Hops that are steeped in beer between fermentation and packaging are called dry hops, although they do actually get wet in the process. A term such as conditioning hops or secondary hops might be more descriptive, but we continue to describe them as dry for the same reason that we continue to call a 1½" x 3½" piece of lumber a 2-by-4: It’s tradition.
Dry hopping your homebrew is an excellent way to introduce fresh hops aroma to any style, but pale ales and IPAs are especially associated with the technique. Whether you dry hop with whole leaf or pellet hops is up to you: Leaf hops will tend to float on top of the liquid, while pellet hops will disintegrate into a hops sludge that sinks to the bottom. More than anything, your choice may come down to what’s available.
Here are three common ways to deliver dry-hopped goodness to your homebrew.