Hello, welcome to our Friday video. This week I am drinking a beer called Oregon Trail by Elusive Brewing. This is a classic West Coast style IPA, exactly the style of beer I was trying to nail when I stated brewing.
Elusive have their brewery and tap room located in Finchampstead just outside reading, which is handily next to Siren Craft Brew so makes good afternoon out for a beer and to bring some home as well. But do contact them both to find out what they are doing in relation to the Covid situation.
It’s Andy Parker who created Elusive, coming from a home brew back ground he is affectionally know as the “nicest man in beer” , he does a huge amount for the brewing community, has penned Camra’s Essential home brewing that contains all you need to know about starting to brew but also recipes from some of the best breweries in the country. These kits are also available on the website.
So, last week we spoke just a little about malt, this week we are looking at hops, well actually hop products, these are extracts that are made in different ways from hops and each product is very individual in their use and effect on the beer.
One thing to point out right from the start is that hop extract or more correctly pre isomerised extract, the type that macro breweries use post fermentation to create or increase bitterness. These can also make beer light stable so that they can sit on the supermarket shelves in clear bottles. Whilst they have their place, it is the new bread of hop product we have here. These are produced by the biggest hop merchant in the world, Barth Haas. We are delighted that they trust us highly enough to repacked these extracts down into home brew friendly sizes, these are all 15g sizes.
So, for this video we are looking at three products:-
These may all look like lip balm but they certainly aren’t.
Hop aid antifoam this is used in the fermenter, we have all had the problem of a beer at high Krausen jumping out of the fermenter and creating a mess, well this is the product that will either stop it or certainly reduce it greatly. Ideal for 23 litre batches in a brewbucket that would otherwise be very tight and it has no negative effect on flavour and just as importantly beer foam.
Lipohop is used within the boil kettle to stop boil overs, we find in a Grainfather and actually in the other single vessel system that we use that boil overs are very easy, just drop this product in before boil is reached and it cuts the foam. Again, a natural product made from hops that has no detrimental effect on the beer what so ever, it just makes your brew day easier.
Ingognito. And this is the one that we are most excited about so far. Ingognito is variety specific, it’s true to type, at the time of this video we have Citra, Sabro, Mosaic and Ekuanot. It is used at the end of boil, in the whirlpool, not for dry hopping as it needs to dissolve and disperse within the wort. As it is variety specific and they have done many tests, the flavour profile is indistinguishable from using pellets or leaf, so if your using Citra Ingognito, you will get the full Citra flavour. Now, it has loads of benefits for commercial brewers in that you don’t have all that pellet or whole hop matter soaking up your precious wort, and this to a certain extent the home brewer also, but where it really shines, is in stability. When using Ingognito the hop aroma and flavour stays in the finished beer for far longer. It’s easy to dose and has all the bittering characteristic of the given hop as well. This is truly ground breaking product.
Just want to finish on a customer question / comment that we had this week and I really want to put it to bed so to speak.
When we purchase hops we use various different merchants form over Europe, they all care about their product deeply and will only supply the very best possible. It is true that, naturally harvests are different from year to year but I want to ensure that everyone knows that we buy the very same hops that the very best breweries buy from the same merchants. There isn’t some B grade sweepings that are sold out to the homebrew market. What is true, is that once purchased and in the hands of a third party they can be neglected, stored at ambient temperature and oxidised. This is why we buy and indeed have contracts running to 2024 and why a company such as Barth Haas are happy for us to supply their products. It is also true to say that we are seen and taken very seriously by the hop merchants. All of our hops and hop products are cold stored, nitrogen back flushed, in light and oxygen barrier foil. It is the only way to deal with hops.