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Old 11-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
william_shakes_beer
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Default Tasting Hops

I would like to get a better sense of what the flavor and aroma character of various hops is. I was thinking I could remove one pellet from the bag as I add to the boil and try to taste it. Perhaps add it to a cup of boiling water? Any thoughts?

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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Just don't pop one like a tic tac! ;b

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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That's not going to do you any good. Hops taste like crap.

99% of the phyical matter in the hop leaves/hop pellets don't do much of anything to the beer. It's the oils that are extracted that bitter/flavor the beer.

Adding it to boiling water also isn't going to tell you much. Hop bitterness and flavor in a beer is really only relevant in the context of the balance with the malt in wort. Hop water isn't going to taste anything like hopped wort. That's like adding cinnamon to chili to see what it tastes like in an apple pie. It isn't going to tell you much.

The smell really tells you much more than tasting it would. You can get a pretty good idea of what a hop will do to your beer based off a good description and a nice whiff of the hop.

If you are REALLY serious about learning exactly what different hops do to beer from first hand experience, consider doing 5-6 gallons of a SMASH (single malt, single hop) recipes with the same single base malt, split it into separate gallon batches, and hop them all differently. Taste the post boil samples and the finished beer. That's about the best direct experience you can get.

Good luck!

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by topherm View Post
the smell really tells you much more than tasting it would.
+1 - I suggest rubbing them between your clean palms and training yourself to recognize these different aromas. It doesn't matter so much what other people sense... whether it's garlic/onion, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, etc. - It's all about what you sense.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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+1 - I suggest rubbing them between your clean palms and training yourself to recognize these different aromas. It doesn't matter so much what other people sense... whether it's garlic/onion, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, etc. - It's all about what you sense.
^^^^^ I had to laugh at this comment....

I can only assume you are secretly referring to the new Belma hops and what peope are saying/sensing about them... (I bought 5 lbs worth)
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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^^^^^ I had to laugh at this comment....

I can only assume you are secretly referring to the new Belma hops and what peope are saying/sensing about them... (I bought 5 lbs worth)
No, not at all. I'm actually trying to be helpful to someone who asked a simple question. Is that so odd or does everything people say on here have to have an ulterior motive?
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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No, not at all. I'm actually trying to be helpful to someone who asked a simple question. Is that so odd or does everything people say on here have to have an ulterior motive?
Wow... Throttle it down there big guy.

There have been a number of posts on the Belma hops and a few of them referring to those hops as garlic/onion smell. That is the first time I have seen a hop classified as that, so I naturally correlated your post with the Belma posts I have been seeing... Also have seen you post in the same topic thread on Belma hops too.

No offense intended, in fact I actually laughed at your post because I indeed thought it was humorous, no ill will intended.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #8
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Just a question. Didn't have a harsh tone (not that tone can be gauged here) so no offense taken.

And people have correlated Summit being garlic/oniony for quite some time. I get orange, pine, and grapefruit when I brew with it. But some commercial beers that use Summit do taste quite oniony, like Devil Dancer.

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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Just a question. Didn't have a harsh tone (not that tone can be gauged here) so no offense taken.

And people have correlated Summit being garlic/oniony for quite some time. I get orange, pine, and grapefruit when I brew with it. But some commercial beers that use Summit do taste quite oniony, like Devil Dancer.
That is new for me.. thanks for the info.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
That's not going to do you any good. Hops taste like crap.

99% of the phyical matter in the hop leaves/hop pellets don't do much of anything to the beer. It's the oils that are extracted that bitter/flavor the beer.

Adding it to boiling water also isn't going to tell you much. Hop bitterness and flavor in a beer is really only relevant in the context of the balance with the malt in wort. Hop water isn't going to taste anything like hopped wort. That's like adding cinnamon to chili to see what it tastes like in an apple pie. It isn't going to tell you much.

The smell really tells you much more than tasting it would. You can get a pretty good idea of what a hop will do to your beer based off a good description and a nice whiff of the hop.

If you are REALLY serious about learning exactly what different hops do to beer from first hand experience, consider doing 5-6 gallons of a SMASH (single malt, single hop) recipes with the same single base malt, split it into separate gallon batches, and hop them all differently. Taste the post boil samples and the finished beer. That's about the best direct experience you can get.

Good luck!
I had thought of doing 1 gallon batches. What do you use for a 1 gallonn fermenter? I only have brew buckets.
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