Author Topic: Is Wet Hopping BS?  (Read 5135 times)

Online mabrungard

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Is Wet Hopping BS?
« on: September 17, 2014, 07:40:49 PM »
Tis the season to endure another round of wet-hopped beers. My experience with commercial wet-hopped beers is that they are rarely as well-mannered and flavorful as beers made with dried hops. This seems to be a fad that doesn't have much basis other than the green hops are available, so let's make a beer with them!.

When I think about it, if green hops were better for brewing, we would be using them year-round. With freezing technology, there is no problem in storing wet hops. My impression is that most of the wet-hopped beers tend to have a green, chlorophyl flavor accompanying the hop flavors. I don't find that pleasing. I think there is an advantage to drying hops and using them fresh in that form.

What do others think of wet-hopping? Or am I just full of BS?
Martin B
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 07:58:57 PM »
I grow my own hops & dry them.  I don't get it either.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 08:13:17 PM »
The one I made last year was not so good out of the box, but with some conditioning time of several months the chlorophyll calmed down and some nice hop character came out.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 08:28:55 PM »
Using frozen wet hops is a very bad idea in my experience.  It is the grassiest.  I'm not so sure that fresh wet hops can't be effectively used, but I have given up on doing that too.  I once made a fantastic beer that was hopped in the fermenter with a fresh wet hops, but there was no control beer.

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 09:01:39 PM »
I completely agree, Martin.  I think it's just another step in the "because I can" trend that seems to be overwhelming brewers.  As to freezing wet hops, I dunno...I've been told by hop farmers that they start to compost themselves within an hour after harvest.  That's why they're dried onsite immediately after harvesting.
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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 09:02:48 PM »
As I was typing that mention of freezing wet hops, I wondered about the potential for hydrated plant cells to rupture and spill their green guts into the beer. So maybe my postulation that freezing wet hops is OK is probably wrong. I still have to wonder about the desirability of wet-hopping though. Thanks, kramerog!
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2014, 09:25:54 PM »
The one and only time I made a wet hop beer it turned out really bad. If I can remember, it soaked up a ton of wort and had a weird "earthy" taste and not in a good way. Then, after a few weeks the beer got an infection that made it undrinkable and a dumper. I have no desire to ever do that again.
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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2014, 09:36:43 PM »
Wet hopping is another scatterbrained American idea based on idolization of hops and just plain American silliness.  It is not just a fad, as it will never die, but that doesn't mean we all need to like it.

I grow my own hops and I dry them.  I like to know the percent solids so that I know I harvested at the right time (shooting for 21% or more), and this helps to get a rough guess of how much alpha acid I have per unit dry weight compared to the commercial guys.  AA% varies from year to year but is often higher than commercial, and I know this because I know my dry weight.  Otherwise I would pretty much be forced to just throw them all into an IPA every year, and that's..... unoriginal and very American.

Although contrary to what you read here... I am in fact proud to be an American.  It's just that I am also proud to be an Earthling.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 01:02:31 AM »
I was skeptical about wet hopped beers and scared off from attempting one despite growing my own for a few years because of the reported "grassiness". This year I decided on a whim to try a 3 gallon batch, well, " because I can" I admit. The samples I tasted when checking gravity at end of fermentation and at bottling were surprisingly good. I am tasting one now very early ( 3 days after bottling, in the fridge for 1 hour) after reading this thread. Its really quite good. Its a simple pale ale recipe. I used freshly dried Galena Hops for 60 minutes, freshly dried Cascade for ten minutes and 1/2 pound of freshly picked " wet" Cascade at flameout. There is absolutely no grassiness. There is a bit of herbal aroma and flavor, not intense and not unpleasant. The citrus notes are more orange than grapefruit. It is quite refreshing. I think the key was that the hops were only in the wort from flameout until racking into the fermenter after cooling, about 15-20 minutes. It should be noted that I am neither a hop worshiper nor someone whose source of pride is derived from the random geographic location upon leaving his mother's womb. This beer was a worthwhile experiment that I will do again and a welcome break from all manner of IPAs.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2014, 01:27:57 AM »
I was skeptical about wet hopped beers and scared off from attempting one despite growing my own for a few years because of the reported "grassiness". This year I decided on a whim to try a 3 gallon batch, well, " because I can" I admit. The samples I tasted when checking gravity at end of fermentation and at bottling were surprisingly good. I am tasting one now very early ( 3 days after bottling, in the fridge for 1 hour) after reading this thread. Its really quite good. Its a simple pale ale recipe. I used freshly dried Galena Hops for 60 minutes, freshly dried Cascade for ten minutes and 1/2 pound of freshly picked " wet" Cascade at flameout. There is absolutely no grassiness. There is a bit of herbal aroma and flavor, not intense and not unpleasant. The citrus notes are more orange than grapefruit. It is quite refreshing. I think the key was that the hops were only in the wort from flameout until racking into the fermenter after cooling, about 15-20 minutes. It should be noted that I am neither a hop worshiper nor someone whose source of pride is derived from the random geographic location upon leaving his mother's womb. This beer was a worthwhile experiment that I will do again and a welcome break from all manner of IPAs.

Yes, I agree that a short hop stand addition at flameout is my way of using wet hops.  The flavor is unique and I like it, but rarely is it grassy - when it has been somewhat grassy or strong, a short aging makes it very palatable.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2014, 01:45:56 AM »
I've never had a wet hopped beer that had me excited for wet-hop season. I've had some enjoyable ones, but nothing mind-blowing. If I never had another one, I'd be perfectly fine with it.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2014, 02:04:26 AM »
I've never had a wet hopped beer that had me excited for wet-hop season. I've had some enjoyable ones, but nothing mind-blowing. If I never had another one, I'd be perfectly fine with it.
I've never had a cabbage that has me excited for cabbage season. That doesn't make cole slaw or sauerkraut "B.S." Or "Scatterbrained" does it? In a way I think growing your own hops and not experimenting with a portion of it is kinda not in the homebrewing spirit.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2014, 02:07:07 AM »
If Celebration is a wet hopped beer, then I can say that 100% of the wet hopped beers ive tried, I have enjoyed. If its not, then forgive me.

As far as the fun of wet hopping, I suppose its like skinny dipping. Those who dont get it probably arent missing much. Fyi, I dont get it either, but I'm just trying to remember what its like to be young

Offline pete b

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 02:13:25 AM »
If Celebration is a wet hopped beer, then I can say that 100% of the wet hopped beers ive tried, I have enjoyed. If its not, then forgive me.

As far as the fun of wet hopping, I suppose its like skinny dipping. Those who dont get it probably arent missing much. Fyi, I dont get it either, but I'm just trying to remember what its like to be young
You don't get skinny dipping? Its like wet hopping but you are in the liquid and naked. Watch out for fish if you know what I mean.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Is Wet Hopping BS?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2014, 02:33:08 AM »
If Celebration is a wet hopped beer, then I can say that 100% of the wet hopped beers ive tried, I have enjoyed. If its not, then forgive me.

As far as the fun of wet hopping, I suppose its like skinny dipping. Those who dont get it probably arent missing much. Fyi, I dont get it either, but I'm just trying to remember what its like to be young
You don't get skinny dipping? Its like wet hopping but you are in the liquid and naked. Watch out for fish if you know what I mean.

I used to get skinny dipping. But things changed