Process Experiment: Hop Bursting vs Hop Standing

While hop standing is not necessarily a new practice, it has been getting a lot of hype from the homebrewing community. For the purposes of this article I am defining and using the terms as follows:

Hop Standing/Whirlpooling: The practice of adding a significant portion of late hops at flameout or after flameout potentially at a temperature lower than hop oil flashpoints.

Hop Bursting: The process of obtaining all or nearly all of your IBUs from late hop additions.

One thing that has always struck me about homebrewers is how much we seek to emulate professional brewers in our practices. Many experiments completed by homebrewers have shown that what holds true for professional brewers likely doesn’t translate to our small scale. This brings me to what I had long consider the largely unnecessary process of homebrewers using hopstand/whirlpools because professional brewers do it. Internet lore on this topic (and backed by actual science), states that when hops are steeped lower than the flashpoint of certain oils you are extracting better or different flavor compounds that make a better hop experience. And, after all, don’t we all want a lot more hops in our lives 🙂 ?

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