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Old 03-14-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
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Default Results of a Single Hop IPA Experiment

I posted about this before but I cannot find it. Undoubtedly as part of another thread. Hopefully this new thread is of sufficient interest:

This is my report on the hop experiment that two friends and I performed. In early February, 10 Gallons of wort was prepared and split into four 2.5 gallon batches. Below is the grain bill for each 2.5 gallons. Mashed at 152 for 1 hr and then boiled for an hour with the hop additions for each batch shown below. Boils were performed quite differently due to pot and burner options leading to different volumes but we stuck with the hop additions as calculated for 2.5 gallons. Target ABV was 7.1% and target IBU was 75. All beers were pitched 1 liter of starter prepared with yeast rescued from Ballast Point Sculpin IPA which should be close or identical to WLP001 Beers were fermented for about 10 days and then dry hopped in a secondary for 5 days. Beers were bottle conditioned to 2 volumes CO2.

US 2-Row Malt 6.00 lb 82.8 % 4.0 In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 20L Malt 0.50 lb 6.9 % 3.7 In Mash/Steeped
US Carapils Malt 0.50 lb 6.9 % 0.2 In Mash/Steeped
US Aromatic Malt 0.25 lb 3.4 % 1.8 In Mash/Steeped

All four beers were about the same color (about 7 SRM), medium carbonation and a bright white head. All tasted quite malty but dry, there was significant variation in alcohol and IBU due to the variable volume as a result of the boiling conditions. Nevertheless the taste of the base beer was quite similar.

The taste of the hops was quite a surprise to us. The following are the hop bills and comments on the taste of the final beer.

Amarillo Single Hop IPA 7.1% 94 IBU
US Amarillo 5.0 % 2.25 oz 61.8 Bagged Whole Hops 60 Min From End
US Amarillo 5.0 % 1.00 oz 12.3 Bagged Whole Hops 15 Min From End
US Amarillo 5.0 % 1.00 oz 1.1 Bagged Whole Hops 1 Min From End
US Amarillo 5.0 % 2.00 oz 0.0 Bagged Whole Hops Dry-Hopped

Hop profile: surprisingly flat hop profile, moderately bitter taste but weak aroma, a bit spicy and relatively strong grapefruit flavor but dissipates quickly.

Centennial Single Hop IPA 7.3% 103 IBU
US Centennial 8.5 % 1.00 oz 46.7 Bagged Whole Hops 60 Min From End
US Centennial 8.5 % 1.00 oz 23.2 Bagged Whole Hops 15 Min From End
US Centennial 8.5 % 1.00 oz 1.8 Bagged Whole Hops1 Min From End
US Centennial 8.5 % 2.00 oz 0.0 Loose Whole Hops Dry-Hopped

Hop profile: surprisingly fruity and complex. Tropical fruit nose with very little citrus character. Strong grapefruit flavor followed by a distinct lemon flavor. Bracing bitterness (for me, a bit too bracing) before lemon.

Simcoe 6.8% 97 IBU
US Simcoe 13.0 % 0.75 oz 53.0 Bagged Whole Hops 60 Min From End
US Simcoe 13.0 % 0.50 oz 17.5 Bagged Whole Hops 15 Min From End
US Simcoe 13.0 % 1.00 oz 2.7 Bagged Whole Hops 1 Min From End
US Simcoe 13.0 % 2.00 oz 0.0 Bagged Whole Hops Dry-Hopped

Hop profile: Big citrus and piney aroma. Medium bitterness, spicy grapefruit finish.

Citra Single Hop IPA 7.8% 75 IBU
US Citra 11.1 % 1.00 oz 54.9 Bagged Whole Hops 60 Min From End
US Citra 11.1 % 0.50 oz 13.6 Bagged Whole Hops 15 Min From End
US Citra 11.1 % 1.00 oz 2.4 Bagged Whole Hops 1 Min From End
US Citra 11.1 % 2.00 oz 0.0 Bagged Whole Hops Dry-Hopped

Hop profile: very fruity profile with relatively little bitterness. Tropical fruit and citrus. Relatively little spiciness.

March 13th tasting: Overall, our favorites were the Centennial and the Simcoe with a split between which was best. The biggest surprises were the lack of bitterness in the Citra, the lack of aroma and relatively boring flavor of the Amarillo and the complexity of the Centennial. My personal conclusion was that the Centennial had a fantastic flavor profile but the that bitterness was a bit too sharp.

March 14th: Tasted Amarillo hopped brew without the others to compare to, I found it a solid beer but still seemed to lack complexity and aroma.

Here are my personal conclusions: Although both hops make a great single hop IPA, I think a brew with Simcoe as a bittering hop and Centennial for flavor and aroma would be spectacular (probably my next IPA). Citra is probably best for late additions and not great for bittering. Amarillo was a surprising disappointment. Maybe its flavor profile means its a great flavor hop to be used with a good bittering hop and a good aroma hop. How about a Columbus bittering, Amarillo flavor, Citra aroma IPA? I will see how all this develops over time.

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Old 03-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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Awesome. Thanks for the write-up. I am planning on running a similar type of experiment. I have a base APA recipe that I am going to use, then repeat with varying hop bills to see the result. I will definitely refer back to this post.

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Old 03-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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I've seen several others that include these hops. The conclusions were by no means identical. Perhaps due to the freshness or type of hops (we used all whole from freshops.com IIRC). One thread suggested that there was a lot of variation over time and not just a weakening of the aroma but flavor profiles getting better and worse over a couple month period. It will be interesting to follow these. Unfortunately, since we shared all the output we only have a few of bottles of each brew.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Good post. I've been doing one single-hop IPA per month for a while. Let's keep this thread going because this is really valuable information. You can read about hop descriptions but they all use the same words in different combinations and don't give you that much usable information. I also have my roommates give me feedback on them. They all enjoy craft beer but don't know a whole lot about it, so they give me pretty good unbiased feedback since they've never heard anything about the hops. Lastly, I use champagne yeast to bottle carb my IPAs in a week. I then drink them over about two weeks, which gives me a chance to see how they change. Here's my results:

Storm IPA:
12 lbs pils
.75 lb c-20
.25 lb carapils
65 IBU
1.067 OG
6-12 oz of hops depending on IBUs, this is key: USE LOTS OF HOPS. I only do bittering hops, flame-out hops, and dry hops. Nothing else. Minimum 3 oz dry hops.
WLP001. 10 days primary, five days dry hop, one week carb before first tasting

Simcoe: My first single-hop IPA. Taste was very complex: citrus, a little pine, a little pear. Amazing hop that can totally stand on it's own. This beer was so good I entered it in my first competition ever and it took first place against 27 other IPAs. My friends loved it.

Citra: For this one, I actually used cascade to bitter because I had read some things about citra as a bittering hop. Less complex taste than Simcoe, citrus taste, tasters noted strong orange flavor. Flush off my win with Simcoe, I entered this beer in another comp and took second. It's a good hop, for sure.

Sorachi Ace: Started out very subdued, like a flat, one-dimensional American C-hop. My roommate initially said he tasted a little bubblegum, which I have also read elsewhere. After a week or so, the flavor solidified into a distinct lemon taste. While pleasant, it was pretty one-dimensional. This hop can't really stand alone in a hop-forward beer, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it in an IPA along with maybe some simcoe or citra or in a Belgian wit.

CTZ: A lackluster c-hop. Dull citrus. I'll stick to CTZ for bittering, because it just doesn't compare to other American hops for flavor. While not bad, this IPA was nothing to write home about.

Nugget: Pine. When we tasted this at bottling, one of my roommates said it tasted like he just took a shot of gin. I agreed. This was rough stuff but after I bottled it and waited a week it started tasting good, still with a pine flavor and just a touch of citrus.

So that's what I've done so far. I will continue to update this thread as time goes on and I encourage everyone to try doing this. I brew small batches which allows me to drink all my IPAs fresh. I can also use a ton of hops and not feel like I'm breaking the bank, and I wash and re-use the yeast pretty much instantly.

Up next: Sterling, centennial, hallertauer

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Old 04-05-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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Great contribution rexbanner, thanks. I see we agree on Simcoe. Fantastic single hop. I tried my Citra again last night, great nose, good flavor but lacks bittering, just like you say. Nevertheless, a great IPA. When drinking on their own, all four of our tests were respectable IPAs.

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Old 05-10-2012, 03:43 AM   #6
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Sterling: Crisp, spicy, a hint of citrus. This hop took a really long time to mellow: it only reached it's true flavor at a month and a week. It is an interesting beer, definitely not a traditional IPA, but I really am looking forward to using it in other beers where a crisp taste would be desired. It could be used in an IPA, paired with something citruisey. I'm a fan.

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Old 01-21-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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Galaxy: This season the Simcoe and Citra obsession continued in the brewing world. That was fine by me, because I discovered another amazing hop: Galaxy. This year it was cheap and plentiful. This amazing Australian hop has a very similar tropical citrus flavor as Simcoe or Citra. It is a bit more complex than Citra. It looks like other people have caught on: Schlafly Tasmanian IPA is a single-hop Galaxy beer that received rave reviews in Draft Magazine. Shucks, because I was going to do a single-hop Galaxy beer for my upcoming nano. The beer has been a big hit with everyone who has tried it.

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:31 AM   #8
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Have either of you considered using a standard bittering addition, e.g., 50 IBUs of Magnum? I assume the chief point of these experiments is to learn what each hop contributes when used late. Thanks for posting all of this; I'm feeling more excited about my Sterling-Sorachi Saison.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingwood-kid View Post
Have either of you considered using a standard bittering addition, e.g., 50 IBUs of Magnum? I assume the chief point of these experiments is to learn what each hop contributes when used late. Thanks for posting all of this; I'm feeling more excited about my Sterling-Sorachi Saison.
I typically do two gallon IPAs, so it's easier to just use a single hop. Bittering doesn't add any noticeable flavor IMO.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
Bittering doesn't add any noticeable flavor IMO.
Agreed, except for co-humulone levels, and that even if the total alpha-acid contribution is the same, you'll get some small difference if you use 3oz of 5% vs 1oz of 15%, due to the mass of plant material (Plus all the extra wort you'd lose if you used 3oz of hops to bitter). I guess if I was experimenting, I'd want to minimize my variables as much as possible. That having been said, the total effect is pretty minimal.
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