It’s no wonder why brewers love the fall season, it’s the only time of year when freshly picked hops can be used in the beer brewing process. When fresh wet hops are added to a brew they create a unique flavor profile and aroma because they still contain all their fine essential oils that are lost during the drying process.
What are Wet Hops?
Typically, when hops are harvested they are dried and then stored for future use. Wet hops are freshly cut hops that are used right away, within 48 hours of picking, otherwise they spoil.
How to Brew Beer Using Fresh Wet Hops
Wet hops contain about 80 percent water, so you’ll need to use more than you would when using dry hops. In general, four to six times as many wet hops are needed by weight as dry hops. Fresh hops may be used at any point during your brewing process. You can add fresh hops as a boil addition, whirlpool addition, dry hoping, or even in the mash. It can be difficult to both brew and dry hop with the same hops due to how quickly wet hops spoil. Some brewers have experimented with dry hopping during primary fermentation, which might be an option if you are trying to brew and dry hop with your freshly harvested hops. Mash-hopping produces great hops flavor and the IBU equivalent of a 15-20 minute kettle addition.
The Joy of Fresh Hop Beer
Fresh hop beers are known for their fresh green aromas. If you adapt a recipe for wet hop brewing, remember to savor the difference. After all, fresh hops are a once-a-year treat for homebrewers. Appreciate the fresh, green aromas and flavors-knowing that you are one of the lucky few homebrewers who got to brew with wet hops fresh from the vine.
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