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?
- 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…
Hoppy Extract & Partial Mash Beer Recipe Kits
- 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
Hoppy Home Brewing Resources
Want to learn even more about hops? If after mastering the topics above you still want to learn more, I suggest the following:
- 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.