Infuse Hop Character
What is a hop back? One of the most versatile vessels you can have in your brewery. Limited only by the imagination and needs of the brewer, hop backs are a necessary addition to any active nano brewery, micro brewery or brewhouse. Here are some examples of how brewers have used this vital piece of brewing equipment in their breweries over the years:
- Hopback - whole flower hops during hot side knockout
- Infuser - used either during hot or cold side applications using spices,coffee, fruit, blending; this vessel can be purged and contents scrubbed with CO2 to reduce dissolved oxygen pickup. Hop Backs are used to infuse that amazing hop character you find in many IPAs and Pale Ales.
- Yeast Brink - Give this vessel a good clean and remove the false bottom; fill it with yeast and use it similar to any other brink
- Cider Back Sweetening - Fill with your desired amount of backsweetening; scrub with CO2 and purge the vessel; Use the pressure to transfer to a tank of Cider.
- 2nd mash tun - great for sour mash or adding a secondary mash to bump up gravities on large gravity beers.
- Open top wild fermentation vessel - great for sour / wild open top fermentation that can be wheeled into a cooler for post fermentation
- Solo blending / brite tank - blend small batches for experimental and ability to carbonate. Wheel into cooler and carb for small batch one offs
- Barrel top off tank - brink your top off liquids to the beer, wine, spirit, cider barrel, or blending tank across the brewery for pressurized top offs, blending or transfers.
- CIP - Have you ever needed a vessel to hold caustic or sanitizer while running a CIP loop; Not advised at pressure since certain chemicals are impacted by CO2 but this tank can be a great reservoir during CIP.
Hop backs give your beer fresh hop nose and flavor without significantly affecting bitterness. They are a great way to improve the flavor and character of your brews. 1/2 oz. of hops per gallon of wort will generally provide a big hop character (actual results depend on your hops and your brewing processes). We recommend putting your hops in a nylon or muslin bag to keep them in the hop back and out of your wort chiller or fermenter.
For home brewers or commercial brewing companies looking to make beers with big hop flavor and aroma, a hop back is the ideal way to achieve this. Hop backs provide flavor and aroma without adding significant bitterness to the beer. The hop back is normally positioned between the brew kettle and the wort chiller. Hot wort passes through the hop back on the way to the chiller and fermenter. Because the wort does not spend much time in contact with the hops, bitterness is not extracted (much) but the flavor and aroma of the hops are imparted to the wort. The amount of bitterness extraction depends on the level of bitterness that already exists in the wort. The lower the IBUs of the wort coming out of the brew kettle, the more bitterness will be extracted in the hop back. In any case, it is much less than you will see by adding hops to the kettle. And the kettle additions do not compare with respect to the flavor and aroma provided by the hop back. We recommend a 15 gallon hop back in order to use up to 1 pound of whole hops per barrel for those really hoppy brews.
Like all of our products, our hop backs are made from premium virgin 304 stainless steel and are made using sanitary fittings and hardware. Many sizes and options are possible, so if you don't see the size you want, please contact us with your custom needs.