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Old 03-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default Too many whole-cone hops?

A friend recently gave me a few bags of homegrown hops; about 3 oz of Chinook, 12 oz of Columbus, and 6.5 oz of Cascade.

I'm planning to do an partial mash BIAB beer with as many of these hops as possible. Bear in mind that these were free, so using hops 'efficiently' is far from my primary concern. The following is what I came up with:

OG 1.067
IBU ~80?? (Hard to say what the alpha acid % of home grown hops are, so this is a wild-@ss guess)
ABV ~7%

Fermentables:
Pale Ale Malt 5.5 lb
Caramel 20 0.5 lb
Caramel 80 0.25 lb
Liquid malt extract 4 lb
Dry Malt Extract 1.5 lb
Honey 1 lb (I may make some invert sugar instead, I forgot to buy corn sugar for this purpose...)

Yeast: Wyeast American ale II

Hops:
(All whole leaf)

Mash Hops:
Columbus, Chinook, Cascade -1 oz each

Boil hops:
0.75 oz Columbus @ 60mins ~20 IBU
0.35 oz ea. Columbus, Cascade, Chinook @ 20 mins ~18 IBU
0.50 oz ea. Columbus, Cascade, Chinook @ 10 mins ~16 IBU
1.50 oz ea. Columbus, Cascade, Chinook @ 5 mins ~27 IBU
2.00 oz ea. Columbus, Cascade, and 0.25 oz Chinook @ 0 mins ~? IBU

Dry hops:
2 oz. Columbus, 1 oz. Cascade

Hop Totals:
8.1 oz. Columbus
6.4 oz. Cascade
3.00 oz. Chinook

17.5 oz total!

The plan is to do my BIAB mash as normal, remove the grain bag and clean it out for use as huge hop bag in the boil. That way I can remove the hop cones after the boil.

I worry that I won't have room for all these hops with my current equipment. My boil kettle is only 5 gallons. If I do have room, will I have any wort left at the end of the boil, or will the hops have sucked it all up? I have chinook and cascade in pellet form on hand, so I could swap some of those out if needed.

Can anybody with experience on brewing with whole hops give me some pointers?

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Old 03-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Not to knock your friend growing hops, but unless it was grown in the pacific northwest, or a few other choice regions, it will not be what you expect. They will grow, but it will not have the same flavor and aroma as expected from professionally grown crops. Think of comparing growing marijuana in your back yard to medical grade. Theres just no comparison. That being said, theyre fun to use anyway. You will proboably need to use as much as you can, to make up for lack of usual amounts of essential oils that contribute to flavor and aroma. Unfortunately, the more you use, the more (beer) you lose, because whole leaf hops act like a sponge and with hold more beer than pelleted hops typically do.

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Old 03-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nanobru View Post
Not to knock your friend growing hops, but unless it was grown in the pacific northwest, or a few other choice regions, it will not be what you expect. They will grow, but it will not have the same flavor and aroma as expected from professionally grown crops. Think of comparing growing marijuana in your back yard to medical grade. Theres just no comparison. That being said, theyre fun to use anyway. You will proboably need to use as much as you can, to make up for lack of usual amounts of essential oils that contribute to flavor and aroma. Unfortunately, the more you use, the more (beer) you lose, because whole leaf hops act like a sponge and with hold more beer than pelleted hops typically do.
That's BS. Homegrown hops can be excellent in quality and flavor. Sure, everything you grow is a bit different from region to region depending on soil composition, climate, yada yada. But, if you could only make good beer with pacific NW hops, they wouldn't be able to grow enough to keep up with supply.

To the OP, it's definitely going to be bitter. Using Columbus for bittering can be a bit harsh. I would use the Cascade for bittering, Chinook and Colulmubs for Aroma/Finishing and dry hopping. But that's just me.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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I brewed this the other day, the brew day went well. I used the BIAB bag as an over-sized hop bag during the boil. I let it steep in the wort for about 5 mins after flame out, then removed the bag, and used a sanitized length of paracord to squeeze as much wort out of the hops as possible, gaining back 2 qts or so of wort. To anyone looking to use hops in this quantity, I definitely recommend an over-sized hop bag, as it helps keep all that vegetable matter out of the fermenter.

It's now fermenting away at 63 F. Hopefully it comes out well!

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Old 03-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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That's BS. Homegrown hops can be excellent in quality and flavor.
+1 to this. I use almost exclusively homegrown hops (except for proprietaries like Citra, Simcoe, etc.) and have never had any problems w/ bitterness, flavor or aroma. I actually think it makes it more personal... but what do I know?
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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Think of comparing growing marijuana in your back yard to medical grade. Theres just no comparison
Interesting analogy. Source?
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:27 AM   #7
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So all of the cottage-industry hop yards opening across New York and New England are growing an inferior product compared to the mega farms of the Pacific Northwest?

Like all things that one tends to on their own, the end result is often far better than what can commercially be produced. A tomato from the garden will outpace a grocery store tomato for a reason. In a home garden the plant gets everything it WANTS, not just what it NEEDS like in a commercial setting. So Nanobru, why not stop talking out of your ass?

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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I don't think Nanobau is talking out of his ass. I think he's referring to the terroir of those areas as being unique and thus imparting a unique quality to the hops.

French vintners claim the same thing and it's the reason that land on one side of a road is worth twice the land on the other.

Still, I don't agree that this is the only viable hop producing region or that hops grown at home are bad. The same Cabernet grape grown in California as grown in Bordeaux is at least as good as the other even though they are different. Also, a tomato gown in my southern yard won't taste the same as the same variety tomato grown in some yankee's yard but that doesn't mean yankee tomatoes don't taste like tomatoes.

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Old 03-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Not to knock your friend growing hops, but unless it was grown in the pacific northwest, or a few other choice regions, it will not be what you expect. They will grow, but it will not have the same flavor and aroma as expected from professionally grown crops.
That's like saying homegrown tomatoes will never be as good as hot-house grown tomatoes, or potatoes grown anywhere outside Idaho are inferior...
(Comments by the ID potato board notwithstanding.)
Regards, GF.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Yea, I don't agree with Nanobru's comments and I feel the tone of his post was rude but I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt. There is something to the specific region where any crop is grown and that price of land will impart certain qualities to the hop. The pacific northwest is certainly a remarkable hop growing area but that's not to say your backyard is any less remarkable. The only way to know for sure is to grow some how and see how they turn out in a few years.

The North Carolina Appalachians aren't what you would think of when you think of hop growing regions but there's at least one company who believes they can produce amazing hops here. We'll know in a few years if they are right.

My point is, Chinook grown in Florida and Chinook grown in Oregon is still Chinook. The Oregon version may be more piney and the Florida version more grapefruit but thats not to say the Florida version is inferior, just different.

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