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I'm wondering about approaches for getting maximum hop aroma, and i got looking at the hop back - in particular the hop rocket or similar.

Having read about dry hopping etc, and the fact that it seems very hard to keep the aroma, how about pumping through the hop rocket, just before bottling?

So the beer would be fully fermented, the only downside I can see is that the beer is cold, so less likely to extract the hop oils, is that right?

In which case - Im sure I read somewhere that some pubs will serve beer through dried hops, for exactly this reason - to restore some of the aroma. So if that works, then I figured it would also work just before bottling?

  • Do you mean you'd send it through the hops on the way to the bottle, i.e. through the hops, through a bottling wand and into the bottle? Or would it be on the way to a bottling bucket? In the first scenario I could see the first bottles possibly having higher aromatics than the last bottles. – Franklin P Combs Jun 7 '16 at 20:33
  • Yup that was the idea. Just a thought! – Codek Jun 8 '16 at 5:03
  • I like the idea. – Mr_road Jun 8 '16 at 17:20
  • Funnily enough this just came up on brulosophy: brulosophy.com/2016/06/27/… – Codek Jun 29 '16 at 9:59
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You'd pick up too much oxygen that way. The beer would oxidize in the bottle before you drank it all. Dry hopping is the way to go, just do more of it. More aroma, in this case, is a recipe issue not a process issue. Using a couple regimens of dry hopping will get the aroma where you want it. Pellets are a good choice do to minimal oxygen trapped within vs. whole leaf hops.

If you are kegging then maybe a hopback used as a randall would be OK. Get that hoppy infusion right at the faucet, without oxidizing the whole batch. I've seen that done at many beer festivals with success.

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    You can flood the hop back with CO2 beforehand. – Atron Seige Jun 8 '16 at 11:47
  • You can but you have to do a lot of flushing to get all the nooks and crannies out of O2. At worse it will certainly minimize the O2 in the hops. – brewchez Jun 8 '16 at 15:11
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In my experience using a randal with hop pellets, when the beer is cold gives a great boost in flavor and aroma but it's short lived and best done at the time of drinking.

After a few days it starts to change, in my case they would get really grassy.

I've not tried a warm keg randal transfer, so I don't know how it would effect it. I discontinued the practice and opted to just do my dry hopping better.

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  • I have heard the "randal at drinking time" method causes a strange sensation on your teeth. Makes them feel "coated" with some kind of "gummy" substance. – DaFi4 Jun 8 '16 at 14:06
  • @montewhizdoh if the randal doesn't have a good filter and using pellets or just too much hops. I would expect it to be astringent, a very unpleasant mouthfeel. Randals intended for fruit like orange peels may not have any filter. Crushing a single pelet of hops into a pint is fun, sometimes it's amazing sometimes you just wasted a pint. – Evil Zymurgist Jun 9 '16 at 21:25
  • "The apparatus is said to leave the enamel of drinker’s teeth feeling gritty" byo.com/mead/item/369-build-a-hop-transducer-projects – DaFi4 Jun 10 '16 at 7:25
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    @montewhizdoh I use a water filter just like that article, and a white particle filter. Mine just had two ball locks for keg to keg transfer. I've only added up to 2 oz, and tranfered 5 gallons so it's blended, and not experienced this tooth grit the article mentions. – Evil Zymurgist Jun 10 '16 at 13:55
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If you were to purge the Hopback and piping with N2 or CO2 you could probably get away with this, or if you were intending to drink it fresh you again could may be get away with the extra DO. Also, if you are bottling with some Brett it could chew through your extra DO for you.

BrewDog in the UK serve a few of their beers through hops and/or fruits on the bar and it is amazing, Dead PonyClub with sour cherries was the last I had, and it was full of fresh cherry flavour.

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