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A Bit o' Hop Oil for Week 5

10 June 2011 No Comment

Snake oil you say?  NO WAY!  This conccoction – far from fraud – is made with Hop Oil.  You see, most cask-conditioned beers are topped off with some fresh hop flowers or a bag of pellets to allow the aromatic character of hops to steep out.  What you get is a more aromatic rendering of the hops than you achieve while boiling them in late additions to the brew kettle.

This week though, Good People has obtained a portion of hop oil – yes, hop oil to “dry hop” this latest cask of Pale Ale.  Intrigued?  I certainly am and I can’t wait to try this out. 

The oils in hop flowers are similar to the oils you would find in flowers to make perfume or spices.  They are volatile and contribute significantly to the aroma of flowers.  It doesn’t take a whole lot to be very prominent.  We’re talking PPM – that’s parts per million.

A lot of folks think that most of the esters in beer originate from the yeast – banana and cherry flavors come from the esters that are yeast fermentation byproducts.  You can also get citrus flavors – grapefruit to lemon – that affect the flavor from hops. 

Anywho, this beer should be interesting and I can’t wait to try one or two.

Cheers!

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