Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Hop My Beer" Hop Oils

I recently got wind of a new product on the market - "Hop My Beer" varietal hop oils. These are steam-distilled hop oils that do not contain the bitter or vegetal compounds in hops. These differ from a CO2 hop extract, which also contain alpha acids and are intended to be used in the boil to impart bitterness. Hop oils such as "Hop My Beer" are intended to be used on the cold side to impart aroma, similar to dry hops.

The Hop My Beer product initially made my spidey senses tingle. I initially came across the product on eBay, and it seemed to be marketed primarily towards beer drinkers rather than homebrewers as a way to doctor commercial beer. I have had poor experiences with similar products in the past. But after an email exchange with them and reading through their website, I got a much better vibe about the company and their products.

I have seen hop oils like this before, but it is rare to come across varietal-specific oils. The price was right (about $5 for a 10mL bottle, which should be enough to dose 1-2 cases of beer), so I decided to snap up a few to play around with. I ended up up ordering their Apollo, Centennial, Citra and Chinook oils, as well as an iso-AA product which can be used to add bitterness to beer post-boil.

I will post my tasting notes separately, but I will say that I was impressed with the product packaging when they arrived. Each bottle was sealed and hand-numbered. The bottles have fine dropper tips on them, which make it pretty easy to measure out the oil drop-by drop. The instructions recommend storing the bottles in the fridge as well, which I take as a sign that they have quality and freshness of their product as a top priority.

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