The journey to an all organic wet-hopped beer
A couple of years ago we heard tell of a family living deep in the Blue Mountains willing to take on a challenge of impossible odds; to grow organic hops in a region not suited for this type of flora. “You’re crazy” said some. But here we are, after a second successful harvest.
We sent out Chief of Arts & Crafts and Head Hop Picker, Alicia, over there to help farmer Haydn with the harvest. Her olfactory senses reported plenty of beautiful scent and should therefore give the beer plenty of flavour from the fresh hop oils.
Most beers you’ve ever wrapped your smile around are brewed using dry hops. These hops have been dried and turned into pellets and then added to the beer. Dried hops have way more concentrated flavour. It’s kind of like using teabags vs fresh leaves when you’re brewing a cuppa. So why use wet hops? Using the wet hops means we are able to maintain a higher content of volatile oils which will in turn give the beer a different character and a much broader palate.
Is it harder to brew with? Absolutely. It’s very unpredictable and you have to use way more fresh hops than you would dried. Manly Brewpub was chockers with bags of fresh hops just for the 500L small batch brew. But luckily our brewers are masters of their trades and should be able to get the most out of this amazing bine.
Wait, did you just write “bine”? Yep, hops are bines and not vines. Want to know the difference? Read about it here.
Last year we used the first hop harvest from Haydn to brew a Wet-hopped Pale Ale. This year we’re taking it a step further and using all organic ingredients – including organic malts. Look out for this small batch Keller Door beer at the Manly Brewpub and Brookvale TruckBar in the coming weeks.
These fresh hops were grown on an organic farm in the upper blue mountains by farmers Haydn and Kelsey and they grow a collection of Milky Way, Nugget, Fuggle, Cascade, Chinook & Willamette. You can follow their hop journey on Instagram through @instahaydos and #GreatHopsExperiment.