It wasn’t that long ago that I’d react with a visceral tension to the concept of jumping on bandwagons. Pushing boundaries, playing with new techniques and getting some science buzz on, however, is definitely something I can get behind.
With consumers perennial quest for hops, brewers all over the world have devised new and intriguing ways of using hops. Some solutions are inane, while others creep, insidiously through brewing networks until they capture the imagination of hop heads around the globe. Dip-hopping is one such technique. Originally devised by the walking brains at Kirin brewery in Japan it was propagated by the lads at Gigantic in Oregon and entered the craftosphere.
Dip-hopping is the process of infusing hop pellets in hot water or wort for a period of time, in the fermenting vessel, prior to fermentation. Temperature here is critical; to extract oils, drive off unwanted compounds and limit isomersiation. The main goal is to drive off unwanted hop flavours, like myrcene. Myrcene gives off a range of potent flavours from fresh cut grass to onion and garlic. Not only is myrcene driven off, it can also be transformed into linalool, a useful substrate for biotransformation. Dip hopping can also reduce sulphur production and even improve fermentation performance.
The reason dip-hopping has revolutionised the palate, palette and pellet of hops is due to its ability to drive off myrcene. This opens up the array of less utilised varieties that suffer from myrcene overload, like Apollo, Nugget and Mosaic, among a lot of others. So the subtle but unique flavours from varieties that have been hitherto shunned, can now be explored.
Last week we hit the bandwagon with a vengeance. A dip-hop Hazy TIPA. Weighing in over 10%, with Galaxy, Idaho7 and Mosaic it is coming along nicely. Cant wait to share it with ya.