While it may be true that ‘not a lot of people play with wet hops’, that is as much about availability as adventurousness of spirit. It is becoming an increasingly common and very welcome development for beer… LCPA is one of the Australian classics and a wet hop version is something to anticipate…
Wet Hop Pale Ale
About two weeks ago, our friends at Hop Products Australia in Bushy Park, Tasmania, threw 100kg of fresh harvested, “green” Cascade hops in a refrigerated container on a plane just hours after picking them. The hops didn’t go through the kiln, so avoided the normal drying process, leaving them plump, moist and very fragile meaning we had very little time to get them into a brew! After a slight mishap at the airport involving chasing a courier around Perth, the Cascades arrived at the brewery and we threw the entire 100kg into the hopback of a normal pale ale brew.
The trick with green hops is that they were picked and delivered so quickly that no one has time to run analysis on them so it’s a stab in the dark as to how they’ll perform in the brew house. The normal drying process and resting time on the hop farm helps concentrates the alpha acids and essential oils so we knew we were in for something a little different. Not a lot of people in Australia play with wet hops so this was a true experiment and something we brewed just to see what would happen, as oppose to brewing with a specific outcome in mind which is traditionally the way to go about things.
So the good stuff… The result!
The wet hops have given us a unique Pale Ale with subtle differences in flavour and character; a less citrusy and more grassy aroma and a herbaceous, hoppy and leafy palette with a rugged bitterness. Click here for some more pictures of the process on our facebook page or come down to the brewery or the Melbourne Dining Hall and try it for yourself.