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Hops infused olive oil - input wanted

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all, new member here. Let me share a tad bit of back story first. I'm an avid homebrewer and in a homebrew club. We have several parties each year, along with monthly meetings where beer and food are shared. Often times recipes include various styles of beer. I would like to take that a step further by experimenting with hop infused EVOO. If all goes well, I'll pass out a few bottles for members to experiment with for future parties. I am completely new to infusions, BTW. I currently have some citra hops infusing and it smells great. If all goes well I would like to try a few other hops as well. It is my hope that dipping breads in various infusions may give new members an appreciation for various hop varieties. Since boiling is not involved, infusion will only lend flavor and aroma, not bitterness. Naturally, the oil will be stored in brown bottles to protect both the EVOO and the hop oils from spoilage. It is my understanding that infusing with garlic is quite risky due to contamination from ground-bourne bacteria. Hops should be relatively safe, correct? I'm thinking the hops should be strained out once the flavor intensity peaks. Or is there any reason why the hop cones can't just remain behind? Any other thoughts on my silly little idea? Thanks much :)
post #2 of 7

Check with your County Extension service to verify food safety issues on this one. 

post #3 of 7

Hello Sly Pepper and welcome to ChefTalk. I'm not quite sure how a good olive oil goes with hop, also a bitter component? The very best olive oils can have a very strong peppery aftertaste and are quite bitter too.

 

But maybe you could consider macerating hop in... vinegar. It could then be used in lots of sauces, vinaigrettes, in dishes to correct the balance  by adding a little acidity etc.

I recently posted a thread for making tarragon vinegar; http://www.cheftalk.com/t/77083/high-time-to-harvest-your-tarragon

 

I have other vinegar infusions like this, made with elder flower blossoms, rose petals, branches of lovage. You never have to worry about bacteria when infusing in vinegar. If I were you, I would try both red and white vinegar hop infusions. I even think it's a very good idea to use hop that I might steal from you.

 

BTW, the young shoots of hop are harvested in my beer country Belgium and are sold as a luxury culinary product. Normally, only a few shoots are left and allowed to grow on the plant. In early spring, the young redundant shoots are collected and prepared like mini white asparagus, shortly poached, served in a light Hollandaise or mousseline sauce. Fresh hop shoots are incredibly expensive over here!

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks both for the replies. I looked into my county extension office and was amazed. I never knew such a thing existed and I even work for the county. I found several classes I want to sign up for, just for the sake of doing it. Thanks for the heads-up. :) I'm not too concerned about the bitterness of the EVOO. If anything, I think it will play along nicely with the flavor and aroma of the hops. Hops must be boiled to produce bitterness. Therefore, only one bittering element will be involved. Vinegar has definitely been a consideration. In my grand vision (snicker), I wanted to experiment with various malts in the vinegar, to compliment the EVOO. Black Patent for roastiness, Victory for nuttiness, crystal for sweetness, etc. I am quite interested in the hop shoots. I may have to grow some specifically to try this. I've never had the desire to grow my own hops. Several of my friends have had success, even here in Florida. With homegrown hops it is a bit of a crap shoot on the bitterness so recipe formulation becomes tricky. Well, that's my excuse for the lack of a green thumb. Shoots, I think I can manage. :) I'm in the middle of a remodel but hope to start playing in the kitchen by the end of the weekend. Curious, why are the spaces between my paragraphs not showing up?
post #5 of 7

Sly,

your friends have had success growing hops in Florida?, where?

Also curious as to the info from your county extension re the hops posit.

 

 

EDG 

"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

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"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

It is art to conceal art......

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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Friends have grown hops on the space coast between Cocoa and Melbourne. One friend has several varieties, along with grape vines. I have a few ounces of his Cascade hops in my freezer. I've not yet heard from the extension office regarding the hops. I sent them an email asking about it. They have classes on canning and cottage food laws that could pertain to my endeavor.
post #7 of 7

Space coast eh?, Sly PM me, due back in South Florida next week and have to meet some friends in Deland.

"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

It is art to conceal art......

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"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

It is art to conceal art......

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