If your goal is to increase hop aroma (via extraction of hop oils), then you have a few options:
- 1.) first wort hopping (use only low AA hops; prolonged steep before boil gives oils time to be extracted and oxidize into more soluble/stable compounds that will survive the boil)
- 2.) add hops at flameout/knockout (finishing hops)
- 3.) use a hopback (warm wort) prior to plate or CF chiller
- 4.) dry hopping (ideally in secondary to minimize aroma loss during vigorous fermentation and absorption of oils by yeast/trub; use of a hop sack is suggested)
- 5.) use a Randall during serving (quite a hit during parties and beer fests)
I have not seen a hopback used without a pump. The commercial systems are the only ones I've seen that work well, and they're usually not used as hopbacks.
Why do you say use only low AA hops for first wort hopping? I've never seen that recommendation before. I just did it for the first time with Amarillo, haven't tasted yet, but am really looking forward to trying it.
Secondary: Oktoberfest, German Pilsner, Double IPA,
In Bottles: Lucknow IPA clone, Rough Rider Brown Ale clone,
John Harvard Imperial Stout clone, Hoppy Amber, Witch's Brew (Habanero and Smoked Corn Small Ale), Porter, Dunkleweizen, Dry Stout, Irish Red Ale, American Maple Wheat Ale, Black Wit, Belgian style Wit, Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Kegged: IPA, Saison, Hoppy Brown Ale