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The Sprinkman way to efficient and safe dry hopping

Have you ever had a beer brewed by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon? If you have, there’s a fair chance it was an India Pale Ale – since that’s among their most common brews.

Known for their strong hop profile and popularity, IPAs require an extra step in the brewing process known as dry hopping, where more hops are added late in the brewing process. Like most breweries, Rogue Ales simply included the extra hops through the top of the tank until recently. But there was a problem with that. “We weren’t getting consistent dosing throughout the tank,” says Joe Shields, Associate Master Brewer at Rogue Ales.

So Rogue Ales began searching for a solution to improve their hop efficiency and profile. What they found was Sprinkman’s DHS-250 dry hop skid – a small, maneuverable unit that connects to the fermenters and safely introduces hop additions to the beer. And it has had exactly the effect Rogue Ales was hoping for: “It makes things a lot more homogenous…a lot more consistent,” says Shields.

The main impact they are noticing right now is the more efficient use of hops. While taste tests show there was no distinct change in flavor or hop profile, the hop efficiency has increased by 20% on average, producing a greater volume of useable beer. And that is only now, while Rogue is using the dry hop skid to produce their legacy products. “I think we’ll get better savings when we use it to develop products versus trying to match existing hop profiles,” says Jack Waibel, Director of Operations at Rogue Ales.

And there’s more: In addition to increasing hop efficiency, the Sprinkman dry hop skid has enhanced worker safety at Rogue Ales. A brewer no longer needs to climb ladders or use scissor lifts to add dry hops. Another safety benefit? The dry hop skid hooks hoses to the fermenters and circulates beer into the skid and back without opening the tanks. And even if the consumer will not taste that part of the improvement, Shields rightly says: “You can’t overweigh making your brewery safer.”

By the way, the dry hop skid can be used for more than “just” hops. It also allows brewers to add fruit and botanicals to their brews and ciders – without the use of any brewing bags, which can really be a hassle to work with.

Looking for more information? Just check the Sprinkman website or get in touch in the comments section.

 

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