It’s no secret that many beer lovers are head over heels for hops. But what’s the best way to explore the many varieties and learn more about the aroma and flavors those wonderful little cones bring to beer? The Hop Exploration Kit from 33 Books is the perfect tool to increase your lupulin learning.
The Hop Exploration Kit
You can learn a lot about hops just by drinking beer, but there’s a better way to zero in on their impact on our favorite beverage. The Hop Explroation Kit gives you the tools to explore hops in a much more focused manner. A tasting is just the thing.
The kit includes beer-tasting glassware. Each is labeled A and B, allowing you to keep samples separates. The tapered design focuses the hop aromas and the laser-etched nucleation sites on the bottom help to release the aromas we’re looking for.
Hop concentrates in four varieties are included in the kit (33 Books also sells these concentrates separately). They’ll be used to modify your base-beer and bring about a better understanding of the properties each hop variety imparts. They’re also great for hopping up bland beers or making cocktails.
Two beer tasting journals are included with the kit. Using the hop flavor wheel and noting your experience can help to gain greater insight into the things you’re smelling and tasting when exploring.
Fill the two tasting glasses with about 4 ounces of beer. Macro lager is great, as it doesn’t have much hop aroma or flavor, allowing those from the hop concentrates to take centerstage. A low-hopped craft lager, like a pilsner, Vienna lager, or helles, will also work if you’d rather support your local brewer, instead of Big Beer.
Just 2-4 drops of hop concentrate is all is takes to doctor your brew. Start by just adding hops to one of the samples, keeping the other as a control sample. This will allow you to identify the aromas and flavors not previously present in the beer.
Take your time and use the 33 Bottles of Beer tasting journal to record what you find. Don’t be afraid to go back and forth for another sniff or sip.
Once you’ve become familiar with the first hop, you can either add a new variety to the original control sample, or clean the first experimental glass and start again. You ca add even more hops if you like, or experiment with mixtures of multiple concentrates. This is about learning and having fun while doing so.
Part of the wonder of craft beer is exploration. Through the Hop Exploration Kit tasting set, we can gain a better understanding of what hops bring to beer. It’s a great way to simplify education, and it’s a fun exercise for any craft beer fan (and really makes a great gift).
Check out the Hop Exploration Kit on the 33 Books website now and learn to better know your beer.