June 23, 2009

At the (Dry) Hop

Our first try at brewing a summer-friendly wheat beer is throwing another "first" into the 2JB mix: dry hopping. From the start, we've enthusiastically pitched hops into the boiling water of our brew, but this was the first recipe that called for adding a final dose of hops after a week or so of fermenting. It's all about the flavor, and the hops are the flavor engine in our sleek beer roadster (if you'll pardon the metaphor).

So Nahum and I headed down to the basement to do the dry hop. We peeled the lid off of the primary fermenter, and man did this beer smell good! The SG reading came up 1.020...which suggests it's also going to be plenty strong.

The dry hopping turned out to be kind of cool, a tiny/interesting new thrill in the process. We took a whiff of the delightful aroma of 1 oz. of Bullion hops and dropped them into the carboy. In went the beer...and almost immediately, there was a green, hoppy top on the fermenting brew. Nice!

A couple of days later, I added a 1/2 oz. of dried orange peel (what's a wheat beer without a little citrus tang to it, after all?), and now we just have to hope the dry-hopped hops fully dissolve into the beer before we get to bottling. The weather keeps getting warmer, so we need (need) this one to be ready to drink soon.

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