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Old 04-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #1
TheH2
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Default bittering hops?

When using bittering hops does it really matter what type you use? It seems to me like the most important part is the IBUs but people tend to use all kinds of bittering hops. If it doesn't matter why not use something strong like Chinook and just use less?

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Old 04-25-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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For the most part, it doesn't matter and that's why the super-alpha varieties exist. With certain varieties, you will get a little left over flavor in your brew, but a little goes a long way with some of those hops, so you should be getting nearly all the flavor from flavor additions.

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Old 04-25-2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Depends on how much you know about water.

Early on I tried the highest of Alpha varieties to save stocks and all I got from them was a harsh, wrap your lips over your forehead and chin, bitterness no matter how little I used for the bittering addition.

Then I learned about Sulfate, and more importantly how much of it was in my water. "If it taste good, you can brew with it" did not apply here.

Took me a while to figure that out. Up to that point I was using tons of low Alpha varieties to achieve a smooth bittering.

Now I understand more about my water and how to blend available waters to styles and recipes. I still don't mess with salt additions but I do blend down the ratios and now I can use high Alpha hops with pride.

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Old 04-25-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheH2
When using bittering hops does it really matter what type you use?
I know the macro-breweries don't care. Their looking for high Alpha-acid with low cohumulone, which translates to lower cost for them. I believe this is why hops like Simcoe were developed. Home brewers like us can benefit from these type of hops by being able to bitter with a small amount of hops and avoid the harsh bitterness sometimes associated with high alpha hops.

Here's an interesting article on the subject
http://www.joesixpack.net/columnArch...006/060906.htm
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:24 AM   #5
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I feel that some high alpha varieties, magnum, millenium, galena, do not impart much taste from the bittering addition. For some reason chinook seems so distinct, to me at least, that it carries a few characteristics with it, albeit not as much as a 30 minute or less addition.

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Old 04-26-2008, 02:52 AM   #6
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Every variety of hop has it's signature taste and you sould become familliar with eash to see what you like. I have found that when mixing hops they should complement each other in a given beer. Only experiance teaches this.

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:39 AM   #7
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Of course it isn't that easy. Thanks for all the replies. Hops are one of the hardest things for me to figure out in a recipe. That and carbonation. I guess I just have to brew more.

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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I use high AA hops to bitter considering the price these days. I have a pound of 11.6% nugget that are ending up in all of my beers for the bittering. 60min boil though, no less.

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