Video Tip: This Key Step Sets Brewing for THC Apart from Using Cannabis for Flavor and Aroma

Ross Koenigs, founder and brewer at Second Dawn in Aurora, Colorado, explains the basics of decarboxylation, why that step is necessary to activate THC, and why a tincture is the the most prudent route for homebrewers to take.

Ross Koenigs Nov 3, 2023 - 2 min read

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When he was the brewing innovation specialist at New Belgium in Fort Collins, Colorado, Ross Koenigs led the analytical research that led to the Hemperor, the groundbreaking hemp-flavored IPA. His journey continued as he experimented and gathered more expertise for his book Brewing with Hemp, published by Brewers Publications, and more recently as he launched his own Second Dawn brewery in eastern Denver.

In this detailed 67-minute video course aimed at homebrewers, Koenigs explains the science and practicalities of brewing with cannabis. Along the way, he discuses:

  • brewing with hemp seeds as a flavor adjunct
  • how hemp seeds promote esters and desirable phenols
  • adding hemp-seed oil in fermentation to extend a beer’s shelf life
  • hop varieties that pair well with hemp-seed flavors
  • brewing with cannabis for flavor
  • the organic similarities of cannabis and hops
  • the potential aroma and flavor outcomes of brewing with cannabis
  • the constituent aromatic components of “dank”
  • adding cannabis to the whirlpool
  • biotransformation and cannabis flavors
  • watching out for hemp creep
  • dry hopping (or dry hemping) techniques with cannabis
  • decarboxylation to unlock cannabinoids in beer
  • using a pressure cooker to decarboxylate cannabis
  • solubilizing decarboxylated cannabinoids to make tinctures
  • controlling safe dosage with tinctures
  • using tinctures to add other flavors

And much more.

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