Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fresh Hop Infusion

I've been reading a lot about the recent craze of using a French press coffee maker to infuse flavor into beer. This stems primarily from the "Randall" flavor infuser developed by Dogfish Head, but on a smaller, one beer at a time level. I was thinking about buying a French press to try it out, but those damn things are expensive! No way was I going to spend $40 for a gizmo I probably would never use more than once or twice.

Well, my bargain shopping wife brought home a French press from a flea market this afternoon. It's a hideous fuchsia color, but she only paid $0.50 for it. Deal! Let's get to infusing!

It looks like I'm going to have a bumper crop of Centennial and Cascade hops this summer. My plants are already popping with nuggets.

I plucked off a good handful of both Centennials and Cascades, rinsed them off and patted them dry in a dishtowel. I wasn't sure if that was the right procedure or not, but I figured the hops needed to be rinsed free of any buggy hitchhikers and that I didn't need to add any extra water to the beer--thus the wash and dry.

Hops fresh off the bine.
I poured the beer directly into the French press over the fresh hops.

T-minus 3 minutes and counting...
I set the timer for three minutes and let the brew stew in the hops. After the three minutes were up, I pushed the plunger down on the French press and squeezed all those hoppy flavors out.

Tada!
So...how does it taste? Awesome! Wow! This can turn just about any beer into a fresh hop bomb! As long as you have the fresh hops to do it, of course. I'm excited to try this technique with all kinds of other flavors, not just the hops. Got a French press? Got some beer? Hops? Give it a shot!

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