Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Craft Beer Crosscut 1.22.18: A Flight of Double-Dry-Hopping

Ron Swarner


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 quarter to half ounce to per gallon. The result, if done appropriately, is a pleasingly huge burst of hop aroma, which also affects how the beer tastes as much of what humans taste in beer actually comes from our sense of smell. Since the hops are not boiled there won’t be any oil extraction, and therefore will not be contributing to the beer’s bitterness. Double dry-hopping, DDH, is the addition of hops post fermentation on two different days — e.g. first addition a week before kegging, second addition four days before kegging — for added depth of complexity of hop aroma/flavor to a beer. Another way to put it is double dry-hopping adds an extra layer of hop aroma/flavor. Peaks and Pints is seeing double today — double dry-hopping — with our beer flight Craft Beer Crosscut 1.22.18: A Flight of Double-Dry-Hopping.

Sierrea-Nevada-Hop-Bullet-TacomaSierra Nevada Hop Bullet

8% AV, 50 IBU

Sierra Nevada Hop Bullet double IPA sees a double dry-hop of whole Magnum hops and lupulin dust — pure, concentrated hop flavor — directly into the fermenter to emphasize the intense pine and citrus flavors of classic West Coast hops. The lupulin glands in the hop plant contain the essential oils and resins that are responsible for flavor and bitterness. Lupulin dust is the result of the conversion of these oils into a powder by a new process that supposedly retains more of the desirable hop attributes than other forms of hops used by breweries. The result is amazingly fresh and bright pine and citrus aroma and flavor. The body is fairly light for this style with very little malt or bitterness.

Firestone-Walker-Union-Jack-IPA-TacomaFirestone Walker Union Jack

7.5% ABV, 70 IBU

When Firestone Walker elected to use the catch phrase “Passion for the Pale,” they were telling the truth. This double dry-hopped IPA has become a West Coast standard by which many others within the style might be measured. A beauteous grapefruit and citrus aroma is achieved through multi-leveled hopping that involves 4-pounds per barrel mix of Warrior, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. Citrusy, floral, pungent, and powerful, the masterful blend of American hop characters is simply unlike any other. Even with its 7.5 percent ABV, alcohol isn’t actually apparent in the taste; in fact, there’s nothing weighty or overwhelming about this beer. It’s elegant, light, and palatable, and finishes dry and perfectly clean.

Firestone-Walker-Leo-v-Ursus--Wookus-TacomaFirestone Walker Leo v. Ursus: Wookus

8.2% ABV, 75 IBU

Last year, Firestone Walker discontinued its Black Imperial IPA, Wookey Jack. Now there’s a replacement, the new Black IPA Wookus. The fourth release in the brewery’s Leo v. Ursus Chronology, Wookus is brewed with Amarillo and Citra hops, just like Wookey Jack, but double dry-hopped it with Mosaic. Also, as with the original Wookey Jack, Wookus is brewed with five percent rye malt. The result is an imperial black IPA that has a big base of black malt and nutty rich brown malt but then builds on it with some dank, earthy, floral, piney hop flavor with bold bitterness and a lingering hop and earthy malty finish.

Sumerian-Hopruption-IPA-TacomaSumerian Hopruption IPA

8% ABV, 95 IBU

If you load up a double IPA with Cascade and Centennial hops, dry hop it twice with Citra and Mosaic, it’s much more than an eruption of hops. What was known as Sumerian Brewing Eruption IPA is now Hopruption IPA. Sumerian Brewing changed the name to match the hop explosion, but honestly they could have called it Smoothruption. This crazy hopped double is well balance with a creamy body, lightly sweet and fruit forward.

Bale-Breaker-Bottomcutter-IIPA-TacomaBale Breaker Bottomcutter IIPA

8.2% ABV, 100 IBU

Hops have long defined life at B.T. Loftus Ranches in the Yakima Valley. Back in 1932, Kevin Smith and Meghann Quinn’s great-grandparents founded the family hop farm that’s now run by their older brother, Patrick. Meghann and her husband, Kevin Quinn, and younger brother were keen homebrewers. Wouldn’t it be natural to start a brewery on the farm? The trio took down three acres of the farm’s Field 41 and built Bale Breaker Brewing Company, which is surrounded by fields of hops. Double dry-hopped with their homegrown Yakima hops, Bottomcutter IIPA may be light in color but is supremely drinkable double IPA with pine, honey, orange and grapefruit swirling around a bunch of caramel. It’s brewed to finish dry, perfect for the combination of Citra, Simcoe, and Ekuanot hops.