Oh, the pale ale, the staple of the microbrew.
Any beer connoisseur knows its smooth yet slightly bitter flavor. And all beer connoisseurs know the reason for this signature flavor: hops. These little plants produce a flavor that's quintessential to all brews.
But there's one issue with hops: there's only so much you can do with hops.
When making brews -- especially APAs and IPAs -- the high hop production allows little wiggle room for creative flavors.
This is difficult if you're a home brewer; the major craft beer players have done every IPA and APA that can be done.
But, home brewers do have an option. To stand out from competition, use cryogenic hops. At lower quantities, cryo hops give your IPA and APA an intense and fresh flavor.
If you're not convinced yet, here are 7 additional reasons to try cryogenic hops for your next pale ale.
Cryogenic hops are concentrated plant matter from the extraneous hop cone.
What's left is a concentrated amount of lupulin and hop oils, which is used to make the beer.
But what stands out about cryogenics is the hop-saving power, which produces more beer in the long-run. When making a brew with cryogenic hops, you don't need as many hops.
Since cryogenic hops are concentrated, a smaller amount is potent enough to produce that classic hop flavor.
Before cryogenics, a brewer's mindset to making pale ales was the more hops the merrier.
But this changed when brewers discovered the convenience of hop concentrate. With this process, you the concentrate to flavor and create your beer, and not the whole hop plant.
Cryogenics itself is also constantly improving.
When cryogenic hops first came on the scene, they were available in powder form. Many brewers found difficulty with the powder, so now cryogenic hop manufacturers are releasing the concentrate as pellets.
Before cryogenic hops, brewers would have to use the whole hop plant to create IPAs and APAs. But this process was difficult, introducing vegetative material and bad flavors into the brewing process.
Cryogenic hops only use the most important quality needed to create an IPA or APA: lupulin.
Lupulin is what gives hops its signature bitter flavor. Lupulin is a yellow gland on the plant that's filled with acids and essential oils.
The concentrate comes from the lupulin glands, which are glandular trichomes.
When brewers would brew whole hops, they would target these trichomes. Since modern technology lets manufacturers extract the concentrate directly out of the trichomes, this saves brewers a lot of time.
Before hops concentrate, brewers often had to deal with astringent flavors from undesired plant materials.
This makes the beer taste bland, grassy and unsatisfying. Expert brewers would find a way to brew the hops perfectly, but this posed an issue for home brewers.
But cryogenic hops cuts that stress. They're fully concentrated with lupulin, so you're only using the qualities that make an IPA or APA taste full and flavorful.
When you try a pale ale brewed with cryogenic hops, you can expect a home brew to taste like a professional brew. The flavor is intense and fresh, but still clear without an overwhelming hoppy flavor.
There's also little difference between a cryogenics homebrew made by a beginner and a professional brew made with standard T-90 hop pellets.
One of the benefits home brewers will experience are lower costs with cryogenic hops. While the cost of cryogenic hops is more expensive than the T-90 or T-45 pellets, you'll use fewer hops with your brews.
When you brew with cryogenics, you use half of the amount you would use for traditional pellets. You don't need the unnecessary amount of hops to extract the lupulin -- you already have the concentrated form.
Beers brewed with cryogenic hops are known for their clearer appearance since they don't contain as much plant matter.
When you buy cryogenic hops in bulk, you end up saving more money in the long run.
The microbrew scene has transcended the traditional IPA.
Rather than stick with one type of hops or settle for a mild flavor, breweries have made IPAs into a celebrated and innovative beer. But without additional ingredients, most breweries could only do so much with hoppy beers.
With cryogenic hops, there are more ways for innovative.
The brewing process is improved, so brewers have better luck mixing different ingredients with the hops for a crisp and intense flavor. And with cryogenic hops are still advancing, more hop varieties are made in the cryogenic process.
Cryogenic hops are easy for home brewers to acquire and create. This will inspire larger breweries and professional brewers to switch to the cryogenic hops for convenience and better flavored pale ales.
Sooner or later, cryogenic hops will become the standard.
With this being said, cryogenic hops are still advancing and their production is improving.
Each individual brewer will find a way to mix cryogenic hops into their brews. Whether you prefer using cryo powder or pellets, cryogenic hops are here to stay.
Cryo hops are the latest innovation to hop production. The lupulin that gives hops its classic bitter flavor is extracted from the trichomes and made into a concentrate.
When cryogenic hops first entered the market, this concentrate was available in powder form. But now this concentrate is available in classic pellets to resemble the traditional hops brewers are accustomed to using.
No matter your brewing preference, all brewers can benefit from using cryogenic hops in their IPAs and APAs.
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