Have you ever been on line at a can release or ordering a brew at the bar and you notice ‘DDH’ next to the name of the beer you’re purchasing? Maybe you ask the guy in line in front of you or the bartender serving you what it stands for. They may sneer at you with contempt, spit on the ground and storm off, hands thrust up in the air flailing with angularity in disgust. But if they do that they’re just an asshole. Most craft beer folks are generally nice people that are eager to talk about all things craft beer, in fact they encourage it.
More than likely they will casually respond, Double Dry Hopped. You find yourself intrigued by such a response, you think I know hops, I like hops but what is double dry hopped? At this point you just might have a burning explosive fire welling up inside you fueled by your raging desire to decipher and demystify. Simply put, you MUST know.
Relax. Grab a brew and keep reading. We got you covered!
Humulus Lupulus is the awe inspiring plant that produces those seemingly magical Hops also known as seed cones or strobiles. Beloved by many, hops are famously used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. They contribute to those wonderful bitter, zesty, and/or citrusy flavors that in tandem with their beer ingredient counterparts tantalize the tongue with a myriad of delicious flavor complexities. A plethora of hops styles are grown by farmers all around the globe, with different types commonly being assigned to particular styles of beer. Hops are versatile in their applicable uses; one such use is double dry hopping.
Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer (in the fermenter or the keg) typically but not always, at the rate of 1/4 to 1/2 oz per gallon. The result if done appropriately is a pleasingly huge burst of hop flavor and aroma that is traditionally, but not exclusively, associated with pale ales and I.P.A.’s. Since the hops are not boiled there won’t be any oil extraction, and therefore will not be contributing to the beer’s bitterness (midwestsupplies.com). When two rounds of dry hop additions are added to the beer it is known as double dry hopping.
Dry hopping in secondary with loose hops is probably the most commonly employed method. After fermentation is complete, as indicated by a stable final gravity reading, the beer is racked to a carboy, and when ready, the dry hops are dumped into the waiting carboy (beerandbrewing.com).
Fun Fact: Hops are a natural preservative and have antimicrobial properties.
Dry hopping in secondary (contained) is similar to dry hopping in the secondary with loose hops but rather than let the hops swim freely in the beer, they are contained in an item like a mesh bag. This makes cleanup easier (especially for home brewers), and it helps keep hops matter out of the siphon when it’s time to transfer beer for packaging (beerandbrewing.com)
Fun Fact2: The process of using fresh hops for "Dry Hopping" is called Wet Hopping. All of the principles still apply but brewers must account for the extra water in the "wet hops". Generally, fresh hops will weigh 4 to 6 times more than the same dry hops (winning-homebrew.com).
I hope I’ve satiated your deep seated desire to know what dry hopping and double dry hopping is. Perhaps I’ve enriched your life in some way. At the very least I hope you were entertained with a good brew in your hand.
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Interested in doing some dry hopping of your own? Check out this easy to use home brew kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop. Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit, Everyday IPA. Includes: beer making mix (grain, hops, and yeast), 1 gallon glass fermenter, chambered airlock, glass thermometer. Also includes: racking cane, tubing, tubing clamp, screw cap stopper, and packet of sanitizer Makes 1 gallon of beer (9-10 12 ounce bottles) Second batch only requires new ingredients and packet of sanitizer; Kit is reusable.
Interested in getting a comprehensive overview and understanding of all things beer? Then Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer, 2nd Edition: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink.
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