How To Make a Hop Tea

You may not want a boost of hop aroma in your Amber ales (or then again, you might…), but you certainly would love it in your IPAs and other traditionally hoppy beers…

One technique I don’t use often enough to give my beers a little boost in hop flavor and aroma is to make a hop tea…

When you think of aroma hops as anything you add to beer without boiling it, then the way in which you introduce hops to you beer is only limited by your imagination…

When I first started brewing, I thought hops HAD to be added during the boil or else it would turn my beer into sock water, bud light, or something of that sort… in fact, I will admit that my first batch I ever dry hopped, I was nervous about the outcome…

… but now I believe and therefore see how adding hops at any point in time between starting the mash until right before serving it is entirely possible…

Heck, I’ve heard of brewers adding hops to the mash, which I haven’t tried… but I just thought, what about making a hop tea and sparging with it?

… probably pointless from an aroma point of view since you’ll boil it, but I’m just saying… when it comes to your brewing, you make the rules…

So why a hop tea…

Well, if you want aroma from hops you are supposed to add hops when you have less than 30 minutes left in the boil… some say 20 others 15… whatever, point is you shouldn’t boil hops too long…

… and one method that was developed was adding hops after you turn off the heat… at flameout…

Well, that is good and you get good hop flavor and aroma from that, but fermentation is said to drive off some aromatics…

The CO2 during fermentation works the same way as CO2 in a glass… when you are drinking beer, the beer is not as aromatic a few minutes after being served than right after it’s served because the gas drives off aromas…

So a hop tea is meant to have the same effect as flameout hopping, except it doesn’t have to go through the horrors of fermentation and you get to keep the aroma in your beer…

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