There are several ways to add hops to your beer. When you buy home beer kits, you can add hops using cones, whole flowers, or pellets. Hops are basically used for three purposes: bitterness (by boiling), flavor (by steeping), and aroma (by dry hopping).
If you need a little extra bitterness in the brew, follow the boiling method. Add malt extract to the water, and let it boil gently. Add some beer hops and boil the mixture for a few minutes. Let it rest for some time and then strain it into the fermenter. This process is followed if you want to add hops for their bitterness.
If you seek a little flavor in your beer, follow the steeping method. Heat some water in a pan until it boils. Add some hops and take the water off the stove. Let the hops steep for some time and then you can add the mix to your brew with cold water.
Dry hopping is the ideal method to add aroma to the beer. Throw the hops directly into the fermenter. You can throw them in hop bags or loose. This way you can add a different aroma to the beer. The best time for dry hopping is three days after fermentation has started. It can be done while you mix the brew, but if you add the hops too early, you’ll lose some aroma. If you follow this method, you’ll get not just aroma, but also fresh flavor.
All three methods produce different results. Generally 10g -20g hops are enough for your home brewing kit, and you’ll get better flavor and aroma with balanced beer malt. But it all depends on personal taste. Different brewers will tell you different methods of adding hops. You can try all methods and see which method suits you the best.
If you want to learn more about hops and what it con do for you homebrew, you may want to take a peek at the blog post, “Some Interesting Facts About Beer Hops“. It covers some of the in-and-outs of homebrewing with hops.