There are several methods for making hop tea. Here are a few of the popular recipes:
Plain Hop Tea with Hot Water: Similar to above, but hot water is used to steep the hops for 20 minutes at a slightly lower hop rate. Generally you will get a slightly milder flavor from this method, along with some hop bitterness, but you still will not have an idea of how the hops, malt and alcohol interact.
Hop Tea with Malt Extract: In this case, we will add some dry malt extract to our tea to give it a malty and hoppy flavor. Add approximately 2 ounces (57 grams) by weight to a quart (liter) of distilled or filtered water. This will give you a gravity of approximately 1.022. Next we’ll about 1/8 oz of hops, which will give a strong hop flavor, and boil it for 10 minutes. This will provide a pretty hoppy malt-hop tea we can taste and get a good idea of how the hop might perform.
Hop Tea, Malt Extract and Alcohol: The final version – adds some alcohol to the mix. It won’t be beer, but will give you a good idea of how your hops will mix with both malt and alcohol flavors. In this case you make a hop tea with malt extract, just as described above. However after the quart/liter mixture cools, we mix in a small amount of clear 80 proof vodka. I recommend starting with 1 oz (29 ml) and adding a bit more as desired to balance the taste.
Note that the above amounts are rough guidelines, and assume a moderate (6% alpha) hops, and assume a strongly hop forward mixture. For high alpha hops, you probably will want to add less and for low alpha hops you may want to add more. You may need to play with the hop and alcohol content as well, or perhaps thin the mixture with water if it is too far out of balance when sampling. However the instructions above give you a good starting point to sample a hop variety without having to brew an entire batch of beer.
Also note that hops are poisonous to dogs – so please don’t leave your unused or spent hops anywhere that your dog might get into them!