I’m finally getting with the program and making my own hop water. The first version I made is based on various chunks of advice received from my homebrew club. Super simple:
- 20 litres of Guelph water (extremely hard water with high alkalinity)
- 20 grams of citric acid
- 20 grams of T90 hops (El Dorado for v1)
My strategy was to seal a jar with 1 litre of 80C water, with the hops, and its share of the citric acid for 20 minutes. I wanted to include acid in this stage to lower the pH to hopefully reduce extraction of astringent hop compounds. While waiting for the hops to steep, I filled a sanitized keg with 19 litres of cold water, and the rest of the citric acid. Once time was up I then used my pour-over coffee set up (ceramic Hario v60 dripper) to drip the hop tea directly into the keg before topping up water and installing the spear. I then carbonated at 30psi in my keg fridge, which amounts to a bit more than 4 vols of CO2.
The hop taste is quite low, but present. The material left in the coffee filter appeared very oily leading me to believe a lot of the good stuff was left behind. For the next batch I will use a much coarser filtration method for same quantity of hops and see how the hop presence changes.
In general the flavour is pretty good, and the acid level seemed appropriate. You can definitely taste lemony acidity from the citric acid at this level, and I’m undecided if that’s a feature or a flaw. I haven’t checked the pH of the result either, but likely somewhere in the 4 to 4.5 range for this water. I’ll finish this keg before I decide to do anything with the acid for the next batch, which I don’t expect will take long!