This week we brewed our second Hazy IPA. So, I thought we’d delve ever so slightly into one of the key functions of this style; the hop stand.
Hazies aren’t just about, well, the haze. They’re also laden with organoleptic hop compounds that punch you in the face holes with aroma and flavour. Some of these compounds come from an intricate metabolic interplay of hop components by certain strains of brewers yeast. In order to have these compounds available early in fermentation a brewer has two options, a hop stand during wort production or a day zero dry hop during fermentation.
After a few disastrous attempts at day zero dry hopping, leading to hop burn and astringency out the whazoo, we’ve landed on low temperature hop stands for our Hazies. Hazies are a low bitterness style and so brewers have to be extremely careful with any hop additions on the “hot side” during wort production. Hence the conundrum; how to get significant hop compounds into the wort without adding bitterness, or astringency from too much plant matter?
Before we add any amount of hops to the hot side, we cool the entire batch of wort to below 80oC. This substantially reduces (but doesn’t completely abrogate) the formation of bittering compounds. We then add our favourite varieties and “stand” at this temperature for 30 minutes. Formation of bitterness is an opportunity cost against getting as much flavour compounds into the wort as possible. Some brewers take that hop stand all the way up to 90 minutes. Some brewers take the temperature all the way down to 70oC. So, depending on temperature and time of your hop stand, you can achieve more flavour and/or bitterness.
For our second Hazy, we “stood” the hops at 76oC, angling for a smooth, tropical character with very little bitterness.
Sometimes you just gotta take a stand!