In an IPA recipe I came across, a final small addition of hops is supposed to be "steeped". What does this mean? Is it just a different way of saying "add at knockout"?

The recipe is here ("The Immortal"):



2 Answers 2


Yes, it means at knockout (or flameout or 0 minutes). There are different ways of expressing it. Generally, though, the direction implies delaying the start of chilling by a few minutes to let the hops steep in the hot wort. Often times, brewers will chill to approximately 180F, then steep the hops for a few minutes. Supposedly, the slightly lower than boiling temp preserves more delicate aromatics.

  • Thanks! But would not letting the wort stand hot (at approx boiling temperature) produce DMS? At least, that's what Palmer lists as reason to rapidly start chilling after the boil: DMS is constantly produced. Also, any chance for a reference describing this technique of steeping/slightly chilling the wort?
    – Nemis L.
    Nov 14, 2013 at 7:29
  • 1
    If you have a vigorous boil, you will have driven off so much SMM (the precursor to DMS) that it won't be a problem. In addition, the stand is only for a little bit. Experience of many has shown that's it's not a problem.
    – Denny Conn
    Nov 14, 2013 at 16:20

Another way of thinking about steeping hops could be comparing it to sitting a tea bag in a cup of hot water to get out all the flavor and aromas.

I have added hops to a beer by doing exactly this.

Boil 1 cup of water in a pot.

Turn the heat off and add your hops in a hop bag for 10 minutes.

Give the bag a squeeze every few minutes and turn it over.

Keep the pot lid on to keep in all the aromas so they don't escape into the air.

Then add this to the beer

  • While that is a method some homebrewers use, it's not what the OP was referring to.
    – Denny Conn
    Nov 13, 2013 at 21:00
  • @DennyConn appreciate the feedback and understand that it is not the usual way to do it but is there any reason why this method wont work? Secondly is it really worth a down vote considering I am giving an example of what steeping is which is what the question title is? Not meaning to be rude in anyway, I am on this site for my own learning process so more constructive feedback is appreciated.
    – WillNZ
    Nov 13, 2013 at 21:17
  • Interesting approach! Do you have a reference?
    – Nemis L.
    Nov 14, 2013 at 7:31
  • The downvote was because you didn't answer the question, which was about a specific recipe that called for steeping hops in the kettle at the end of the boil. In contrast to your results, I have experimented with the method you suggest many times and found the results to range from bad to disgusting. Even adjusting the pH of the water the hops steeped in, it was still a harsh, vegetal mess that did nothing to improve my beer. But that's a different question!
    – Denny Conn
    Nov 14, 2013 at 16:23
  • @SimenK. Sorry no reference. I was told this by my local home brew shop and have tried it as a dry hopping method with great results.
    – WillNZ
    Nov 14, 2013 at 19:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.