Brew School: Brewing with Wet Hops

Posted on October 24th, 2010

Recently we brewed our second wet hop beer of the year with about 50-pounds of Cascades from the Yakima Valley. Our head brewer had the day off so I was brought in the brewery to assist with the brew day. I decided that within 6-months I want to be able to run a brewday completely solo so I decided to take the opportunity to sketch out some diagrams and take detailed notes to help me remember some of the more minute details of the process. Since there were only two of us working that day, I didn’t have to surrender my services to deliveries. This meant not only that I could focus all of my energy on brewing—loading and unloading kegs around NYC gets very physically draining—and even had some spare time to take a few photos.

Mashing In:

Here is 1400-pounds of malt doing its magic. For this fresh hop we decided to go for a dark amber color and even added 165-pounds of flaked Rye for a bit of spicyness.

Vorlof:

The purpose of the vorlof, or recirculation, is to clarify the wort. The hot wort is cycled through itself while the bed of spent grain acts as a filter bed collecting husks and other haze causing goodies.

Bag of Cascades:

10-pounds of fresh Cascades hops waiting their turn in the boil.

Fresh Hops:

After the boil, we flush the wort through a hopback full of whole leaf hops to retain all the wonderful aromas, flavors and essential oils the cones have to offer. Normally, we’ll use between five and ten pounds of dried, whole leaf hops for a 30-barrel batch. However, since we were using fresh hops, we decided it’d be much better to utilize 30-pounds of fresh Cascades for this.

In about 3 weeks I’ll have some information—and a few more photos—of the finished and hopefully delicious brew!

  • Nice photos amazing how green full and fresh the hops look wet going into the boil.