I brewed a golden ale that was severely under hopped. I called my LBHS and the told me to make a hop tea to add to the keg:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tbsp malt extract
  • 2 oz fresh hops
  • boil for 60 minutes
  • add to taste

I have hops on hand but no malt extract. What is the purpose of the malt extract? This beer is really malty as it is. Do you think just boiling hops and water will achieve the same end result?

  • 3
    I'm not going to post an answer because I like brewchez's, but you might want to try making some hop vodka that you can add to each pint at serving time. stempski.com/hop_vodka.php
    – JackSmith
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


I have never had success with that method. 1tbsp of extract is someone trying to sound smart. I am not a fan of trying to fix an existing brew. Drink, or blend it with a hoppy IPA. LEarn from it and either change your process or modify your recipe and rebrew it. Make it the next thing to brew. As homebrewers we bounce around a lot. But if you want to make better beer and be a better brewer take this as an opportunity to learn something. Brew it again, but better.

  • I have already noted the mistake in my notebook and adjusted the recipe. As much as I would like more bitterness, I think I will take your advice and chalk it up to learning.
    – nuttzman
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:15
  • Agree with Brewchez. Upvote.
    – TinCoyote
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:32

I have no idea what that amount of the extract would do for you. Presumably, not much. I don't think it would add much in the way of maltiness, either. It may be to "wake" the yeast back up, but I don't think that amount of it would even do that in any significant way.

I've never made a tea for this purpose, but I have dropped a couple of hop pellets in a tea infuser and poured boiling water on them, a 10 minute steep made a quite bitter tea. I think you'd be fine without the extract.

This will probably produce a different hop character from what you would get from having enough hops in the main boil. The proteins in the boiling wort coagulate around some of the hop solids and drop out of suspension, and the hop oils will coat yeast cells and flocculate out during fermentation. You'll probably want to pour several 2-3oz tasting glasses, carefully measure your hop tea, and add it to each glass in varying amounts. The amount to add to the full batch should scale linearly (i.e. 1 Tablespoon in a 12oz sample would equal around 50 Tablespoons for a 5 gallon batch).

  • I was thinking that the malt would be for the yeast as well but the keg is already chilled to 40 degrees or so. Scaling is a great idea I hadn't though of. Thank you for the great advice.
    – nuttzman
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:08

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.