I recently started distilling hop oils at home, experimenting with Citra and Centennial. I added the resulting hydrosols to carbonated water and the aroma is just fantastic, but almost no bitterness.
I then experimented with hops with higher alpha acids, like Merkur and Magnum. The aroma is still there, but very little bitterness. Perhaps distillation is not the best way? What method would you recommend me trying to "extract" the bitterness out of hops? Or maybe use hop extracts to mix with the hydrosols?
My ultimate goal is to make a shelf stable refreshing and carbonated hop water (that tastes like beer) for home consumption. Please help! Thanks all!