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Old 03-20-2006, 06:15 AM   #1
Walker
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Default refining a recipe; my IPA

finally realized what it was about the flavor of my IPA that I was unhappy about. I've got too much Northern Brewer in it and it's imparting a slightly grassy flavor. (SMMBO swears I'm crazy and there is no grassy taste, but I'm sure of it.)

I never put my finger on it before because I had been using pellets, and the aroma isn't as apparent with those as it is with whole hops. Tonight, I was mixing up my 'hops salad' that I use DFH-style for continuous hopping and I was using the whole hops I just got from hopsdirect.com. After I added the NB to the salad I I noticed the aroma that matches the flavor I am hot happy with.

Unfortuatly, the hops salad was already mixed at this point, and I went ahead and used it, but I definately know what to change the next time.

I almost want to start another batch ASAP and run them in parallel.

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:20 AM   #2
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Call it a science experiment, a ''control'' batch if you need to justify it to anyone. I think just having another fermenter that is going empty is enough justification personally.

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro Brewsmith
Call it a science experiment, a ''control'' batch if you need to justify it to anyone. I think just having another fermenter that is going empty is enough justification personally.
EXACTLY!

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Old 03-20-2006, 06:36 AM   #4
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Just send me some of the "experiment" for analysis. I will need both to compare.

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Old 03-20-2006, 02:46 PM   #5
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Actually, I cut your hops with bermuda grass clippings when I was sealing them up...that's probably where the grassy aroma is coming from. I kept my shiznit pure.

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Old 03-20-2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Actually, I cut your hops with bermuda grass clippings when I was sealing them up...that's probably where the grassy aroma is coming from. I kept my shiznit pure.
Nice try, BvB, but the pillow of Norther Brewer never left my house. That "pound" (I use the term loosely since hopdsirect measures out 20 to 30 ounce 'pounds') is all mine.

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Old 03-20-2006, 03:34 PM   #7
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Can we see the profile for this beer?

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Old 03-20-2006, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glibbidy
Can we see the profile for this beer?
By 'profile', do you mean 'recipe'?

7 lbs extra light DME
1 lb crystal 10L
0.5 oz columbus @60 (I normally use Chinook or Galena, but I had a tiny bit of Columbus and decided to use it this time.)

then, I mix up 2 oz of cascade and 2 oz of NB in a big salad bowl. I portion this out into 7 piles (appx 0.57 oz/pile). Starting at T-minus 30 minutes, and every 5 minutes after this, I toss in one pile. Last pile goes in at flame-out.

(It comes out to about 45 IBUs according to the recipator, but TASTES like more than this.)

I start my boil 3.5 gallons, and lose about 1 gallon over the course of the hour.

Cool the wort, filter into carboy (which was pretty hard this last time since it was the first time I had ever use 100% whole hops in this recipe... lots of leaves in there!), aerate Manly-Style (pick up carboy and shake like hell), top off to 5.5 gallons, pitch my 1056, add airlock, stick in brew-fridge @ 65°F, let nature take it's course.

After racking to the secondary, I dry hop with another 1 oz of cascades.

EDIT: NEXT TIME I am going to use 3 oz of cascade and 1 oz of NB in my salad.

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Old 03-20-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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hmmm.... I've spent the last 30 minutes or so searching the web for flavor profile descriptions of Northern Brewer.

My opinion (from using pellets) was that it was a piney/minty flavor, and this is basically the same thing I am reading from all the sources I have found on-line.

However, I swear the whole hops smelled grassy last night when I was brewing them, and the batch of Kaduva IPA that I am drinking seems slightly grassy in my opinion.

Maybe I'm going crazy or something since SWMBO doesn't taste any grassy tones.

BOSTONBREWIN': you've had some of my IPA. Do you detect anything grassy in it?

If the grassy taste is not coming from the NB, maybe I'm dry-hopping too long? I've read that this can lead to grassy flavors, too. FYI: I use 1 oz of cascade and I put it in immediately after racking to the secondary, so they are generally floating around in my IPA for about 2 weeks before bottling.

I need to take better notes of my tasting at racking time. I'll have to pay careful attention this time to see if I detect any grassy tones prior to adding the dry-hops.

-walker

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Old 03-20-2006, 07:34 PM   #10
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Yeah profile = recipe

Thinking outside the box here. I can't say that I can think of any hops that may impart a grassy flavor. Although fuggles reminds me of a wet horse blanket, reminiscent of so many belgian beers I have had.

I have heard that sometimes malt derivatives can lead to a hay like taste. Would you consider grassy and haylike similar?

But onto the hops.
Consider this for next time.
Try increasing the hops in your kettle addition (something with lower alpha acids say around 6.5-7.5) and strive for at least 25 IBU's

You could also swap out some or all of the NB for Centennial. Omitting the NB would take away the raisin/piney taste, and give you more of a citrus taste. I think you might be suprised with the results if you used a Centennial/Cascade combo.

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