Hacker Festzelt Himmel Der Bayern Brews one of the greatest bier in ze world. I’m not kidding, I still remember The Hacker Marquee – Great Heaven Of Bavaria for their beer over 12 years ago. You can check out their website at www.hacker-festzelt.de
I have yet to figure out why they changed the name from Hacker-Pschorr or what that even means…. anyone?
But what I have figured out is why their beer taste so good!!
Here’s the deal. We can’t hardly think of a beer without hops, but it may come to surprise you to know that hops were once banned in England by King Henry VIII.
However, the Germans came up with the Rheinheitsgebot in 1516 (The Bavarian Purity Law), which in layman’s terms stomped the brewers ability to use anything else other than water, barley and hops.
No, I didn’t miss yeast… it wasn’t part of the recipe.
This forced the Germans to be creative, and creativity brought the German brewers to the top as having some of the best beers in the world.
Originally hops were used by brewers to preserve the beer, which is how the beer style IPA was born. The IPA was a beer meant to be exported and to survive the long sailing voyages it was bombarded with hops… hence the hoppiness.
Hops also makes the foam cling to the side of the glass, the mug, the beer stein or Das Boot, but the real secret that has secretly won many brewing awards for the Germans is in the way they get the bitterness out of their hops. But before I share this little known strategy…
How To Add Bittering & Finishing Hops And The Art Of Dry Hopping Beer
If you are like most brewers who started with a kit and perhaps jumped to extract brewing after realizing how refreshingly tasty home brewed beer can be, then you probably learned the traditional way of using bittering hops.
Most books talk about measuring AAUs (aka the Alpha Acids) and use higher percentages for bittering and lower for finishing hops.
These alpha acids are soft resins which are insoluble unless they are isomerized… in other words, you must heat these bad boys for around 45 minutes to get the bitterness out…
And the reason why you want to bitter up your Bier is to counter the malt sweetness and get some balance… and trust me, you want to have balance (ask Shaun White about balance and his Crash at Winter X Games… that guy is the man! he can take a hit)
That’s how you bitter your beer, but heating up the hops for that long takes the aroma out of the hops. The aroma actually comes from the oils of the hops, not the AAUs. By adding hops 5-10 minutes before the end of the boil, you get around that and give your taste buds a nice little treat.
This is sometimes not enough. Dry hopping is probably the best way to get the aroma out of the hops. This is done after fermentation is complete and usually whole leaves or plugs are better for the job. This allows the oils to dissolve without adding bitterness to the beer.
German Beer Slacks Jaws Of Many Fanatics Using This Little Known Style Of Bittering Most Brewers Don’t Know Of
One of the secret bittering styles used by top brewers lies in the hidden compound of Beta Acids. For the longest time, brewers ignored the potential of these acids to create a masterpiece.
Take Beta Acids from fresh hops and you get non bitter compounds. But these guys use them… how do they get the bitterness out?
It’s not alchemy, or some sort of pseudo science…
It’s just a simple tactic used in storing hops to oxidize the Beta Acids which turns them into a bitter little monster that gives German Bier a great taste.
How’d ya like that? please leave me a comment and don’t forget to share this with your social network… cheers