Mash Hopping

Mash hopping is basically adding the finishing hops to the mash instead of adding them at the end of the boil. It is thought that the hop oils attach to proteins in the mash. The result? An even, round, and stable hop flavor and aroma. This technique is something that I am still experimenting with, and have not gone full on extreme with yet. When i do, those notes will be placed here. Mash hopped ales have turned out well ballanced and easy to drink. Another advantage is that when a recipe calls for large quantities of hops, these same hops that would normally absorb a quantity of wort that would be left behind in the kettle are now left behind in the mash, and walla! More beer! That aside, this method of hopping does provide for a more delicate flavor and aroma, and I have found that as someone who bottle conditions, the flavor and aroma seem to be stable and stand up to fermentations rather well. This does not mean that hops cannot be added to the end of the boil in addition, but that is up to the brewer and the effect said brewer is trying to achieve. 

This is not a substitute for bittering hops!

INTERESTING TIP: The hops used in the mash if whole leaf and in a hop sack may be re-used in the boil for bittering! Have not experimented yet to this degree, but guess what is coming!

So instead of hops, you want to use herbs or fruit?  Add them to the mash!!!! The bonding seems to take place the same way as with the hops. Made a goofy beer with 7 different spices and herbs, including Rose Hips, Juniper Berries, Heather, Mugwort, and 3 others, with a porter style beer  that had only 15 IBU's. The spices etc came shining through and the beer really worked, especially with the darker malts.

I also made a fantastic chocolate-rasberry weissbier by putting 2 lbs 10 oz of red rasberries in the mash after pureeing them in a food processor. The flavors came through very well. For grins, here is my Chocolate Raz Stout from August 2014 that was absolutely wonderful:

Picked fresh raspberries from the back yard. Close to 3 pounds. Why not make a stout?

12 lbs Avangard Pale ale malt
1.5 lbs Golden Promise
1 lb Roasted Barley
3/4 lb chocolate Malt
3 lbs Raspberries (pureed in a food processor and into the mash!)

1/2 oz German Magnum 14.2 AA and 25 IBU 90 min boil

Whirlfloc tablet 15 mins

Mashed in at 120-130F held for 30 mins stepped up to 145F and held for 30 mins stepped up to 152 held for 30 mins and raised in steps to 168 F

16.5 Plato Pre-Boil
20.6 OG