxidised hops give you something extra, but it’s nothing new. Research has been going on for many decades – we came across a scientific paper from the 60’s, which highlighted the benefits in pre-oxidising hops. Although the paper does mention an impact to essential oils, it really focusses on aspects around the alpha and beta acids.
Still, it’s something we’ve been trying out and we’ll be sharing not just the beers that came out of the tests, but also the results we found – and are still finding! With the trend in Sour Beers we’re thinking this is a handy time to grasp these techniques, which, surely, go hand in hand with aged hops.
We’ve also been trying other dry hop techniques such – the current one is a hybrid of hop slurry with hopback/torpedo…probably deserves its own post that one so we’ll save it for another day.
If you’re mad keen on all this sort of thing we’d love to hear from you and, if you live locally, we’d like to start getting people together every so often to talk beer geek chat and try a few craft beers.