For our latest release, Hashtag IPA, we swapped out the traditional hop pellets and used hop hash instead. But what exactly is hop hash?
When hop flowers are processed into pellets ready to be used for brewing, a dense, highly resinous mash is left over. Until recently this was discarded as waste, but Sweetwater Brewery in the US had the maverick idea of using it in a beer, resulting in the creation of hop hash.
A handful of hop processors have now made hop hash available commercially but as it can only be packed at pelletising time, it is very much a seasonal ingredient in limited supply.
Pellets provide the robust hop flavour we want for our brews and a little goes a long way, but with hop hash the natural oils are even more concentrated, adding greater depth to the flavour and aroma from 30-50% less product.
For Hashtag IPA, we added 50% of our hop hash straight into the whirlpool, with the other half chopped by hand and used for dry hopping.
We were stoked to get the opportunity to use hop hash and whilst we won’t be replacing the pellets in our core range, we’ve now got the experience working with a new ingredient that we can consider when planning our specialty releases.