By examining the hops we can select for certain characteristics and lots that we know will be most impactful for our beer and lead to the highest quality final product.
The process starts with visual inspection of the hops. The compressed blocks of hops are then broken up and rubbed between the palms of your hands. In doing this, you expose the lupulin contained within the hops and the heat generated opens up the aromatic compounds.
From here, you start smelling each lot of hops and taking notes, looking for characteristics that you either want or want to avoid in your beer.
Some lots of hops were eliminated because of herbal and peppery notes which isn’t what we were looking for.
The lot we decided on was full of dank resin, citrus and grapefruit pith and those are the classic flavours we want to bring out when we use Strata in the dry hop for our Elevation Pale Ale and Mammoth IPA.