Author Topic: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?  (Read 1182 times)

Offline Andy Farke

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Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« on: July 25, 2020, 04:38:06 pm »
In addition to my homebrewing, I've been playing around a lot lately with drink syrups--tonic syrup (it makes the *best* G&T), strawberry syrup (for sodas), juniper syrup (non-alcoholic "G"&T), an absolutely killer ginger syrup, etc. I'm really liking these as a mixer for cocktails, or even more frequently as a non-alcoholic alternative.

I think it would be tasty to have a little hop flavor and aroma in a syrup, stirred in to some sparkling water. I've found a few recipes online for hop syrups, but was wondering if anyone on the forum has a preferred recipe or tips for what works/doesn't work? I also saw recipes for hop water, but I'm hoping for something that I can just mix on-the-go rather than having to keg in larger volumes.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 06:56:48 pm »
In my experience, hops that are not boiled in wort produce harsh, grassy bitterness. If you're into making bitters, this might be worth a try, but I don't know if you're going to get a pleasant soda-style syrup from raw hops. You might have better luck with hop oil extract.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 10:30:24 pm »
Wait, how do you make tonic syrup?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 11:35:53 pm »
In my experience, hops that are not boiled in wort produce harsh, grassy bitterness. If you're into making bitters, this might be worth a try, but I don't know if you're going to get a pleasant soda-style syrup from raw hops. You might have better luck with hop oil extract.

I like bitters, but I hear you on the issue of harshness and grassiness...I might just have to experiment! I have some homegrown hops from my dad, and those might be an okay start...
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 11:42:28 pm »
Wait, how do you make tonic syrup?

It's pretty easy, once you have the ingredients! (although as a caution, you don't want to go too heavy on the cinchona bark, because quinine in high doses will make you sick!) I started down the tonic syrup road because I love a good gin & tonic, but the cheap store brand tonic water had a ton of corn syrup and wasn't that great, and the tasty fancy stuff was way more than I wanted to pay for...

My recipe is here -- it's based on a few iterations, and is our "house" tonic syrup: https://andybrews.com/2020/04/18/andys-homemade-tonic-syrup/ You can source the speciality ingredients online (or sometimes through a homebrew shop), and a pound of cinchona bark lasts for a looooooooong time (don't get the powdered bark! use chunks!); based on our typical rate of usage, a pound will last at *least* two years. And, you can certainly adjust to taste...I notched down the sugar a fair bit from the original recipe I had.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 02:10:15 am »
Wait, how do you make tonic syrup?

It's pretty easy, once you have the ingredients! (although as a caution, you don't want to go too heavy on the cinchona bark, because quinine in high doses will make you sick!) I started down the tonic syrup road because I love a good gin & tonic, but the cheap store brand tonic water had a ton of corn syrup and wasn't that great, and the tasty fancy stuff was way more than I wanted to pay for...

My recipe is here -- it's based on a few iterations, and is our "house" tonic syrup: https://andybrews.com/2020/04/18/andys-homemade-tonic-syrup/ You can source the speciality ingredients online (or sometimes through a homebrew shop), and a pound of cinchona bark lasts for a looooooooong time (don't get the powdered bark! use chunks!); based on our typical rate of usage, a pound will last at *least* two years. And, you can certainly adjust to taste...I notched down the sugar a fair bit from the original recipe I had.
I also like a good G&T - I may have to try this.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 09:56:48 pm »
Alrighty, just did my first attempt. Here's the recipe:
  • 1/2 oz of whole cone Cascade hops
  • 1/2 tsp of citric acid powder
  • 1 tsp of juniper berries, crushed
  • Peel of 1/2 grapefruit, avoiding pith
  • 1/2 cup of Demerara sugar
  • 2 cups water
Mix all ingredients except water, bring to a simmer. Let's sit for 15 minutes, strain into jar, mix in sugar to dissolve. Refrigerage.

I mixed it up with about 1.5 oz syrup to ~1.5 cups sparkling water. Not sure how I feel about it...it's okay enough, but needs a bit more bitterness for my taste. The aroma matches fairly well with the whole hop aroma, although I think I might try hop pellets for the next iteration.

The drink itself is pretty refreshing, and interesting as something other than plain water. Time to do more experiments!
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 04:00:40 am »
Awesome idea. I'd go heavier on the juniper berries almost? I love their taste and while not subtle, I feel like I don't mind a stronger juniper taste over a weaker than expected one.



Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 07:32:50 pm »
Awesome idea. I'd go heavier on the juniper berries almost? I love their taste and while not subtle, I feel like I don't mind a stronger juniper taste over a weaker than expected one.

I decided to go a little light on juniper, because I was aiming for more of a hint in the background to evoke some of the more coniferous hop varieties...but I agree that the amount could get ramped up. Maybe 2 tsp. for the next 2 cup batch of hop syrup? I use 3 tsp. of crushed berries in each cup of the juniper syrup I make, and the taste/aroma is definitely quite notable for that recipe.

I had the hop syrup in some sparkling water the other day, now that some of the solids have settled out more (I don't bother with hyper-straining of my syrups normally). It has a very floral taste / aroma now, which I guess must be related to the hops. They're South Dakota-grown Cascade from my dad, and definitely have a different character versus the commercial varieties from the Pacific Northwest.
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Offline MelanieButler

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2021, 03:18:50 pm »
Recently, I've made some hops-infused in honey syrup, and it works perfectly for cocktails or even lemonade! Still, it has a very specific taste, therefore, not everybody likes it.  Besides, I love how the cranberry syrup matches with citrus vodka. You should definitely try this combination! It's one of my favorite cocktails ever. The ingredient list is very simple. You just need pink cranberry juice, citrus vodka, some liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. When preparing it, follow the exact proportions of Mint Tulip Cocktail in order to achieve the right flavour. Hope you'll enjoy it!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 06:46:16 pm by MelanieButler »

Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 06:05:26 pm »
Favorite summer mixed drink, Tanqueray and Tonic, with a slice of lemon.

Offline pete b

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 10:45:51 pm »
Favorite summer mixed drink, Tanqueray and Tonic, with a slice of lemon.
You lost me at lemon, but you did say it was your favorite summer drink, not mine.
I tend to go with Bombay sapphire for gin and tonics and lime. We actually use plain seltzer and a couple drops of quinine extract instead of tonic water so it’s less sweet.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Homemade Hop Syrups -- Suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2021, 11:20:02 pm »
Favorite summer mixed drink, Tanqueray and Tonic, with a slice of lemon.
You lost me at lemon, but you did say it was your favorite summer drink, not mine.
I tend to go with Bombay sapphire for gin and tonics and lime. We actually use plain seltzer and a couple drops of quinine extract instead of tonic water so it’s less sweet.
For me, Sapphire tonic is pretty lemon-forward and can go lemon or lime, but Tanq absolutely needs lime. Although my favorite way to drink Sapphire is just sipping on the rocks with a twist of lemon peel.

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