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Dry hop tests with Bud light

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by sergeantstogie, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Wanted to let you all know about this. I think it's great. Not only is the idea great but, this whole blog is really good. I like that he waits to post his entries until he has tasted them. It really annoys me reading a recipe and process only to have to check back in weeks or months for the results.

    He took a 12er of BL and dropped hop pellets in then recapped. Why didn't I think of this?

    volta, barfdiggs, Genuine and 4 others like this.
  2. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Advocate (560) Massachusetts Jun 8, 2011 Verified

    I'm absolutely going to try this. My palate could use some hop training.
  3. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Savant (460) Virginia Feb 28, 2012 Verified

    I've always read that when collecting bottles don't use screw off's. I thought it was because they could not be re capped. Or is it because they allow oxygen in and shouldn't be used for long term storage?
  4. wspscott

    wspscott Advocate (660) Kentucky May 25, 2006

    The glass is thinner so you can't recap them with a bottle capper (like a red baron).
  5. You can but do so at your own risk. I've had them break on me.

    Also, I like the idea of doing this with SNPA instead of bud light. It shouldn't be hard to find a 12 pack that is a few months old that you could dry hop without the cascades getting in the way too much. The end result would definitely be more IPA like and probably much more desirable to drink.
  6. Very true. Though if all you want to know is what qualities you experience from different varieties in the dry hop, Bud is a pretty good vehicle.
  7. This is really pretty smart -- I may do the same (though probably with a golden ale) for my own new hop experiments.
  8. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Advocate (520) Texas Nov 21, 2008 Verified

    I would just assume do it with a light-bodied homebrew.
  9. parris

    parris Advocate (505) Massachusetts Jan 18, 2010 Verified

    Coming from the guy that dry hops his Bud Light...
    AndrewLenaghan likes this.
  10. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (690) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Isn't this the idea behind a smash? It would be cheaper and tastier to do this with a neutrally bittered single malt low abv homebrew. Brew up a 5gallon batch and drop a few hop pellets in each bottle prior to capping.
    1whiskey and jbakajust1 like this.
  11. scottland

    scottland Disciple (55) Arizona Jul 22, 2011

    I'm bertusbrewery, so I figured I would answer some questions, and respond to some opinions...

    Thanks for the kind words. Honestly, it's nice to know all the work is appreciated!

    This was the exact reason I did this. It's not because I actually wanted to drink dry hopped bud light. It works exceptionally well; I highly recommend doing it.

    Day-to-day homebrewing use: No, don't use them. For this purpose, it works fine.

    No, you can. A red baron is exactly what I used.

    I've done this on subsequent trials. It works well. The hop aroma and flavor don't pop as much as they do in the bud light, but it gives you better idea what each hop will taste like in a Pale Ale. I'm using SNPA to test new dry hop recipes for beers. It's very, very useful when tweaking a recipe (.5oz less of this, 1oz more of that, etc).

    You totally could. I'm lazy and impatient. :shrug:

    I'm assuming this is a joke. If it's not: Brilliant insight. My use of Bud Light here is 100% an indication of my knowledge of hops and/or my palate.

    FWIW, Since Chinook is mostly a commodity hops (used for alpha not aroma), it's quality can vary. It can get rather catty when it's not 'good'.

    It would be. It would also be a great idea to brew said batch, dry hop the bottles, and bring to a homebrew club meeting for everyone to try.

    Thanks guys. Fire away if you have any other questions.
  12. joshodonn

    joshodonn Savant (345) Florida Jan 21, 2011

    This is a really cool idea... I've always wanted to do something like this with homebrew but never got around to it, mainly because I'm lazy lol.. That and I don't have much time to brew, so when I do I want it to be something I can enjoy, not just learn something from. Plus, I don't want to voluntarily end up with 5 gallons of mostly drain-pour beer.

    However, I have just put an open invite out to my homebrew club to see if there are a few who might want to split the cost of doing this.... I'm hoping there might be some extract brewers who want to see the all-grain process.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing, this is awesome.
  13. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (775) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified

    You could split a 5 gallon batch 4 ways on a stovetop and do a bunch of small boils so you also get flavour hops... Interesting idea, I'm just too lazy to do this. I honestly like the Bud Light (or some other blonde ale) idea :)
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (690) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    One word... randal. Just make one batch of weak sauce and use a randal to change up the hops. This weeek citra, next week galena, the week after maybe some willamette or cascade. And no multiple boils.
  15. jklinck

    jklinck Savant (265) Washington Jul 23, 2007

    I did this last year in a BJCP class I teach. The main thing we learned from the class was that our local homebrew shop has a lot of old hops that are worthless. This is why I recommend only buying hops from the hop farms or by the pound from homebrew shops right after the hop harvest. Then vacuum seal and store them in the freezer. Or buy them from Nikobrew (no affiliation) who already vacuum seals them and stores them in a freezer for you.
  16. dfess1

    dfess1 Initiate (0) Pennsylvania May 20, 2003

    We did this at our last homebrew meeting, using amstel light (non of us could bring ourselves to drink budlight). It was an interesting concept. Some were pretty noticiable, some not so much.
  17. SenorHops

    SenorHops Savant (440) Rhode Island Aug 10, 2010

    Did this change the flavor of the Bud Light or just the smell?
  18. scottland

    scottland Disciple (55) Arizona Jul 22, 2011

    oh, absolutely. I buy all the hops I need for the year during the harvest, and store them in vacuum sealed mason jars in the freezer. I realize that not many brewers will have roughly 12 fresh varieties on hand, but it'll still work with a few.

    Definitely. It tastes like a very hoppy light lager. It's nothing you'll want to be drinking for pleasure. It's purely a vehicle to experiement with hops.
  19. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    TBF, I've had other types of bottles break on me too. Sam Adams bottles seem to be a little more fragile than the SN bottles. That may be coincidental, this is not from a scientific study or anything. I still use the SA bottles, FWIW, I'm just extra careful with them. \

    Also, TBF, I've occasionally broken the top of a bottle popping the lid, sometimes with a designated bottle opener. So design of bottle, design of capper, care of use, and design of bottle opener all probably play a role in how fragile bottles are.

    Possibly. However, yesterday I did find a bottle of celebration that was several months old and had been left outside. I popped the top and tried it, and surprisingly it was still pretty good. Not a whole lot of the flavor had died. Mind you it's been pretty cool here, but regularly into the 70's tho (the bottle WAS in the shade tho). I didn't have a bottle for side-by-side comparison. But I wonder how fast SN products lose their flavor, and if it's enough to perform this test on.

    This is more what I would probably do. I'd use my blonde ale because it's not heavily hopped and it's not dry hopped at all. It's mild and would certainly respond strongly to having a gram or two of hops dropped directly in the bottle. In fact I may have to try this on the next batch!
  20. I can tell a huge difference between fresh SNPA and 2 or 3 month old SNPA, although I will admit that the hop character of their IPAs doesn't degrade as fast as something like Stone IPA or Two Hearted. Of course, their IPAs have substantially less dry hop character than the latter two.
  21. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    I have a Bud clone lagering for our club challenge... I don't really want 5 gallons of Bud, so after I fill the competition bottles I now know what to do with the rest of the batch.
  22. FLBrew

    FLBrew Aficionado (105) Florida Feb 19, 2013

    Do you think it would be ok to use yuengling regular or light for this as well? And how long would you wait before trying?
  23. I just did this, although I used Pacifico for the beer. Pry off caps, and a cheap, fizzy lager I can drink. Used Cascade, Hallertaur, EKG, Apollo, HBC 342, Mosaic, Palisade, Northdown, Galaxy, Pacific Gem, Pacific Jade, and Nelson Sauvin.
  24. Yuengling's flagship is the Traditional Lager (so, assuming that's what you mean by "regular") and it's light equivalent is Light Lager. You'd probably want to use Yuengling Light Beer (extreme right below) as their product closest to Bud Light.

  25. FLBrew

    FLBrew Aficionado (105) Florida Feb 19, 2013

    Okay thanks. I've never seen that light option here in Florida. I'm not particularly looking for something similar to bud light. I enjoy yuengling traditional light. I'm sure this will work fine. Anyone have a recommendation on time to let the hops work?
  26. If you read the article in the link I posted, it's in there.
  27. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Savant (400) Virginia Jun 21, 2009

    I'm skeptical. If my beer is going to smell like hops, I want some bitterness in there too. I like the "old" SNPA idea.
  28. Again, the idea is not for improving upon a beer for consumption but for the evaluation of aroma provided by dry hopping. While I think anyone who may read this will agree that SNPA is favorable to Bud Light, SNPA has too much that will get in the way to truly evaluate what a new hop variety brings to the table.
    barfdiggs and jbakajust1 like this.
  29. bctdi

    bctdi Aficionado (220) Georgia Dec 8, 2008

    The guys at Anchor brewing do this already. They have said that they have bud light in their fridge at the brewery for this purpose. Must be something to it if the pros are doing it to evaluate hop flavors. Makes sense though.....bud light is as close to a flavorless beer as you can get, so I would imagine that anything you put in there is really gonna come through.
  30. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    If you uncapped them and then recapped, wouldn't you run a risk that the beer could do bad?
    ...Oh. Nevermind.
    PortLargo and AndrewLenaghan like this.
  31. Anyone have any thoughts on using Amstel Light instead? I really want to try this but I don't know if I can bring myself to purchase Bud Light. Does BL have any advantage over AL for this purpose?
  32. Franch

    Franch Advocate (600) New York Mar 22, 2011 Verified

    i'd use sam light. the cicerone exam uses sam light as a fairly tasteless lager for off-flavor detection/tasting.
  33. I'd imagine just about any of the flavorless macros would achieve basically the same thing. I've actually been keeping an eye out for old pale ales/IPAs to do this experiment with.
  34. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    I'm going to prepare bottles to do this at our May Brew Club Meeting. I'm stoked. Will be doing a 2x 12 packs of Bud, with each beer utilizing a different hop, as I thought it might be fun to do a 12 pack the usual suspects for hoppy beers (Citra, Amarillo, Galaxy, Simcoe, etc.) and then do a second 12 pack of European varietals (Hallertaus, Saaz, Tettnanger, etc.).
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  35. I'm wondering if Amstel will have too much flavor for the experiment. I used to drink Amstel all the time before I was enlightened so I am very familiar with the taste. When I think of Bud Light I don't think "flavorless" I think "shitty" but that might be because I haven't tasted it since high school.

    I'm going to put an order in for hops today from Northern Brewer... I just have to decide which beer to use.
  36. I dry hopped a 12 pack of Amstel today. I'll post the results in a few days.
  37. jokelahoma

    jokelahoma Savant (460) Missouri May 9, 2004

    Our club did this last night, using a local store brand brewed by a local brewery. Not quite as macro-ish as Bud Light, but close enough, and no twist off caps. We used whole hops, since our first experiment with pellets was an unmitigated disaster (foaming everywhere, impossible to filter out particulate, etc.). It worked very well. You could definitely tell the hops apart, each being very distinct. Good fun, and educational. FYI, we used a paint strainer cut into strips to cover the mouth of each bottle, and decanted into a pitcher before tasting, and obviously left some beer unaltered as a control.
  38. How long did you let the hops dryhop in the bottle?
  39. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    I did mine with pellets, but added a drop of biofine to each bottle. Ended up working out great. The pellet matter sits at the bottom of the bottle in a day or two (I mixed end over end a couple times over the course of the 7 day dry hop before leaving to crash in the fridge).
    sergeantstogie likes this.
  40. jokelahoma

    jokelahoma Savant (460) Missouri May 9, 2004

    About three weeks, refrigerated.
    sergeantstogie likes this.