In terms of recipe formulation, do I treat your hops like wet hops?
We have found that 1 kilo is equivalent to about 10 oz of hops, so closer to 3.5:1 ratio as opposed to a 5:1 ratio. These hops have not undergone a drying process, hammer mill, or pellatizer and therefore retain much more of there original bitterness and aroma. Absorption rates will be much less than you expect. These are fresh hops and have not been dried out at all, and therefore, will not absorb as much as pellet or leaf hops. Our typical process is to use these hops in a muslin bag or hop spider and remove these hops at the end of the boil. Obviously if you are dry hopping with them they will absorb a bit more.
How do I best use The Blue Lake Process ® Hops?
I have been working with these hops for a few years now and I keep finding new ways to use this hop product. I have listed a few below:
- When boiling with these hops I typically thaw them out and put them in some sort of steeping device (muslin bag, hop spider, if you have one of the newer electric urn systems I have used the malt pipe to boil the hops in after the mash has been removed). Using any or those methods, makes it easy to remove the hops after boiling, squeeze out the wort trapped in the hops and lose little of the precious wort to absorption.
- A second method I have used is steeping the wort in the hops after the boil. For this method, I fill my mash tun with thawed The Blue Lake Process® hops and transfer my hot wort to the mash tun and steep. I usually shoot for 30min but who knows maybe leaving them longer is better. I have not tested that theory yet.
- Another method I have use is to throw The Blue Lake Process® hops in frozen at the end of the boil and get the added help with cooling. As for dry hoping. This is a raw agricultural product so there is always a risk of contamination. That being said, hops are naturally antibacterial, and I have dry hoped with this product, with great success. If would recommend waiting a week for the alcohol content to climb further minimizing the risk of infection.
What quantity of The Blue Lake Process® Hops is equivalent to 1oz of pellet hops?
- The jury is still out on an exact answer to this question, but we have found that a good ratio to work with is 3.5oz of The Blue Lake Process® hops to 1oz of pellet hops.
- The Blue Lake Process® freezes our hops at the peak of freshness. This process bursts the cell walls in the hop cones making more of the important acids for bittering and essential oils for flavor, available for isomerization in your wort.
What absorption rates should I expect with my The Blue Lake Process® Hops?
- A good rule of thumb for brewing with dried whole leaf hops is 1oz of dried whole leaf hops can be expected to absorb 12oz of wort.
- Hops exposed to The Blue Lake Process® are never dried and retain the same moisture content as the day they were harvested. As a result, you can expect minimal wort loss to absorption when using The Blue Lake Process® Hops. Whole hops do have more nooks and crannies to trap wort so giving the hops time to drain or squeezing them to remove any excess wort trapped in the cone will further decrease wort loss.