What a great spring Saturday afternoon to write a blog post about DOUBLE dry-hopping, a hallmark of the Parched Eagle’s flagship beer Hop-Bearer IPA!
What’s dry-hopping, you ask? It’s the addition of hops a few days before a beer is kegged or bottled, after (primary) fermentation. Adding hops at this stage adds considerable hop aroma, which also affects how the beer tastes as much of what humans taste in beer actually comes from our sense of smell. More on that in a future blog post.
OK that’s single dry-hopping. Double dry-hopping is the addition of hops post fermentation on two different days (e.g. first addition a week before kegging, second addition four days before kegging).
What does this do? It adds a depth of complexity of hop aroma/flavor to a beer. Another way to put it is double dry-hopping adds an extra layer of hop aroma/flavor. There are options with this process e.g. using a different hop variety for the second addition to add even more complexity. Another option is after the first addition change the temperature of the beer slightly for the second addition to take advantage of the many different compounds in hops (e.g. essential oils, which volatilize at different temperatures).
A practical brewing reason to dry hop is to prevent the large accumulation of hops at the bottom of a conical fermenter to such an extent that hops at the very bottom are not fully infused with beer as the hops accumulating above them act as a sort of beer shield.
OK here’s an admission: I’ve never actually dry-hopped BUT I’m about to as I recently brewed the pilot batch of Hop-Bearer and will double dry hop it (with Citra hops) seven and four days before I keg it for a Parched Eagle investor relations party in late May. I’ll also do the second addition after the beer is chilled by about 7-10 degrees, hopefully adding even more hop complexity. I’m confident it will work as it just makes a lot of sense and my sources who advocate double dry-hopping are quite reputable. I’ll do another post on the results of dry-hopping the pilot batch of Hop-Bearer in a month or so.
Hop Heads of the world unite!