What does dry hopping do?

I found some interesting correlations, perhaps forewarning, about some of the processes I am attempting in this article. More on what I’m up to later…

Of course dry hopping changes the flavor of beer, but what exactly is it doing? If you’ve made a NEIPA you’re aware that dry hopping during active fermentation does something dramatic to the beer. As it turns out there are active enzymes in dry hops which break down sugar.

It turns out there are enzymes in hops that can break down the unfermentable long-chain sugars to simple sugars, much like the enzymes in barley that carry out the same function during the mashing stage.

I don’t think this is exactly what is going on in a NEIPA as the article goes on to say that large amounts of diacety (butter flavor) were produced. Maybe it’s the yeast strain they used, or maybe it’s the environment of an active fermentation, or maybe something else I’m not thinking of.

It would be interesting to see if the same results would occur when using pellet hops rather than cone hops.

Please go on and read the full article, it’s great and I’ve left out a lot. The first part of the article talks about how much hops achieves aroma saturation before the tea flavors and aromas become prominent. FYI: according to the study and after conversion from metric, the max dry hop is 1.1 oz per gallon, and after that you will get saturation and diminishing returns

The Surprising Science of Dry Hopping – Lessons from Tom Shellhammer
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