When I first started homebrewing, my taste in beer was more mainstream. As I moved deeper into the world of homebrew, I began to try and love new styles of beer.
In particular, I started to love hoppy beer. The problem was that if I made kit homebrew, there wasn’t much hop character. As in none.
Luckily I soon discovered that through a few simple tricks, homebrewers can make hoppy kit beers.
How to make hoppy kit homebrew
We will be soaking (or ‘steeping’) hops in boiled hot water and tipping this into the fermented beer.
Known as ‘wet hopping’, this will extract hop aroma and a reasonable hop flavor, but no bitterness.
The hop pouch
We will be using a hop ‘pouch’ to keep the disintegrated hop pellets from getting into our bottles. They are easy to make or you can just buy one.
To make a hop pouch:
cut a square of muslin wrap around 2×2 feet (60 cm).
wash to get rid of any soap in the fabric
lay over a cup, make a hole and tip your hops in the middle
bring up the corners and tie off with a piece of string.
How to prepare hops
For a distinct hop profile you need two to three ounces (60-90 grams) of fresh hop pellets.
boil half a gallon (2 liters) of water in a small pot
add the hops to your pouch and tie off
soak in the boiled hot water for 10 minutes, with the lid on
tip the bag and water into your recently fermented beer
leave for three to five days
bottle or keg as per usual.
When to add
Add this hop tea when your beer has finished fermenting.
If you add when your beer is actively fermenting, the bubble rising will take your precious hops aromas. Active fermentation is a bit like simmering your wort and will remove desirable aromas.
Adding after fermentation offers little risk of infection if you follow proper sanitation. The wort is now fermented and not an attractive environment for bacteria and other contaminants.
Considerably less sugars are available and the pH has dropped during the course of fermentation.
Homebrewing With Kits—The Beginner’s Guide
To help you master homebrewing with kits, I’ve put together a guide based on my experiences over the last two decades.
This is the information I wish I had when I started brewing. I hope it helps you make awesome homebrew.