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Old 07-21-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
permo
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Default High Alpha Hops for Flavoring

I recently came to somewhat of an epiphony and some hoppy beers I have made. One featuring columbus and one featuring summit hops. Looking back, both of these brews had an odd, onion and garlic flavor. What they have in common is high alpha hops used between 30 and 10 minutes in high amounts.

is there any correlation between high alpha and onion/garlic flavor? My initial thoughts are that there could be.

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by permo View Post
I recently came to somewhat of an epiphony and some hoppy beers I have made. One featuring columbus and one featuring summit hops. Looking back, both of these brews had an odd, onion and garlic flavor. What they have in common is high alpha hops used between 30 and 10 minutes in high amounts.

is there any correlation between high alpha and onion/garlic flavor? My initial thoughts are that there could be.
I think it's that you just happened to choose two varieties known for their onion-y flavor.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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Yooper was explaing this morning to someone that it isn't about AA in flavoring hops, but another one of the compounds that make the "harsh", thus less suitable for flavor hops.

Let me see if I can find the post!

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Actually, to get a bit geeky about the hops, it's not the high AAU (and 10% isn't high!) but it's actually the makeup of the hops themselves, specifically the cohumulone/humulone content. Higher cohumulone hops are considered by many to be "harsh" while low cohumulone hops are considered less so, regardless of the AAUs of the hops. In theory, that could mean that an 18% AAU hop variety could be less harsh than a 4.8% AAU variety. So, it's not just the AAUs that must be considered, but the actual properties of the hops variety.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:28 AM   #4
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I haven't used Columbus for flavor, but I make an all Summit barley wine with 1 oz additions at FWH, 10, 5, and 0. I haven't detected any onion flavor. Rather, the Summit contributes a wonderful tangerine flavor to the barley wine. For what it's worth...

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Old 07-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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The majority of my favorite flavoring hops are high alpha. Nelson sauvin, simcoe, summit, galaxy, citra, etc.

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:39 PM   #6
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Wierd, I have had mixed results from the same pound of summit hops before. When I used it for FWH and heavily at 15-20 minutes my beer tastes like garlic toast. When I scaled back my amounts and used it strictly for bittering, then at 10 and FO I got a really awesome tangerine...flavor like we taste in the drifter.

I am not sure what that divide is that causes the issue with these hops sometimes going oniony, but is sure does happen. Now when I try really hard I can detect onion flavors in a few commercial brews on occasion as well.

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Old 07-22-2011, 01:54 PM   #7
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IIRC permo, Summit is more garlic-y (maybe shallot-y?) and Columbus is more onion-y. I know what you mean about zoning in on a particular flavor/aroma and once you zone in on it you notice it elsewhere and can't get rid of it. Once I got some cat-pee from Simcoe and now I can't help but smell cat-pee with Simcoe.

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