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Thoughts on the hopshots

Just curious as to what people think of them. I’m not really planning on using them and I’m sure there are purists out there who wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole. Anyone use them before?

It’s an interesting concept and probably well executed, but I don’t see a reason to take shortcuts when whole and pellet hops are so readily available and in such great varity.

I did buy some hopshot quite some time ago to see what it was all about. I haven’t gotten around to opening it yet. I’ll probably use it for a hoppy ice cream this summer.

I used some when they first came out and it works fine, just not as fun to use as actual hops. I think I still have a shot in the freezer in fact. I see they have Amarillo hop shots now, that would be a good one to use.

I have a couple of beers with so much hop material in the kettle that replacing the bittering charge with a hopshot or three is something that I would like to try some day.

^This is the only way I would think of using them. Perhaps in a big IPA or IIPA that is just loaded with hops. That way you don’t have to worry about absorption and figuring out what to plan for to get to your final 5 gallon goal. I lost a ton on the last IIPA I brewed

I did a West-Coast Hop bomb IPA last year. I used 5 (yeah that’s right) of the hopshots at 90 min. Then blasted it with flavor and aroma hops starting at 15 min. Then dry hopped with Simcoe and Citra. It came out fantastic. With the hopshot I was able to take out about 8 oz of hops.

I used the amarillo one when I couldn’t get pellets.

The 1 minute addition left a sticky residue on the kettle, IC, tubing and carboy that was almost impossible to remove. I would still consider using it for bittering but never again for anything late in the boil.

[quote=“Belpaire”]The 1 minute addition left a sticky residue on the kettle, IC, tubing and carboy that was almost impossible to remove. [/quote]Have you tried licking it off? :wink:

^Interesting. That’s something you wouldn’t expect. Good to know if I ever do use them.

I tasted the stuff once. Still remember that, not recommended.

After boiling oxyclean solution and scrubbing didn’t work, maybe I should have tried licking it off. It smelled good enough.

Used it for bittering additions and it works well for that. If I’m correct its a less expensive source of IBUs and neutral enough to layer your flavor and aroma additions on top of. A goal of mine is to become self-sustaining via homegrown hops. Given that %alpha is complete guess work for homegrown hops, I often bitter with commercial Magnum pellets to “protect” my recipe from being under-bittered as well as make best use of the freshness of my hops. Hopshot would work very well for this also.

I think thats the way most people go, using their homegrown hops as late additions. Thats where freshness is best utilized anyway. Although I did manage to let my hops hang long enough last year and they had good bittering properties.

I’ve made a few beers that were 100% homegrown hops. Fortunately I’ve got some data from two university extension studies of hops in my area and a couple of analysis results from my own hops to help take a stab at estimating %AA as I put the hop bills together. As more plants in my yard get mature, I expect I’ll be doing more of this. I’m trying to establish a nice suite of recipes for my hops.

What do you do to estimate hop bitterness?

So I just used the hopshot for the first time. Smells wonderful, easy to dissolve in hot wort. While chilling, I noticed many ‘oil spot’s’ in the wort. Small, black pools of oil from the hopshot. They were in my kettle and chiller when I was cleaning. I too tried tasting it…try it! It’s the most bitter thing I’ve ever tasted.

Beer in primary still has the oil spills but I imagine they will drop out over time.

Seems to me that the bitterness would be instant – no isomerization from boiling needed.

If so what are your thoughts on these two potential uses:

  1. A batch does not have the level of bitterness you want (perhaps because you did not get the bitterness you expected from your homegrown hops). Could you just add it to the secondary or keg?

  2. Could you cut your boil time to 15-30 minutes to just get the flavor and aroma additions?

I have used the HopShot for all uses: bittering, flavor, and even “dry hopping”. It didn’t add very much character at all when used as a “dry hop”. But for bittering and flavor additions, I have had great success with it, and would use it again in future. It tastes bitter if you lick the gel itself, but in the beer it’s only bitter if you boil it. I “dry hopped” my last pale ale and the bitterness in the beer was the same both before and after, and the hop aroma barely increased at all. It really needs heat to bring out all the essences – bitterness, flavor and aroma.

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