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Old 05-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #1
Cornfed
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Default Hops in Beer Kits

Greetings. I'm looking to make an ingredients purchase, and was going to try to brew a recipe from Papazian's Microbrewed Adventures. Looking at sources like homebrew.com, austinbrewer.com, or even morebeer.com, it looks like many of the hop varieties are not currently available (at homebrew.com, only 3 varieties are available).

However, it seems that all of these suppliers' ingredient kits are available.

How is that possible? It is unlikely that it's a coincidence that the kits require none of the hops which are unavailable. I suppose the kits could be using substitute hops, but for someone like homebrew.com, I'd be surprised if their 3 varieties currently available could be used in all of their beer kits.

Or, are they making certain kinds of hops ONLY available through the kits since that's a way of preventing folks from overbuying and hoarding?

Just wondering what you folks thought. At this point, I think I'll just do another kit from one of the above suppliers. Lastly on a related note, if anyone has ideas of the supplier with the largest set of hop types available, I'd be interested in suggestions.

Later,
Dave

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #2
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Two possible reasons:
1) They didn't edit the listing for the kit but have, in fact, made a substitution based on what they can get.
2) They are trying to sell the complete package and those who buy a la carte might be assumed to be experienced enough to know how to make a hops substitute.

I'd suggest you give them a call as often these companies don't update the websites immediately and what it says and what they have might differ.

The hop shortage is a pain, but there are still enough viable options to make good beer, it just might be different than originally planned. I know I tried to make a Sam Adams clone but couldn't get the right hops, my version came out very good, though it was not what I planned at the start.

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #3
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A lot of kit makers give first priority of hops to their kits, rather than the general public...That way they don't need to reformulate their established recipes and/or reprint their documentation, and not overly panic the inexperienced brewer.

Needless to say, if you look at some of the threads over the winter, you will see that a lot of people ordered kits and recieved less than or even substitute hops with their kits...Some manufacturers indicated that they were substitute hops, others didn't let the purchaser know and just substituted...Those instances were usually the ones that new brewers started threads about.

I'm not sure though if any manufacturers have just discontinued producing certain kits outright.

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Old 05-07-2008, 05:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. One specific example - homebrew.com's High Sierra Pale Ale recipe includes - or at least used to inlcude - Cascade and Perle hops. That kit is still available on their site. But if you buy hops individually, they only have Crystal, Fuggle, and Hallertauer available.

I guess I'll try to call them to see how they're handling this and what comes with the kit today.

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