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Old 11-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Hops choice for bock/doppelbock

Over this fall and winter, I'm planning to brew a Doppelbock and then a Bock. While I'm waiting for the Vienna lager to finish primary so I can get these started, there's nothing much to do except obsess over the recipes... So here's a question that came out of that.

Do I need to worry about what kind of hops I use for these beers?

Obviously, these are malty, not hoppy, beers. Aside from some varieties of hops that can give very harsh bitterness, my general understanding is that the impact of the bittering hops on flavor is minimal. However, the recipes and guides I have found all recommend using noble hops for these.

Currently, I have large stashes of Brewers' Gold, Willamette, and Spalt Select hops. My original plan for both the Doppelbock and the Bock was to use a 60 minute addition of Brewers' Gold and leave it at that. Browsing through various recipes, it seems that most are using hallertau, perle, and/or tettnang, sometimes with a 10 or 15 minute addition.

Is there any reason to change plans? I'd like to use up my stash of hops, but given the time I'm going to invest in these beers, I don't mind dropping a couple bucks on some noble hops if it's going to make a noticeable difference. If it doesn't matter, though, no sense letting the hops sit in my freezer any longer than they have to. Any thoughts?

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Old 11-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Noble hops are traditional, but not really necessary. The thing is, noble hops provide a "fine" bitterness that other hops don't. It's hard to explain exactly, but it's not a hoppy or harsh bitterness, but instead very clear and firm without any harshness or citrus/earthy flavors. I'd probably use the spalt select that you have, or buy something else.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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Use the Spalt Select

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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It matters. Use the Spalt as suggested.

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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I enjoy perle as well.

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:22 AM   #6
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I should have mentioned that the spalt select is only 1.5% AA, so it's going to take 5-6 oz of it to hit my IBU plan. I did that on my current Vienna lager, actually, but I'm not thrilled about having that much hop material floating around in there. It sounds like dropping a couple bucks on an ounce or two of higher AA noble hops would be worth it, so I think I'll probably go that route.

Thanks!

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:04 AM   #7
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Definitely grab something else to bitter with. Any neutral bittering hop will suffice really. Save an ounce or two of spalt for a late hop addition and dry-hopping (inb4 someone complains about "style guidelines"), and consider blending some willamette in there for complexity.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:27 AM   #8
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I agree... you could easily bitter with a small amount of magnum.

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Old 11-11-2012, 02:03 AM   #9
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Ok, thanks for the additional thoughts. I just ordered some Hallertau Mf and Liberty, so I'll use one or the other of those.

I'm probably going to stick with a 60 minute and maybe a 10 or 15 minute addition. Partly to stay in the realm of style, but also because I'm not really that crazy about hoppiness. That's part of the draw for the Bocks for me.

(I also ordered some Cascade just because I hated to pay shipping for a small amount of hops. So I guess I could really screw this up and do a grapefruit bock.)

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
(I also ordered some Cascade just because I hated to pay shipping for a small amount of hops. So I guess I could really screw this up and do a grapefruit bock.)
For the love of all that is good and decent, don't do it!
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