Hopping is an essential part of the beer brewing process as it is the part that brings out the different characteristics of the hops we have carefully selected. Whether it is to enhance bitterness, flavour or aroma, there are a multitude of brewing methods available to us, each with its own particularities and results.
Hops added at the beginning of the wort boil contribute mainly to bitterness, hops added in the middle of the boil add bitterness and some aroma, and the addition of hops at the end of the boil is mainly for hop aroma and flavour. However, even if added at the end of the boil, the highly volatile components of the hop oils quickly escape with the steam... taking the aroma of the wort with them.
In order to intensify the hop aroma in the making of ELEGANS White Session IPA, but also to add significantly different aromas to those obtained by end-of-boil hopping, we decided to do a raw hopping with Sorachi Ace hops.
What is dry-hopping?
The Sorachi Ace variety was developed by the Japanese brewery Sapporo Breweries. The advertised character of this hop is herbal with flavours and aromas of lemon, orange, coriander and dill. This hop is quite powerful in taste and very original. And that's why it deserves to be discovered. For our part, we were seduced and convinced by its uniqueness and character, and decided to use it as a flavouring hop.
The technique of raw hopping consists of infusing the beer with additional fresh hops at the end of the fermentation phase, and has the advantage of extracting the essential oils of the hops responsible for the aromas, without increasing the bitterness, because there is no isomerisation. During fermentation, the beer temperature is between 20 and 25°C for top-fermented beer, and the isomerisation of lupulin occurs at a temperature above 80°C.
For an optimal effect, we chose to add pellets directly to the wort and let the hops infuse for 5 days in the fermentation tank to obtain the desired aromas. Once the raw hopping was complete we did a cold crash to clarify the beer and to make the particles fall to the bottom of the tank.
It was a great experience to be able to let our imagination run wild and use this hopping technique for the first time. With the White Session IPA we wanted to go into the unknown, experiment and merge two styles. The result is a very thirst-quenching, balanced, surprising and very tasty white IPA.
All you have to do is discover it and maybe be convinced too!