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Three weeks ago, I began a fun little experiment of dry hopping Bud Light in order to gain a better understanding of what flavor and aroma properties different hop varieties can add to beer.
Bud Light is a perfect fit for the project since there are nearly no flavor or aroma properties to it, especially compared to the complex craft beers in the market these days.
To recap the start of my experiment, I selected three varieties of hop pellets I had on hand: Mosaic, Cascade and Citra. With a six pack to dry hop, I singled out the three varieties in three bottles, and used the remaining three bottles to test combinations of the three hop styles. After plopping the hop pellets in the bottles, I stored them at room temperature for three days before refrigerating them again. My intent was to give the Bud Light a taste test that following weekend; however, those plans had to be put on hold.
I finally had the opportunity to do so this past weekend, so the hops spent about three weeks in the bottles before I cracked them again. With 40 oz. of Bud Light for the control group, a pal and I took turns sipping each of the dry-hopped pours.
I'm not going to get too in-depth with descriptions on how each individual bottle turned out, but I was definitely impressed with how much the flavor of the beer was altered and the subtle changes in aroma that occurred. Even the color of the beer was different, with slightly different hues of light green visible in each pour.
The Citra and Cascade-hopped Bud Light definitely had a much more pleasant flavor than the one with Mosaic. Cascade was quite flowery in flavor and aroma, while the Citra had a nice, light and wet fruity flavor to it. I had a bit of trouble putting my finger on the flavors Mosaic hops lent to the beer, but it was a bit funky.
By far, the best combo bottle contained the Citra and Cascade breeds. My next IPA or pale ale will absolutely have the pair.
I've used Mosaic hops in a few brews with great results, and this experiment leaves me with the impression that they wouldn't be good hops in a boil, unless they are used in conjunction with another breed, or using for dry hopping.
I have yet to dry hop one of my homebrews, and now I'm a bit anxious to do so after this experiment.