The timing of when your hops are added to your brew will have a big impact on flavour, aroma and bitterness.
For a lot of beers, hops are a balancer - you wouldn’t know they're there except that all the flavours just seem to come together like magic. Hops added during the boiling step are primarily there to produce bitter notes and balance out the malty and alcohol sweetness.
In Mangrove Jack's Extract Kits, this part is done by our brewers, to make sure the bitterness is just right. For many craft beers a ‘dry hopping’ step means there is another addition of hops during or after fermentation. This produces more aromatic flavours and lets the lighter notes of the hops come through that would otherwise be lost in the boil.
To better understand the hops in your brew, checking the IBU can give you a good indication of how much has been used. International Bittering Units (IBU) measure the iso-alpha acids in a beer. During the boiling step, a process called isomerisation occurs which converts the natural alpha acids in the hops to iso-alpha acids. The iso-alpha acids are what preserve your beer and give it bitterness.
Some Mangrove Jack's beer pouches come with dry hops and the instructions will tell you when to add them. Dry hops are added to pouches to add more hop aroma to your beer.
It is recommended to add the dry hops with 2-3 days left before you plan on bottling, or kegging, the beer. This timing allows the hop aroma to infuse in the beer without having the aroma fade.
By adding the hops only a few days before bottling, you get the freshest hop aroma throughout your beer without much loss of taste.
If you would prefer to have a less hoppy aroma, skip this step in the instructions and carry on to bottling/kegging.
For a guide to IBU levels and certain styles see below -