What Is Dry Hopped Beer?

Ever been to a brewery and said “huh, dry hopped IPA, is it dry?” It’s OK if you have, I’m not here to judge.

Dry hopping is a popular technique in brewing that involves adding hops to the brew…but later than you add the regular hops.

Let me explain.

A dry hopped beer is a beer that has more hops added later in the brewing process than normal. This is in addition to the hops already in the beer, whatever they might.

So, a dry hopped beer is extra hoppy. But not necessarily extra bitter. I’ll keep trying to explain.

Dry Hopped Beers: Not Wet Hopped Beers

Remember when we learned all about fresh hop beers, also known as wet hop beer? I’m sure you’re putting the pieces together:

Dry hop is the opposite of wet hop., right?

The simple answer is no, not even nearly. They don’t even describe the same thing.

To recap, wet hop beers, aka fresh hop beers, are beers that use super fresh, super dank hops that were very recently harvested. Fresh hop season is a celebration of matured hops and the best time to enjoy this type of beer.

Dry hop refers to when the hops are added, that being some point after the boiling process. So they aren’t dry, per se, but they don’t boil, meaning the oils don’t get released. 

So, as a nice little recap, wet hop is a state of hop, and dry hop is a hopping technique.

What Does Dry Hopped Beer Taste Like?

Dry hopped beer tastes like…well, the brew plus the added hops.

The benefit of dry hopping is that, by skipping the boiling process, the hops don’t add extra bitterness to the brew. However, they do add plenty of aroma and flavor, leading to a beer with much stronger flavor and smells.

With dry hopping, brewers can maximize the flavor and aroma profile of the hops without creating a beer so bitter that only its mother could love it. 

To get a better idea of what a dry hopped beer tastes like, we need to spend more time learning about hops. For example, Citra hops have a citrusy aroma and taste, while Mosaic hops have a more generally fruity flavor.

Keep in mind that, while dry hopping does not make beers more bitter, it doesn’t mean that dry hopped beers aren’t bitter. Just warning you before you leave a mean comment.

What Makes Dry Hopped Beer Special?

Dry hopping is another fun technique that brewers can use to create cool, creative beers. It’s an extra step and requires more hops, but anyone who has tried a dry hopped beer knows that there’s something special about them. Right? Or is it just me.

Maybe it’s just me.

Regardless of palates or lack thereof (looks in mirror), dry hopped beers are a fun creation by a brewer. If you have a brewery you love, you’ll probably love anything they dry hop.

Dry Hopped vs Double Dry Hopped

Ever seen that “DDH” label next to a beer? We have it everywhere in San Diego.

This means double dry hopped, which means dry hopped but twice. Twice the hops, on top of the hops added earlier in the brew.

How many hops need to be added for something to be double dry hopped? I don’t know! Nobody knows. It’s another one of those super subjective beer terms. I guess if a brewer has a recipe that calls for dry hopping, then they double the number of hops used, it makes the beer double dry hopped. 

Dry Hopping: A Recap

Well, that’s really all I have to say about dry hopping. It’s not a huge mystery, but it’s fun. And hopefully you learned something, too! This knowledge could be useful for super niche trivia, or for annoying your friends. The power is now in your hands. 

Thomas Short
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