Dry hopping is the process of adding hops to beer in the fermenter, secondary vessel, or keg. As the hops are not exposed to high temperatures such as hops added to the boil or whirlpool, the flavour and aroma they impart differs and can greatly enhance a beers aromatic qualities. Dry hopping is not a substitute for kettle hopping, but a great way to enhance or amplify a beers hoppy flavour’s and aroma’s.
There are many different ways to add hops to the beer and each may give slightly different results. One important factor to consider when dry hopping is the potential for oxidation and what you can do to minimise this risk.
Oxidation is the enemy of beer as it can turn a great hoppy beer into a stale beer (often described as wet cardboard or musty), potentially with an odd sweetness. When adding hops to the beer it is inevitable that some oxygen will be introduced so what can you do to minimise this risk.