Beer that gets a second dose of hops usually during the conditioning phase to amp-up hop flavor and aroma. Traditionally, dry hopping is done in beer styles like pale ales and I.P.A.’s, however, brewers are utilizing this process in many other styles as well, such as lagers, and pilsners. Since the hops are not being boiled, no volatile oils are boiled off, the benefit to dry hopping is that the brewer can get as much flavor and aroma as possible into the final beer without extracting any of the hops bitterness.. This can give your beer a floral hop essence and an intense flavor that is desirable in hoppy beer styles. What dry-hopping adds its solely aroma, but keep in mind that almost 75% of human taste comes from smell. There are a few different ways on how to dry hop; One way is to add the hops with 3-5 days before bottling, or kegging takes place. The reason for this is because the idea is to have the hop aroma infuse 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.
Another method is to add the hops to the secondary fermentor 2 weeks prior to bottling. This allows the hops enough time to blend with the beer well. If the beer is Double Dry-hopped or DDH, then hop additions will be added in 2 weeks prior to bottling, and a second addition will be added a few days before bottling.
You can use hop pellets, plugs, or even fresh loose hops to dry hop a beer. The process of using fresh hops for “Dry Hopping” is called Wet Hopping. All of the principles still apply but brewers must account for the extra water in the “wet hops”. Generally, fresh hops will weigh 4 to 6 times more than the same dry hops. For those that are extreme about hops, then a hop back might be the item for you. In most cases this is a house filter that has been modified to allow the addition of hops in the unit. The way a hop back works is you attach the unit between the liquid lines on your keg set up. Hop backs only work with kegging systems. The beer flows into the filter unit housing the fresh hops, and then continues to flow through your tap. This is the ultimate way to get the freshest infusion of hops into your beer.