Hop Techniques for Beer with Gordon Strong – BeerSmith Podcast #67

by Brad Smith on October 14, 2013 · 3 comments

Hop techniques for beer brewing is this week’s topic. Grandmaster beer judge and award winning brewer Gordon Strong joins me this week and shares his thoughts on a wide variety of hop techniques including first wort hopping, aroma hop additions and dry hops.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (48:45)

  • Gordon Strong is my guest this week! Gordon is a three time Ninkasi award winner, President of the Beer Judge Certification Program, winner of the AHA governing committee lifetime achievement award, and also author of the book Brewing Better Beer (Amazon Affiliate Link). Gordon is also a Grandmaster beer judge.
  • Gordon starts with discussing why various hop techniques are important for creating great beer.
  • We talk about mash hopping – which uses hops in the mash itself. Neither one of us favor this method.
  • Gordon walks us through First Wort Hopping which is a technique that Gordon really likes. In FWH the hops are added near the start of the sparge to the boiler, and the hops remain in the boiler during the boil.
  • We discuss boil hop additions and how they add bitterness (IBUs) to the beer. Gordon also gives his thoughts on boiling with a single additions versus more frequent hop additions.
  • Gordon talks about why its important to limit your hop boil time.
  • Gordon explains the use of late hop additions (aroma, steeped or whirlpool hops). These late additions preserve the very volatile hop oils that provide an extra boost of hop flavor and aroma.
  • We discuss what a hop back is and how it is used.
  • We talk about dry hopping and what the appropriate contact time is for dry hopping.
  • Gordon shares his thoughts on applying various beer techniques to various styles. He explains how achieving the right bitterness balance is critical.
  • Gordon gives his closing thoughts on hop techniques.

Thanks to Gordon Strong for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Todd Holt October 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

Hi Brad, Thank you for your podcast, my brews have came up exponentionaly from listening to you and your guests. Now one area that yet eludes me and I do have problems with is yeast and fermentation. Smack packs seem to fail me more than dry yeast, I do have a long lag time and I get anxious. Also I hear other brewers that their beer become clear when fermenting is complete, mine don’t… You see I need help to get an understanding more about the yeast and the way to handle it and utilize . Also harvesting yeast as I try to keep the costs down. Thank you again…

MichaelA September 10, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Hi Brad,
I have been brewing for all of 4 batches now and have already started searching for more detail about brewing.
Your podcasts are certainly a great source of information. Today I listened to Podcast 67, you were discussing hops with Gordon Strong.
That podcast was 2 years ago now and was wondering if you had planned to do a followup on hops?

Gordons comments on pre-boil hops is real interesting and needs more explanation.
I understand the volatile nature of the essential oil and I assume they are extracted at the lower temperature before boiling, but then as the wort boils aren’t the flavour compounds boiled off?

Has anyone documented the affects of temperature and time of hops?

Once again thanks for your dedication and bring great information to the internet.
Oh! I really like your app.


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