For those of us who like our beers to be hoppy (flavour-wise not bitterness) there’s a new device on the horizon that could make going to the pub even more exciting.
Known as the Hoppier and designed by engineers at Cambridge Consultants it is basically a hybrid of an espresso machine and a beer tap. The idea is that the customer could ask for a pint of standard IPA or another beer of their choosing and then ask for the hop they wish it to be finished with. The hops are put into the filter basket of an expresso style portafilter and instead of high pressure water, high pressure beer is pushed through the system extracting the aroma oils from the hop as it goes.
When making beer, hops can be added at various stages of the process with different results. Hops added at the beginning of the boil will contribute to the bitterness of the beer and hops added close to the end of the boil give more aroma and hop flavour to the beer. The third stage at which hops are commonly added is when they are thrown in the fermenter usually after the primary fermentation, this is known as dry hopping. The oils from the hops infuse into the beer, giving a hoppy aroma and taste.
As a homebrewer, I think it sounds like a great device. I might have to wait for the device to come to market to try high pressure hop addition to my beer though. I’m not sure my wife would appreciate me putting beer through our espresso machine.