Shipwrecked Bones & Seasick Heart

We try to do everything we can to improve our beer here at Azvex and one good way to do that is to test things. We have been making small changes here and there to our hazy beers over the last 6 months or so and wanted to pull together a load of our findings. We are by no means finished on the quest for better beer, but we have hit a milestone where we couldn’t decide if a certain technique makes a beer better, worse or makes no difference at all and would love to hear your thoughts.

The Experiment

Shipwrecked Bones - Can

Shipwrecked Bones – 6.4% IPA with Citra, Mosaic & Amarillo

We brewed 2 identical IPAs – Shipwrecked Bones & Seasick Heart with one single difference. This difference is something that we have done a few times over the last 6 months and can’t decide if it is better or not than our normal process.

To try and not skew the results I will keep the difference under wraps for now and update this blog later. Until then please let us know if you can perceive a difference, which one you prefer, if any and why!

We can be less cryptic than the Surf Maps/Jump Maps combo and tell you that it is a process change. All the ingredients and target measurements are the same.

Shipwrecked Bones - Can

Seasick Heart – 6.4% IPA with Citra, Mosaic & Amarillo


  • Taproom from 4pm Thursday 6h Apr
  • Online shop and Trade 9am Friday 7th Apr


Here are the full details!


To evaluate the difference between recirculating the dry and a more traditional approach of adding the hops then rousing.


We brewed 2 IPAs back-to-back on the same day with the exact same recipe and process to keep them as close to the same as we could. We fermented them with the same generation yeast crop and ended up with 2 tanks of essentially the same beer. We then dry hopped them both.

With Shipwrecked Bones we recirculated the hops continuously for around 90 minutes before crashing to 0°C immediately after.

With Seasick Heart we threw the hops in the top of the tank as normal then left it for 24 hours before rousing from the bottom with Co2 and roused once more after another 24 hours before crashing to 0°C.

Everything was as very close to perfect:

Shipwrecked Bones

  • 68.1°C Mash Temperature
  • 5.24 Mash pH
  • 1.0640 OG
  • 1.0150 FG
  • Co2 Vols: 2.382 (average in package)
  • 31.7 ppb Total Packaged Oxygen (TPO)

Seasick Heart

  • 67.9°C Mash Temperature
  • 5.23 Mash pH
  • 1.0640 OG
  • 1.0150 FG
  • Co2 Vols: 2.363 (average in package)
  • 20.4 ppb Total Packaged Oxygen (TPO)


Like our experiment with Surf Maps & Jump Maps, we decided to run a triangle test at the Taproom.

A total of 14 people of varying levels of experience participated in this triangle test over one weekend (including the brewery team). We served each person 2 samples of either Shipwrecked Bones or Seasick Heart and 1 sample of the other, this varied over the weekend so we will just call them Beer A and Beer B. Each participant was served 1 sample of beer A and 2 samples of Beer B in different coloured opaque cups then asked to identify the unique sample. While 9 tasters (p<0.05) would have had to accurately identify the unique sample to reach statistical significance, 6 did (p=0.310). This indicates that participants in this triangle test were unable to reliably distinguish between IPAs with a regular dry hop and a recirculated dry hop.

The 6 participants who made the accurate selection on the triangle test were instructed to complete a brief preference survey comparing only the beers that were different. A total of 1 taster reported preferring the Shipwrecked Bones, 4 said they liked Seasick Heart more, and 1 had no preference despite noticing a difference.

Two to three months after release the Untappd scores (at time of writing):

  • Shipwrecked Bones – 4.03
  • Seasick Heart – 4.03

My Impressions: Our whole team tried the test, and we all failed to identify the odd beer out! This was surprising to me as immediately post dry hop the flavour of Shipwrecked Bones was noticeably different from what our finished beers usually taste like. There was more of a soft melon type flavour going on. At that point we thought surely there would be an obvious difference. However, after crashing the hops out and carbonating, they tasted pretty much the same and the dominating melon character had blended into the background of the overall flavour.


One of the reasons we started recirculating the hops was to increase the conditioning time of our beers, allowing us to drop out as much solids as possible before packaging. With the huge amount of hops going into these hazy styles it takes a long time to get them back out. If you don’t do this long conditioning step (assuming you don’t have any fancy toys like a centrifuge) then you end up with intense hopburn. You can even still end up with some hopburn with these techniques, depending on the hop varieties. Southern hemisphere hops are particular culprits.

One thing to note that was different was the total packaged oxygen (TPO). When recirculating there is a potential to introduce oxygen into the beer. Oxygen ingress to a finished beer is a very bad thing, and without going into detail, if you let too much oxygen in you end up with horrible brown oxidised beer – unpleasant to taste and look at. With the recirculation we were an average 31.7 ppb and with the regular dry hop we were averaging 20.4 ppb. There is a chance that this affected the final results as there is over 50% more dissolved oxygen in the recirculation beer than the regular dry hop beer. However, it should be noted that below 50ppb is considered very good, but that doesn’t mean the extra 11 ppb couldn’t have made a perceivable difference on two essentially identical beers. Here at Azvex we go to great lengths to keep our TPO levels as low as we can. We very, very rarely see any cans at all above 50ppb which is one factor that helps us achieve that very pale-yellow colour.

Noticing that flavour changed drastically when dropping the hops out, we investigated ways that we could try to capture that initial flavour. Sadly, we don’t have the fancy equipment here to remove the hops any quicker… but our friends at Drop Project do. Very soon they have a collab beer coming out where we tried to do exactly this, recirc the dry hop and get the beer away from the hops as quickly as possible by running through the centrifuge. Did it work? You will have to try it and let us know what you think.

Thanks to everyone that has tried them so far. I hope you enjoyed them! For anyone that hasn’t, there are still a handful left. Maybe try the blind triangle test yourself and see if you can pick the odd one out!

Adam Henderson – Azvex Brewing Co.

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