The hops you use impact more than just flavor—different hops impact mouthfeel and texture in different ways. “Even in IPAs that attenuate more—beers with Galaxy and Citra, they tend to drink much fuller. A beer that doesn’t attenuate as much—let’s say we went Mosaic, Amarillo, El Dorado—it has a different feel. It’s all perceived juiciness.”
Too much fruit character alone in your hops is counterproductive. “A lot of IPAs of the style we notice people make have this sensation—it tastes like sweet tea. People really do enjoy those beers because they tend to be like simply drinking canned juice. For us, that’s not the profile we’re after. We’re actually looking for more of the idea of squeezing juice out of hops, where it’s still an assertively hoppy beer.”
“Galaxy on its own is really good, Citra on its own is pretty good, and the two together are pretty magical. Every other hop we find needs to be in some kind of balance. Some of the newer hops, like Vic Secret, we enjoy but find that over a certain percentage, it just doesn’t work. We’re always trying to find that right blend, and some blends we just stumble upon, and it’s just beautiful.”
Give them time, and don’t rush. “Overall, we find in the finished product, if we get more stuff to settle out, the better the beer is. We know people enjoy trading our beers, and they travel a lot, so we want it to be a stable product. We try to get as much yeast to settle out as possible, and also hops particles, and whatever else could drop out, we want it to drop out. “We go through a pretty slow crashing after the beer is done dry hopping, then we’ll transfer to the brite tank and let it sit as long as possible, let it kind of mellow out. Even West Coast IPA, if you drink it on day one, it tends to be resiny. Same with these beers and probably even more so if there’s yeast in suspension. If that yeast doesn’t settle out, you’re probably going to taste some yeast astringency.”
Dry hop post fermentation for more articulated hops flavors. “We’ve tried it all. We’ve tried dry hopping while knocking out into the fermentor at the beginning and just tried to dry hop whenever we can. And we found that if we dry hop early, with how we treat the beer, it tends to be a more muddled beer. There’s not a refined character to it. It’s a hops-soup mess.”
For more from Monkish Cofounder Henry Nguyen, listen to episode 29 of the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast.