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Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
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Default Bennefit of adding Hops late in boil?

I never fully understood what the difference is in doing this.

But anyway, I was making a Belgian Trippel.

I was supposed to put in 1 oz of Saaz with 10 min left, but I put it in for the whole boil.

How will this affect my beer?

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Old 09-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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You'll have more bitterness (the longer you boil hops the more of their alpha acids are isomerized into soluable/bitter iso-alpha acids). You'll also have less volatile hop oils, which provide the spicy/earthy/herbal/citrus/pine "hoppy" aroma to a beer. It certainly won't ruin the beer, but it will change the character a bit.

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Old 09-17-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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Each hop addition that we traditionally do in brewing serves roughly a different purpose...the longer additions (usually your 60-30 minute additions) provide bitterness. Not necessarily a 'taste" of bitterness but the release of certain chemicals (isomerized alpha acids and other things) which "cut" the intense sweetness of the wort (which is pretty much just sugar water) down to a more drinkable level. It's also in these chemicals is where the preservatives of the beer

The next range from approx. 30 to the last 15 is where you get your
"hop flavor" the actual really nice taste of the distincive hops impart (which if you're a hophead, and brew for awhile, you'll be able to start identifying the flavors of certain ones, if you are skillfull or have a good sense of taste, maybe all of them.)

And then there is the last 15 minutes of the typical boil, from the last 15 to what we call "flameout." This is where the aroma of the hops is usually imparted. And that also includes dryhopping in a primary or secondary, or added to a keg, or dispensed through a randall.

The chemicals for bittering, taste and aroma are very volitile, especially the last two, they boil away quite rapidly, that's why we pretty much will separate the flavor and the aroma additions, and get the aroma ones as late in the boil (or after) as possible, to trap those in.

If you shift them different things will happen...for example if you move the bittering addition further or closer to the end of the boil the amount of bitterness will change, the further out, will impart more bitterness, closer to the end- less. If you use a calculator like beersmith or even a free one like beercalculus you can see how the IBU's of a beer will change, this is sort of based on the amount of oils (alpha acids) the hops are rated at and the gravity (the sweetness) of your wort...

Some hops impart more bitterness than others (High alpha acids like warrior, magnum, and galena for example.)

This chart can kinda show you the interplay between hops and gravity. You can see how changing the amount of hops (or the level of bitterness imparted due to the timing of your additions) changes the flavor profile of your beers. Less hoppy, more hoppy, balanced, etc.



Hopefully this really simplified overview helps...there is a lot of science that I am not covering here, which you can read later. And there are different subtle ways of imparting more bitterness or flavor (Things like First Wort Hopping" {FWH} and "Hop bursting." And you can look all that and the more scientific info up later now that you hopefully have a basic understanding. There is also overlap as to when what is released or not. Like I said this is an over simplified explanation.


Now in your case you took your aroma addition and moved it to your bitterness time, so you will basically have no hop aroma in your beer (which in some styles like light lager aka, budweiser, that's not a problem...Though Miller being " triple hopped" in theory does have a hop nose.) Many beer styles have little or no hop aroma/flavor.

Your "bitterness" will also be off from the setup of your recipe, since you are going ot be getting the bitterness chemicals leeching into your beer...but I don't think Saaz is that high of an alpha acid bittering hop, to really do much to throw your recipe off.

TO counter it, I would get another ounce of saaz, and dryhop the beer with it...If you are doing a long primary (3-4 weeks like many of us do) Just throw them into the fermenter for the last week of your primary.

If you secondary (I recommend after 2 weeks, FOR 2 weeks) toss them in 7-10 fays before you plan to bottle. People on average dryhop for about a week, or a little more. At the longest I have done is 2 weeks. After that time people say that the hops can give the beer a "grassy" taste that you want to avoid.

Hope this helps.

BTW, you didn't ruin your beer, you merely changed it.

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
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All that being said. Saaz is primarily an aroma hop. You can use it for bittering, but most people aren't going to be able to tell whether you used 2 oz of 4% AA saaz or 1 oz of 8% AA Northern Brewer for bittering. So, will it make your beer undrinkable? No. But you did lose all of that wonderful saaz aroma and flavor.

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Old 09-17-2010, 04:27 PM   #5
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I'm not worried about it being ruined or anything like that..

Honestly Im not really into hoppy stuff, especially with a Tripel, more of the flavor is from the yeast.

Thanks for all the advice. In all the years I've brewed, hops have always been the least of my concern.. I need to start giving them more thought.

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