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Old 10-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
Tiroux
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Default Aged hops really needed?

Hi there!

I've made a few lambics so far, and never used aged hops before, 'cause I never found the utility to it. Now I have a 60 gallons wine barrel that I'm going to fill with a few friends. Some of them have a ton of aged hops and suggest to use it. Is it really useful?

My assumptions are that aged hops were traditionnaly used to get a maximum antiseptic qualities for a minimum of IBU's when they let the wort cool down in large coolships, letting it be inoculated by ambient yeasts and bacterias. But my assumptions on modern lambic brewing are that is it just useless. We put the boiled wort in a sanized carboy witch is sealed, and we pitched a big healty culture of yeast, and then carefully selected healty bacteria cultures. Then when I transfert to the barel, I already have over 5% alcohol, a low pH, and an army of yeasts and bacterias. Does the aged hops really needed for anti-septic qualities, or if only a few grams of whater pellet hops to give me around 5-7-8 ibus is alright? (which will lead in a way less volume loss)

Thanks!



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Old 10-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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Hops can play another role in sours FWIW.

At Russian River they hop most of their sours to ~25 IBU's to keep the lacto at bay while the brett and pedio get established.

For my recent wine barrel lambic project I went with your 5-7 IBU's from whatever is laying around. I did however recently get a deal on some aged hops that I'm going to be putting to use in a lambic.


I don't expect you will get a definitive answer one way or the other, BTW. And, I dont think there is a wrong answer.



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Old 10-21-2013, 08:04 PM   #3
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I would think its mostly to "authenticate" the style by brewing to spec as they would of 100s of years ago.

Are they needed? No...
Can you say that its authentic if you dont use aged hops?? Question for most but i would say No...

Also IMO, any low AA hop that has been sitting out on the counter room temp for a good month are "aged"

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Old 10-22-2013, 02:24 AM   #4
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I really don't care about authenticity. I'm asking a science question here.

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Old 10-22-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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People make sours without aged hops all the time. They're only really useful in a spontaneous fermentation.
And as far as authentic lambic making, using aged hops doesn't make it a traditional lambic. You still need a coolship. Do any homebrewers spontaneously ferment in a coolship? I'd guess a couple people do, but not many.

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Old 10-22-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
I really don't care about authenticity. I'm asking a science question here.


But seriously, what science question are you asking?
Hops are hops. You've said you used no aged hops in the past with no ill effects. Go ahead...if your friends have aged hops I would use them though just my opinion.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:01 AM   #7
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There is a difference between use of aged hops and something that is just low alpha. In a wild culture there are so many different compounds produced and some important ones concerning hops are glycosides. Glycosides will break down aromatic compounds creating a more complex aromatic profile. With out the glycosides the bound aromatic compounds will remain bound. The aging process of hops changes the hops aromatic profile, well thats obvious because they smell like footy BO after enough time. Research has shown that quickly aged hops, heat treated and oxidized, actually produced a beer with increased perception of citrus fruit character over the unaged hops. This research is briefly mentioned in the Hops book from Brewer's Publications. In order for this effect to occur you need the biotransformation from the yeast, and brett in most cases produces much higher levels of glycosides than sacch.

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Old 10-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
There is a difference between use of aged hops and something that is just low alpha. In a wild culture there are so many different compounds produced and some important ones concerning hops are glycosides. Glycosides will break down aromatic compounds creating a more complex aromatic profile. With out the glycosides the bound aromatic compounds will remain bound. The aging process of hops changes the hops aromatic profile, well thats obvious because they smell like footy BO after enough time. Research has shown that quickly aged hops, heat treated and oxidized, actually produced a beer with increased perception of citrus fruit character over the unaged hops. This research is briefly mentioned in the Hops book from Brewer's Publications. In order for this effect to occur you need the biotransformation from the yeast, and brett in most cases produces much higher levels of glycosides than sacch.
Well! That's about exactly the kind of anwser I want! Thank you!
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
There is a difference between use of aged hops and something that is just low alpha. In a wild culture there are so many different compounds produced and some important ones concerning hops are glycosides. Glycosides will break down aromatic compounds creating a more complex aromatic profile. With out the glycosides the bound aromatic compounds will remain bound. The aging process of hops changes the hops aromatic profile, well thats obvious because they smell like footy BO after enough time. Research has shown that quickly aged hops, heat treated and oxidized, actually produced a beer with increased perception of citrus fruit character over the unaged hops. This research is briefly mentioned in the Hops book from Brewer's Publications. In order for this effect to occur you need the biotransformation from the yeast, and brett in most cases produces much higher levels of glycosides than sacch.
this is interesting info, thanks
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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I've got a bit of experience with this and I would say yes, you want to use aged hops. People don't realize it, but lambic wort is heavily hopped. More than some IPA recipes! I scaled Cantillon's recipe to a 10 gallon batch here:
http://www.funkfactorygeuzeria.com/2011/12/cantillon-turbid-mash.html

For a 10 gallon batch, you would use 3.75 ounces of hops!

Many people understand that the hops are used for their antibacterial properties, and so help ensure bad bacteria don't take over before the wild yeast has a chance to start fermenting, but I think hops play a further role than that. It seems the high hops rate plays a role in protecting the aging process of lambic. Bacteria, especially pedio, will be able to do its thing, but my gut tells me that the high hops rate keep the bacteria from becoming too strong. (this might help explain why american sours are often overly sour compared to the belgian counterparts)

Even though the hops are aged, you can still taste them in the wort, and in fact young lambic is quite bitter. I have barrels even after a year that still taste of hops (and I used 5 year old hops).

I would say, if you want the barrel to be viable for longer than a year, you need to use a lot of hops. And if you are going to use that much hops, you are going to want to use aged hops.



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