28 October 2010
Now I know what you’re thinking when you read the title, but it’s not what you think. Personally I don’t have a kegerator (yet), but I have always thought there are better ways to dispense beer, AND still use your kegerator. For years my friends and I have added fresh hop cones to an already great IPA to enhance the fresh-hop flavor. This practice graduated into a brewing technique. Called Torpedo by Sierra Nevada and named Hopback by Troegs; the practice of infusing a beer has become a popular brewing technique. The concept is to use a big stainless-steel cylinder filled with fresh hops (or herbs, spices, chocolate, fruit…) and put that device in-line as a beer is brewed. The beer passes through that chamber to impart additional flavors as the beer is packaged.
Jump forward to about 5 years ago when some beer bars started to add their own devices located at the point of pour. In other words the beer passes through the hops right before it hits your glass. It was a wonderful idea and of course Dogfish Head has now built a consumer market device to do just that on your home Kegerator. Named Randall 3.0, the device allows you to infuse your beer not only with fresh hops, but also spices, herbs, fruits or anything you’d like to add to your beer. This opens up a whole new way to “brew” your own unique beer, without actually brewing it yourself.
In fine mybeerbuzz tradition, let me go on the record to say that we WILL see a cottage industry of people re-selling an existing beer that they “infuse” with their own special blend of ingredients. Much like the infused spirits we already see in the market, I’m predicting there will be home-infused beers….so stay tuned.