Hopping for the Best: Göller's Method of Dry Hopping

By now you know that Göller Brewery allows no adjunct ingredients in their beer. They strictly follow Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law) standards that allow only water, barley (or wheat), yeast and hops in beer. But how, then, does Göller get fruity aromas like lemon, pear or passion fruit into the beer without any of these fruits ever entering their brewhouse? The answer is "dry hopping."

Basically, there are two main types of hopping: hot hopping and dry hopping. Hot hopping is the most common way to add hoppy flavors to beer, but the other method, dry hopping, is more used by Göller. They take advantage of the long period in cold tanks to dry hop their beer. You might think of dry hopping better as "cold hopping." Typically hops are added to the boiling wort, called "hot hopping." Knowing when to dump the hops into the wort determines whether you get more bitterness, flavor, or aroma. When added at the beginning of the boil, hops tend to give off a strong bitterness, but nothing else. Added toward the end of the boil, hops give more flavor. And adding after the heat is turned off, but when the wort is still hot, the hops impart mostly aroma. This is typically how hopping is done. In dry hopping, Göller places special aroma hops in the Lager-tank so that the hops are steeped in the beer for the entire maturation period in the chilly lager cellar. Essential hop oils gradually dissolve in the beer at the cold temperatures around 0°C (32°F). With the usual long maturing time in the secondary fermentation tank (six to eight weeks), you can get some very interesting aromas! Sometimes you taste and smell spices, and other times tropical fruit. Göller is able to do what most breweries cannot: dry hopping to impart most of the beer's hoppiness. The reason is that they age the beer for almost 2 months with the hops -- long enough to extract the hop's bitterness, flavor and aroma without heat. It's amazing what this extra time can do!

I should add another fact about how Göller adds hops. The method called "fresh hopping," also known as "wet hopping," requires hops to be used within 24 hours of harvest. They use fresh hops from the nearby Hallertau region in Bavaria (the most famous region for hops in the world). Wet hops provide that wonderful grassy and fresh aroma in beer that Göller beers are known for. Here's the funny thing: a brewer can use "wet hops" in either a hot or a dry hopping. In either case wet hops make a superior flavor in the beer. We are proud of the fact that Göller beers use wet hops to dry hop!

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