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Old 10-19-2011, 04:05 PM   #1
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Default Latest BYO Article - No need for Aged Hops

In the recent issue of BYO (Nov. 2011), the Mad Fermentationist (Michael Tonsmeire) states:

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Bitter and sour do not taste good together. As a result, it is rare that I add more than 20 IBUs to a sour beer. Hops also inhibit lactic acid bacteria and some other strains of bacteria, so high hopping rates are counterproductive to souring. I have not found aged hops - as are used in some commercial lambics - to be of benefit for any style of sour beer.
While the first part is nothing new, the last sentence seems to fly in the face of what is normally suggested. This happens to be what I did for my current Framboise Lambic, so I'm thrilled to see this. Just curious as to what other's think.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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This is true if you are not doing spontaneous fermetation, which very few are nowadays. The reason for the aged hops is because you want to be able to use a large amount of hops for the beta acids which inhibit bacteria growth (during spontaneous fermentation) without adding bitterness. And the alpha acids drop with time so this decreases the amount of bitterness. This is also why traditionally hops used for lambics are already low in alpha acids.

Please read Wild Brews to make sure I'm right on this.

If you are using a commercial yeast then you have no need to protect the wort by using a large amount of hops.

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Old 10-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Almighty View Post
This is true if you are not doing spontaneous fermetation, which very few are nowadays. The reason for the aged hops is because you want to be able to use a large amount of hops for the beta acids which inhibit bacteria growth (during spontaneous fermentation) without adding bitterness. And the alpha acids drop with time so this decreases the amount of bitterness. This is also why traditionally hops used for lambics are already low in alpha acids.

Please read Wild Brews to make sure I'm right on this.

If you are using a commercial yeast then you have no need to protect the wort by using a large amount of hops.
That's good news, as I've had people state that my lambic won't come out right since I didn't use a large amount of aged hops.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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Yep, very few breweries use aged hops outside of spontaneous fermentation (Ithaca and New Glarus do). I'm working on an article on American spontaneous fermentation for BYO, which will cover aging hops, times, amounts etc... should be a good one (already talked to Ron at Jolly Pumpkin and Jason at Allagash).

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