Dry Hop Best Practices: Using Science as a Guide for Process and Recipe Development
I was honored when John Palmer, Technical Quarterly Editor-in-Chief and Publications Director, reached out to me asking if I would be willing to write a peer-reviewed best practices guide for an upcoming MBAA TQ. John is somebody I’ve longed looked up to in the brewing world after reading his books and listening to countless podcasts he’s hosted and guested over the years.
In addition to John’s contributions to the brewing world, I’ve also long been a fan and subscriber of the MBAA. I’ve quoted so many of their articles in blog posts and in The New IPA that I’m thrilled to contribute something myself!
I did my best in this dry-hopping guide to layout our current practices on how we dry-hop at Sapwood Cellars (temperature, time, etc.) with the supporting science cited that influenced our processes. Our dry-hopping technique will continue to evolve as we experiment, talk to other experienced brewers, and continue to stay on top of the latest research, but here’s where we stand as of April 2021!
Big thanks to the MBAA and John Palmer for asking me to write this piece, and an extra thanks for allowing me to post the article on the blog. For those curious about MBAA membership (something I highly recommend) check out their site for details. Also, thanks to Great Notion for sharing their dry-hopping procedure for the article, which takes a different but successful approach in dealing with hop-creep.
Although Sapwood Cellars, located in Columbia, MD, is only 3 years old, we have been using the latest hop-related science as a guide to experiment with our dry hopping methods and procedures. Whether it is targeting a specific profile from a variety by dry hopping mid-fermentation or looking at ways to improve our hop oil extraction efficiency, the science has been instrumental in directing our focus. I spent 2 years researching a book published in 2019, The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor, and continue to stay up-to-date on the latest papers focused on brewing hop-forward beers. This guide is a collection of what I have learned to date through the research, experience on the commercial scale, and tips from other experienced experts in the brewing industry.