Step 11: Dry Hopping
Dry hopping is a simple process. About an ounce of the hops were saved in my freezer. When time came to dry hop, we simply removed the airlock and stuffed the hops into the carboy, then topped off the carboy with fresh water. The airlock was returned to the carboy, and we let it sit for another 1-2 weeks.
A lot of people will take this opportunity to put their beer into secondary fermentation. That simply involves racking the beer into a fresh carboy, helping to clarify the final product. It's not strictly required, but if you worry about your homebrew being a bit chunky, that's one way to avoid it.
The purpose of dry hopping a beer is to add a very strong hoppy aroma to it. These hops add little in the way of flavor and no bitterness, but having these fresh hops sit on top of the beer for another couple of weeks adds an incredibly strong smell of hops to the beer, creating the full Northwest IPA experience.