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Hop Tea, the Proper Way

Stop trying to learn your hops by boiling them in water! A simple technique to better hop tea.

Everyone always want you to boil your hops in plain water in order to get a sense for what they taste and smell like, but there's a problem with that - you never experience your hops in just plain water. Malt imbues the wort with a number of different chemical processes that can affect the flavor and aroma contributions from a hop variety.

Here's my simple way of checking out what our hops are going to do. Now I make no bones about this - this won't quite be the same, but.. it's better than the old fashioned way of doing it.

In one pint of filtered water, dissolve one ounce (by weight) of DME and bring to a boil. Add your hops to reach 5-10 IBUs for 15 minutes boil time. 

Strain and cool.

Top up to 16 oz with filtered water, add 2 oz of 80 proof vodka and stir. 

Now smell and taste.

For an extra super experience, pour your "beer" into a plastic bottle. Screw on a carbonator cap lid and hit it with 15 p.s.i. and shake to carbonate. Now you're even closer!


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bruhozer's picture

So if you were planning a brew that had more than 5-10 ibu's as a target would you (for the purpose of this test)  up the hop charge in any way or does this test just give you a sense of the aroma qualitys of the hops?  Thanks for this post Drew



Drew Beechum's picture

You can if you want, I wouldn't go much more than 25 though since you'll really start picking up a lot of characters not present in a fermented beer.

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