Hop water, the no-calorie, no-carbs, and non-alcoholic beverage has really started to grow in popularity in recent years, but surprisingly it can still be a challenge to find places that sell it. The good news is that a hop water recipe is very basic and it is a simple beverage to make at home.
If you are not familiar with this popular drink you can check out our post: what is hop water?
In this article, we are going to provide you with 2 simple hop water recipes so you can make your own at home…
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Hop Water Ingredients
Hop water is simply hops steeped in warm water (like making tea) and then either carbonated or mixed with sparkling (carbonated) water; sometimes lemon juice is added for flavor or to lower the pH of the water.
So your ingredient list depending on which recipe you choose to follow will be:
Carbonated water (sparkling water)
Now when it comes to the hops themselves there are many different varieties that each provide unique flavors and aromas as well as varying bitterness levels. For hop water, we recommend a type of hop that is going to provide a citrus or tropical fruit-like flavor such as:
Noble hops would also provide enjoyable flavors.
Hop Water Recipe
We are going to provide you with 2 recipes for hop water. The first recipe will be if you do not have the ability to carbonate the water on your own, either with a Soda Stream or a CO2 system used to carbonate home-brewed beer. The carbonation will come from mixing it with sparkling water. In the second recipe, you will carbonate the drink yourself very much like making beer.
Sparkling Hop Water Recipe
In the first recipe, you are going to mix the steeped hop water with sparkling water. This recipe will make 2 gallons or 7 liters of hop water. You can scale it as you deem fit.
The ratio of hops to water is typically 2 grams per gallon, so for this recipe, you will need 4 grams of hop pellets. This is surprisingly not a lot of hops, you will need a digital scale to weigh them out.
The ratio of steeped hop water to sparkling water is 1 part steeped water to 2 parts sparkling. So the hop water volume will be approximately ¾ of a gallon (approximately 3 liters) and the sparkling water will be 1.25 gallons (approximately 4.5 liters).
Heat your water to 170℉. Some people will boil the water out of concern about sanitizing it, however, if the water is clean we do not see a need to do this, typically that is done when making beer as beer is highly susceptible to bacteria, etc. If you decide to boil your water be sure to cool it to 170℉ before adding the hops.
Now add lemon juice in order to bring the pH down to approximately 4.6 or lower. If you do not have a pH meter simply add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, juice squeezed from a lemon will work also. Do not add any more than the 2 tablespoons as the lemon juice will come across stronger tasting than the hops.
Once the water has reached 170℉ add the hops. You can add them directly to the water if you like, however, if you do when they are done steeping you will need to strain the hops out of the water. Another option if you brew beer and have the equipment is to place the hops directly into a hop spider or mesh hop bag.
Now let the hops steep for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, if you used the hop spider or mesh bag simply remove it from the water, if you added the hops directly to the water, strain them out using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
You now need to cool the hop water down, you can do so by covering it and placing it in the fridge or freezer, or putting it in a sink full of ice water.
Once it has cooled down to under 70℉ transfer it to storage containers; mason jars, growlers, old wine bottles, or homebrew bottles work well.
When you’re ready to drink it, remember to mix it with the sparkling water as this is what provides the carbonation, keeping in mind the ratio is 1 part hop water to 2 parts sparkling water.
Carbonated Hop Water Recipe
For making carbonated hop water you use the same recipe as above except instead of using sparkling water you use 2 full gallons of your tap water or spring water.
You follow the rest of the steps, except when it comes to packaging it you will do so in your corny keg. To carbonate it, turn the CO2 on to 35 psi for 24 hours and then turn the gas off and let the hop water sit for 24 hours before serving.
As you can see a hop water recipe is actually quite simple and the end product is a beverage with many of the same flavors of beer but with none of the calories, carbs, or alcohol, they are an excellent choice for when you want a non-alcoholic beverage.
P.S. For more recipes be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite recipes from his brewpub. Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Cheers!