I have been to hundreds of breweries all over the world and have been led on dozens of beer/brewery tours. I have figured out that there is always something new to learn at each place that I go to. When going to different breweries in Asheville, NC or in any city with beer you may see the acronym DDH on the menu. What does DDH stand for? It stands for double dry hopped.
What does double dry hopped mean? Dry hopping refers to the addition of hops (usually pellets but could be whole cone) in the fermenter. On Beer City Brewery Tours we refer to fermenters as Frank, like our Beer City Brewery Tours logo below. Typically these aromatic hops will be added in nylon bags and steeped (like tea) in the beer for days. Sierra Nevada even invented a spaceship-like device for dry hopping called a torpedo that the beer runs through before getting pumped back into Frank the fermenter. This saves time waiting for steeping. Dry hopping is generally added after primary fermentation (the initial week or so) is over in order to release aromas and impart flavors from the hops into the finished beer. The best case scenario is to have the least amount of cleanup for the brewer after dry hopping.
Most modern tropical pale ales, IPAs, and double IPAs (especially hazy beers) utilize this technique in order to maximize aroma and flavors from the hops without much perceived hop bitterness. The product is a juicy and highly aromatic tropical and fruity or even dank and/or piney beer to enjoy.
Double dry hopping tells us that this process of dry hopping of the hops into the beer has been performed at two separate periods of time possibly with two separate hops. The brewer could add two different hops to impart different expressions into the beer. For example, El Dorado and Citra are very popular hops to dry hop with as the pineapple and watermelon aromas of El Dorado pair well with the orange, sweet fruit character of Citra. The possibilities are limitless as there are hundreds of hops to choose from out there. There are always new experimental on the horizon as well. Hopheads rejoice!
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On Beer City Brewery Tours I present beer, brewing and Asheville in a different, more personal way. I also try and debunk some common preconceived notions about beer. I explain how certain raw ingredients are utilized in the glass, where they come from, how beer is made and the history behind the styles and breweries. I intentionally try to explain the science (to a point) and the artistry of beer and sway any attitudes towards beer such as, "I don't like hoppy beers." By teaching our guests about the process of how this beautiful carbonated beverage is made, I attempt to open the eyes of beer friends who may not understand why beer looks, smells, tastes and feels the way it does.
If you want to learn about different styles of beer, explore brewhouses and meet a local, passionate Cicerone®, or Asheville beer expert, book HERE to enjoy a wonderful Asheville brewery tour on Beer City Brewery Tours. Our groups spend over three hours at my three favorite breweries in the Brewing District of Beer City USA all while casually walking and chatting about beer and brewing. Several samples are tasted along the way at each taproom. We hope to see you soon.