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07 July 2017

Extreme dry hopping

Just when you thought craft brewers couldn’t add any more hops to their beer they do. Some craft brewers feel that dry hopping with 1 to 2 lbs of hops per barrel of beer is not enough and many are adding as much as 4 to 5 lbs if not more. To see what effect this has on the hop acid composition of beer and bitterness, a series of dry hopping experiments were conducted using Cascade hop pellets with assaying 5.7% alpha acids, 5.5% beta acids and 0.23% humulinones. A control beer with assaying 42 ppm iso-alpha acids was dry hopped with 1.0 lbs, 2.0 lbs, 3 lbs, 4 lbs, and 6 lbs of Cascade hop pellets for three days at 16 °C. As the below chart shows, most of the iso-alpha acids are lost with the first two pounds of hops with smaller amounts being lost with pounds 3 thru 6. Due to the high solubility of humulinones, concentrations reach 48 ppm and alpha acid concentrations reached just over 35 ppm with 6 pounds of dry hopping.

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