Drew Huerter strikes again and Dreamcrusher has landed. In his own words, he describes the hop bill as borderline reckless. Although it’s a whopping 100+ IBU’s, the balance on this beer is unparalleled for a, dare we say, sessionable 9.7% Double Rye IPA (warning: session at your own risk). Here, Drew describes the Dreamcrusher brewing process in depth:
Hops: Summit, Apollo, Palisade, Liberty, Columbus
First Wort Hops: Summit
FWH is a process claimed by Pilsner brewers and infuses the brew with not only bitterness but aroma and flavor, as well, by steeping the hops in the wort during collection, while the brew is brought to a boil and throughout that boil.
Kettle hops: Palisade, Apollo & Liberty
Added a little after halfway through the boil these hops contribute some bitterness and a good dose of hop flavor. Most brewers favor an addition at exactly halfway through the boil, our timing emphasizes the flavor and aroma aspect.
Whirlpool hops: Apollo, Summit & Columbus
Whirlpooling takes place after the boil and is the time to add what most brewers consider to be their aromatic addition. Adding hops in the whirpool also contributes some bitterness and a good dose of hop flavor.
Hop Back: Columbus, Palisade, Liberty
Use of a hop back has been historically claimed by brewers in the UK, but has found use in several times and locales. Hopping in this manner creates a hop aroma which cannot be recreated in any other way. The hot wort is passed over and through whole cone hops just before being quickly chilled. This fast infusion, done at cooler temperatures (195dF) retains precious volatile hop compounds, and the heat effectively strips oils and changes them in a way that no combination of dry hopping and whirlpool hops can replicate.
Dry Hops: Apollo, Columbus, Liberty
Hops are added to the beer at the end of fermentation. Contributes fresh hop aroma.
Double Dry Hops: Apollo, Palisade, Liberty
After the first round of dry hops are removed, we dry hop the beer again!
On hop varieties:
Apollo – Quite new American hop variety with a very high alpha acid and oil content. Piney, earthy & intense tropical fruit.
Summit – Newer super high alpha hop with excellent oil characteristics. Intense pine & tangerine.
Columbus – One of the original monster hops, very high alphas and oils. Dank, pine, grapefruit.
Palisade – Higher alpha descendant of Tettnang. Very floral and slightly earthy, good general citrus. Like a floral Centennial.
Liberty – Hallertau Mittelfreuh triploid offspring. Spicy, floral, delicate.