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Old 08-24-2012, 12:31 AM   #1
chally
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Default Best Hop to Mask Metallic Notes?

I recently brewed a hybrid Best Bitter (a Best Bitter grain bill hopped with Chinook and Fuggles). It tastes pretty clean and delicious with one exception: due to water and/or equipment issues, it has a metallic-y finish. I liken it to sucking on a Penny; my wife said it vaguely reminds her of biting her tongue (i.e., blood). It's not an overwheming note, but it's there. (If it helps, think Fullers London Pride on the front end with a muddled finish and a metallic aftertaste.)

I am thinking of dry-hopping in the keg to see if I can mask some of the metalic notes with a slightly fruity aroma. I'm thinking something like Apricot, Passionfruit, or Lemon would work well. Maybe something a touch spicy, too? I feel like more earthy, woody or grassy notes, as well as strong pine or grapefruit, would probably just clash with the current flavor.

Any thoughts, and any recommendations for online suppliers of just a small order of leaf hops?

I know it's a goofy request. I'm just not versed enough in hop varieties to know what might be the best choice for lush, fruity aroma that doesn't overwhelm the otherwise nice malty backbone. Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-24-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
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Dry hopping won't give you much in the way of flavor. It will give you some, but it's more of an aroma addition. I doubt it would give you enough to mask that.

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolfPR View Post
Dry hopping won't give you much in the way of flavor. It will give you some, but it's more of an aroma addition. I doubt it would give you enough to mask that.
Yeah, I get the flavor/aroma distinction here, and I recognize that there's not much I can do about that. And I'm not looking for anything overwhelming. But you'd be surprised how much aroma can alter our perception of flavors.

My wife's a trained chef, and if I were describing to her what I'm looking for, I'd say passionfruit or red plum, pink pepercorn, and just a touch of fresh lemon. I'm open to considering floral aromas, too, though not vegitals. The issue is that I just don't know hops well enough to know which varietals to turn to here.

I've got some Cascade and Willamette in the freezer and I can tell you neither of those is the right fit. I often hear about English Bitters with aromas of dark stone fruit or blackberry. Something in that range might work as well if you think it would better fit the style.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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If you want to try something different check out Nelson Sauvin.
http://www.brew-dudes.com/nelson-sauvin-hops/855
I've had some pales with this that tasted really good.

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Old 08-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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You could always build a hop infuser, it will give flavor and aroma. I've even thrown fruit in with the hops for the lady and her friends, they love it.

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:56 AM   #6
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If you are thinking spicy hops go crystal. Pacific gem are said to have woody/blackcurrant notes. It will help however, i am drinking an amber with a strange metal flavor that was bettered by a dose of nugget and centenial in the keg. .9 oz blend of the two. It will help.

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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That flavor is indicative of high iron in your water. I would try and fix that other than trying to cover it up. Might be ok in dark beers but good luck with say a cream ale or kolsch. If you don't already, grab a charcoal filter or reverse osmosis unit and go from there. If it's that detectable, your going to have a hard time getting around it.

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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That flavor is indicative of high iron in your water. I would try and fix that other than trying to cover it up. Might be ok in dark beers but good luck with say a cream ale or kolsch. If you don't already, grab a charcoal filter or reverse osmosis unit and go from there. If it's that detectable, your going to have a hard time getting around it.
This is one of my first batches at a new location, and I agree that the water is unusable without filtration. In future batches, I plan to use distilled water. In the meantime, though, I'd like to try to improve the current batch with a little dry hopping.

I think I'm going to give the Nelson Sauvin a try. The description sounds promising, and I think the aroma could marry well with the beer's current flavor profile. The hops infuser seems like a cool idea, too. I'm going to look into that!
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #9
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You might also look into the Palisade hop. Its very floral but pleasant.

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Old 09-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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For what it's worth, the Nelson Sauvin worked pretty well. I mixed 2/3 of an oz of pellet hops with 170F water, steeped 4 minutes, then strained into the keg. The aroma subtle, but the taste is fantastic (if just a little tart). It's now closer to a Pale Ale than a Bitter, but it's much more enjoyable than it was previously. Thanks for all the help.

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