Welcome to the wonderful world of fresh, whole flower hops! As a beer enthusiast, you know that the perfect brew is not just about the proper kinds of malt and yeast, but also about the right hops. While several forms are available, including pellets and plugs, fresh hops can take your beer to the next level.
Fresh hops add distinct flavor and scent to the brewing process. Whole cone hops are their rawest form and have been used in beer making since the 9th century. From bine to brew, using fresh whole flower hops in your beer-making process enhances the natural flavors of your beer and inspires your creativity.
Here at Freshops, we believe in the power of using fresh, whole flower hops! They are the reason we fell in love with delicious, home-brewed beer 40 years ago. From improved flavor profiles to easier straining and siphoning, here are just a few of the benefits you may find for using fresh hops in your beer recipes.
Benefits of Whole Flower Hops
1. Fresh Hops Create Unique Flavors and Aromas
Using whole flower hops results in fresh flavors and multidimensional aromatic qualities that are unique to each batch and variety. These flavors are popular and highly sought after by craft beer drinkers who appreciate seasonal beers added layers.
2. Whole Cone Hops are a Point of Pride
The use of whole flower hops is often a point of pride for commercial breweries and home brewers. Using whole flower hops adds an aesthetic to the process of brewing beer. You can appreciate the beauty of using the hop flowers you can’t get when using the ground-up pellet form.
3. Whole Hops Retain their Aromatic Compounds
Whole hops, remaining intact, contain volatile aromatic compounds, aka essential oils. This endows each harvest with a distinct flavor. The robust aroma profile also includes tropical fruit, stone fruit, earthy, floral, and herbal notes.
4. Filter Beds
Whole cone hops do form a filter bed when straining the boiled wort. This filter bed removes some of the hot break and other materials created during the mash and boil. After dry hopping, whole flower hops are usually more easily removed from your beer.
5. Pellets Have Some Downsides
-While pellets have improved over the years and are easier to store, they do have some downsides.
-Pellets sink and dissolve, creating “sludge” on the bottom of your brew kettle or fermenter.
-If left un-bagged, the pellets tend to rise to the surface during the boil and form a layer on the kettle’s rim, which means they’re not being utilized.
-Some brewers believe that whole hops are less harsh than pellets, making them a better choice for beer making.
Whether you use fresh flower hops, pellets, or a combination, the taste of the resulting fresh hop ales is worth it. Making your own brew is a fun adventure, and mastering flavor techniques using fresh, whole flower hops is the key to creating your own truly exceptional beer.
Why not give them a try for yourself? We offer a wide number of varieties of aroma, bittering or dual-purpose, all harvested here in the Pacific Northwest, available to order on our homepage Freshops.com.