Recently I did a beer tasting for some friends, comparing a few porters and stouts. As part of the event I brought a bag of fresh Citra hops that I'd picked up at a local home-brew shop. As soon as I opened the bag, the room was full of the aroma. One of my friends wanted to put some into his Stone IPA. Hops-on-hops sounds like a good idea. I remember reading in Sam Calagione's book Brewing Up a Business about a device he concocted called Randall the Enamel Animal. So thought there must be an easier way to infuse hops into a beer. We were later talking about coffee systems and a French Press came up. Ah, ureka, that was it. So the next day, I took out our French Press and tried a little experiment of my own. I placed a handful of the Citra hops into a Stone IPA and let it sit for an hour, working it every now and then.
So what were the result? Mixed I'd say. The beer defineatly had a new, more complex hop flavor, a nice addition. The thing that went wrong was that the agitation caused the beer to go flat.
So this may the beginning of a wonderful thing, adding my own imagination to my beer drinking. Who knows, maybe there is a Randall in my future. Or at least the French Press is going to get some more use.