What is dry hopping?
Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma to your beer. Traditionally the technique is used for beer styles like pale ales and I.P.A.’s, but people are doing this process in many other styles as well. You aren’t extracting any of the oils from the hops because you would need to add heat to do that, but you are adding aroma. Being that almost 75% of human taste comes from smell, then you can see why people take this extra step with their beers.
Dry hopping methods vary, so find which way gives you the best results:
- We prefer to add the dry hops with 3-5 days left before you plan on bottling, or kegging, the beer. The reason for this is because the idea is to have the hop aroma infuse with the beer without having the aroma fade. By adding the hops only a few days before bottling, you get the freshest hop aroma throughout your beer without much loss of taste.
What type of hops are the best for dry hopping?
Most of us prefer the use of leaf hops, as they are easier to deal with when you transfer, but pellet hops will work as well. As far as the type of hops itself, that is up to you. Most brewers will use the same type of hops that they used in making the beer and many modern ales use American citrus style hops like Amarillo and Cascade for interesting aroma additions.
Be careful of the quantity of hops that you use because you can easily overpower a beer by using too much. Also avoid leaving the hops in the beer for too long as grassy flavours can develop. Usually, around 25g - 50g is all you need. Start with 25g, and then see if you need to add more the next time.