Beer Goggles: Dry hopping Bud Light part 1

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

Right now, you’re probably wondering why on earth a craft beer blog is posting about Bud Light. I thought the same thing when I stumbled upon this post by the Bertus Brewery blog. Then, I realized what a great experiment adding hops to Bud Light could be in order to get a feel for the aroma and flavor properties of different hop varieties, since Bud Light has little flavor or aroma by itself.

Dry hopping is the term for adding hops to beer after the onset of fermentation, and can be done in a primary fermenter, which is used for the first one to two weeks of fermentation; a secondary fermenter, which is used to clear and condition; and occasionally in kegs.

A few months back, I bulk ordered three varieties of 2013’s hop harvest via Kent’s local beer and wine making shop, Label Peelers, and have since used them with slight variation in two separate batches of beer I have yet to enjoy.

For this experiment, I used the same three varieties I ordered in bulk: Mosaic, Cascade and Citra. The amount of hops I used is minimal: about two pellets per bottle.

With only three varieties on hand and six bottles of Bud Light, I decided that three bottles should use one variety each, and use the three remaining bottles to pair each of the varieties together in three combinations.

The process of dry hopping the bottles was a bit messier than anticipated. Per other blogs I’d read, I tried re-capping each bottle with pop-top crown caps, which didn’t end up fitting well on the screw-off bottles. Beer fizz managed to leak out of a few bottles, so I replaced the caps with the originals, fighting a few mini eruptions in the process. Switching the caps was probably a good idea, as they seemed to seal the bottles better.

With the hard part over, I’ll let the bottles sit at room temperature for about three days before I place them in the refrigerator for another day or two. 

Good or bad, I’m looking forward to trying the results.

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