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Old 02-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
Spintab
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Default Grain Test Hops Choice

I'm going to begin a series of one gallon test batches to compare and contrast various specialty grains. The idea is to use a neutral base grain and neutral hops strain and switch out only the specialty grain in each batch. Can anyone recommend a neutral hops choice for bittering? When I started brewing, my LHBS used warrior as its house bittering hops. I was going to go with warrior, but the AA is so high it could be a little difficult to be consistent in small batches without an uber accurate scale.



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Old 02-04-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
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Magnum would be my recommendation. It's lower alpha's than Warrior, but still high enough that you only use a small amount. It is very neutral as far as bittering hops and typically has low flavors/aromas.

I don't think you would want any alpha lower than 10% or the amount of hops you'll need could easily show up in the brew.



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Old 02-04-2013, 01:58 AM   #3
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From MoreBeer where I have a gift certificate that will fund this experiment: "Magnum is a great bittering hop with an aroma similar to a strong Willamette". I dig willamette. Thanks for the suggestion. Now if they would just get it back in stock.

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Old 02-04-2013, 03:24 AM   #4
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From what MoreBeer has in stock at the moment, Palisade could fit the bill just fine IMHO.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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Why not make a warrior/2-row smash, then split it up into different fermenters and steep and boil the specialty grains in smaller pots then add each on to the various fermenters for your test. I guess it depends on if the grain needs to be mashed, but that should work and make the whole process a lot easier.

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennesseean_87 View Post
Why not make a warrior/2-row smash, then split it up into different fermenters and steep and boil the specialty grains in smaller pots then add each on to the various fermenters for your test. I guess it depends on if the grain needs to be mashed, but that should work and make the whole process a lot easier.
That's a thought. It certainly would make the most consistent base beer across the board. It would also give me a control batch. Thanks for the suggestion.

I will say this and it's almost along those same lines. If I save bottles from each of the batches until they are all done, I can mix various amounts of each to see how they play with each other. The rub though, is that combined mashed and boiled together, I feel like they would come out different than mixed later. We'll see.

This is off the main subject but any thoughts on force carbing single gallon batches? I'd hate to waste so much co2 by doing it in a full 5gal keg but I also really dislike bottle carbing. I've been bitten by several full batches that didn't carbonate correctly in bottles and I need to eliminate as much possible error as possible.

Edit: You know, you'd really only have to steep each one for 20 minutes or so and boil for 15. Without the worry of hops utilization a full hour boil would be unnecessary and realistically any starch conversion from the grains will happen pretty quick. Full smash and 5 mini mashes it is.


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