Without hops, most beers would be unrecognizable. Hops are both a preservative and a bittering agent, and their oils are responsible for much of the flavor and aroma found in beer. Whether you prefer a malty beer or you’re a full-blown hop-head, home brewing with hops is a critical part of making beer at home.
Here are a number of resources to get you started on your journey of learning all about home brewing with hops:
- The Anatomy of the Hop – Hops, as used in homebrewing, are the flower of the humulus lupulus This post explains what it is about the hop flowers that make them so valuable to brewers.
- What are Noble Hops? – You’ll often hear the term “noble hops” if you enjoy brewing traditional beers from Europe. Learn what makes these kinds of hops so high and mighty.
- A Quick Guide to American Hops – What makes American hops different from other hops? What are some popular American hop varieties you can use in your American IPA, American pale ale, or American stout?
About Hop Bitterness
- How to Calculate the IBUs of Your Homebrew – International Bittering Units (IBUs) are a measurement of the bitterness in beer. It’s a factor of how much alpha acid is extracted and isomerized into the wort.
- Finding Balance in Your Homebrew: The BU/GU Ratio – One way of measuring balance is to compare the bitterness units in a beer to the gravity units. Learn this easy math that will help you balance your brews.
About Hop Flavor and Aroma
- Understanding Hop Oils – Hop oils are the seemingly magical ingredients that give beers a wide range of flavor and aroma characteristics, from citrus and pine, to grapefruit and herbal. Learn more about hop oils and how to maximize their contribution to your homebrew.
- A Quick Guide to Dry-Hopping Your Homebrew – Dry hopping is a popular way of increasing the hop aroma in your beer. Learn some of the best hops to use for dry-hopping and how to achieve optimal hop aroma.
- How to Dry Hop in a Homebrew Keg – Some homebrewers like to dry hop right in the keg. Learn how to do this so you don’t end up with a bunch of hops in your pint glass.
- First Wort Hopping: A Cooler Way to Add Hops to Your Homebrew – What is first wort hopping? It’s just one technique that can be used to give homebrew a stronger hop aroma and a smoother bitterness. Read this blog post to learn how to use first wort hopping when home brewing with hops.
- Learn Different Hop Aroma Profiles with This Easy Experiment – With dozens of hop varieties to choose from, it can take years to learn the aroma characteristics of different hops. Speed up the process with this easy experiment…
- Sahara Nevada Pale Ale
- San Diego Double IPA
- Smokestack Black IPA
- American Steam Whistle IPA
- Pacific NW Pale Ale
- Dry Hopped West Coast IPA
- Rye Pale Ale
Hoppy All-Grain Beer Recipes
- Imperial Black IPA (Uinta Dubhe Clone)
- Torpedo IPA Clone
- Flower Power IPA Clone
- Celebration Ale Clone
- Pliny the Elder Clone
- For the Love of Hops, by Stan Hieronymus
- Designing Great Beers, by Ray Daniels
- The Homebrewer’s Garden, by Joe & Dennis Fischer
Is there something you want to learn about home brewing with hops that isn’t covered here? Share in the comments below!
David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.