The British Brewer: Hop Bursting

hopsAs those of you who read this blog will know I have been talking about a technique called hop bursting recently. I first tried it back in Nov 2009 whilst brewing my Dog Fish Head 90min without really knowing how the technique worked. I came across it again last week when I brewed Northern Brewers 115th Dream Imperial IPA, which shipped with over 1 lb of hops.  How can you add 1 lb of hops to a 5 gallon brew and it not taste disgusting? I was curious and wanted to find out more, especially given how clean the bottom of boil kettle was where the hops had settled while cooling.

First up lets quickly review the big hop post I did a few back. First thing to remember are the Alpha Acids, these cause bittering and are not very water soluble so require an hour of boiling to fully extract. Then there are the Beta Acids, these are water soluble and actually evaporate if left too long in the water. Beta acids provide the hop aroma and flavour.  The more the beta acids evaporate the less the aroma which is why we have flavour additions with 10-15mins of a boil to go and aroma at 0 mins.

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