Zack Frasher loves hoppy beers about as much as he loves exploring new techniques for maximizing their expression. His past decade and a half of brewing—first as a homebrewer then as a pro—has been marked by research and testing in the hoppy genre, dialing in recipes and processes for clean and tight hop presentation. Over the past year at Slice—in Lincoln, California, just north of Sacramento—that determined work has borne fruit: a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival and a gold at World Beer Cup, both for juicy or hazy strong pale ales. Frasher is no stranger to winning; his beers also won four GABF medals in five years at his last brewery, nearby Moonraker in Auburn.
In this episode, he dives deep into brewing hop-forward beers, both West Coast and hazy, and discusses:
- water treatment for IPAs and the benefit of keeping dissolved solids low
- building simplified and leaner but structured West Coast IPA
- varying malt bases depending on the hop recipe
- changing recipes when moving from steam to direct fire
- taking a hop variety–specific approach to IBUs
- blending yeast in hazy IPA
- the small things that elevate beers from good to great
This episode is brought to you by:
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