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Old 06-22-2010, 10:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jalgayer View Post

Why would you brew and Am. IPA with big hop flavor aroma and bitterness. Then age it so it all goes away? I do not understand the logic. Why not just brew a milder IPA and drink it?
Your question makes a lot of sense, but it makes a slightly misguided assumption. Aging these big IPAs doesn't make all the hop character go away; rather, it just subsides. It takes quite a while for them to really get overwhealmed by the malt.

As an experiment, I once hid a bottle of my Outburst Imperial RyePA in a box of barley wine that I was going to age for many months. The experiment worked, because I totally forgot about it. I tasted it side-by-side with another, much younger bottle of the same recipe. The older beer had been in the bottle for, I think, about ten months, and it was indeed more complex, with more forward maltiness. But it certainly wasn't lacking in bitterness. It was definitely a hoppy IIPA, just not as hoppy as its younger sibbling.

My verdict? I liked the younger one. Still, the older one was damned tasty.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:54 PM   #12
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I think this is a little bit of a gray area; that is, when you ask why some information may lead you to believe that an IPA is best after many months of storage. Like others, I think it just boils down to your personal taste.

I tend to consume my beers fairly young. I typically ferment for 2-3 weeks, rack to the keg, carb and serve when they start to run clear... or as clear as they'll get.

I made a Red Ale last August and it never tasted... "quite right", yet everything that I've read about brewing has taught me to be patient and wait. Many months later, I've still got bottles in the fridge and it still sucks; it was never good/drinkable. On the flip side, I brewed a Pale Ale (similar to Ed Wort's) on 6/4, kegged it yesterday (6/21) and its fantastic; it just needs to carb/clear up and I can drink it without worrying if it will be better in a month.

My most recent beers have been great young, again, 2-3 weeks in primary 1 week in the keg (I know its not fully carbed, but it's not flat). That's an Oatmeal Stout, APA, Vienna/Hallertau SMASH, all of which were very much drinkable, and dare I say, fantastic after a ~1 month. The only exception was a Wheat beer that I made with WB-06, and I attribute that abortion to the yeast...

I've only made one true IPA and I was popping bottles as soon as there was just enough carbonation to not be flat, and I really enjoyed that beer...

The closest answer that I have to your question would be that the original IPA's spent months in storage as they traveled from England to India. To stay true to style, some may just suggest that your IPA could only be at its best if it too were stored for many months... I say drink it when you feel that it's ready.

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Old 06-23-2010, 10:27 AM   #13
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Some good points, guys. Thanks

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:12 PM   #14
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I went to a talk two week ago given by the head brewer at Harpoon, and a guy from Luganitas. They both said their big IPAs are meant to be drunk young.

The guy from Luganitas told a story of a brew fest he went to and noticed that some of the cases of IPA (Maximus I think) they had to serve were older then he wanted to serve. Before he had a chance to stop him, the helper had served a gentleman the old beer. The man loved it. The man from Lagunitas explained the old vs young, and offered the man the fresh stuff. He said he like the older version better. Just goes to show everyone's tastes are different.

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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Here's something else I haven't seen mentioned.

I've read that there's two basic bittering compounds in a beer: isomerized alpha acids and oxidized beta acids. They both bitter beers, but they give a different character of bitter taste. The isoalpha bitter is much sharper, harsher. The oxidized beta bitter is softer, more well rounded, but no less bitter. Obviously, isomerized alpha acids are created by the boil. Oxidized beta acids are primarily created by aging. Isomerized alpha acids diminish over time, where oxidized beta acids increase over time.

Various hops contain various amounts of alpha acids and beta acids. So, if you used hops that are high in alpha acids and incredibly low in beta acids, you'd want to drink the beer young. If you used hops that are low in alpha acids but high in beta acids you'd want to drink the beer after it has aged for awhile. Amounts beings rather equal, if you prefer the alpha acid bitterness to beta acid bitterness, you'd want to drink the beer young. If you prefer the beta acid bitterness to the alpha acid bitterness, you'd want to drink the beer after it has aged.

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Old 06-24-2010, 03:53 PM   #16
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The answer to your questions is because you can. It for the guy who designs beers for himself open to all kinds of possibilities. I prefer the bit of oak aging(french, American, etc) to the bitterness of fresh ipa's. get sleepyemt's recipe for hop slam and now you add honey to the mix. My house ipa is 9.2% with 70 IBU made from 7 oz of kent goldings
as an experiment with honey I added it to my house IPA. I now have a new house IPA.
Why because I can. So follow some other advice and age your favorite HB Ipa and if you like the change but it is not bitter enough Add more hops or drink it young it is YOUR Choice which is why we all spent the time. Note I could care less about competition's but again that's my choice and there's no club in Toledo.,

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Old 06-24-2010, 05:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
Various hops contain various amounts of alpha acids and beta acids. So, if you used hops that are high in alpha acids and incredibly low in beta acids, you'd want to drink the beer young. If you used hops that are low in alpha acids but high in beta acids you'd want to drink the beer after it has aged for awhile. Amounts beings rather equal, if you prefer the alpha acid bitterness to beta acid bitterness, you'd want to drink the beer young. If you prefer the beta acid bitterness to the alpha acid bitterness, you'd want to drink the beer after it has aged.
Yeah, but there is more to hops than just those two substances.
There are hundreds of others that contribute flavor and aroma,
and at the acidic pH of beer they hydrolyze and lose their flavor.
So if you want those fresh flavors, you have to drink the beer
young. The solution to excess bitterness is to use less of the
bittering hops in your recipe. In fact, most of these newer
recipes I've seen have too much of everything in them. Of
course if you put two pounds of roasted barley in your batch,
you'll have to age it a year to smooth it out! Just use less
of everything.
Ray
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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American IPA=1 month,, 2 weeks primary 2 weeks in the keg and drink
I use gelatin so its clear when going ion the keg,, even the 2nd 0r 3rd keg doesn't taste much different after a couple of more weeks.

we go threw about a corny a week at my house

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Old 06-24-2010, 05:57 PM   #19
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You'd brew a hoppy beer and then age it because hop flavors turn from grassy, piney, citrus to delicious resiny notes that I've heard described as "marmalade." It's really just all about what you like.

When I started brewing I made a gallon of extract beer that had like 4 oz crystal hops in it (hey! I was experimenting). It was so grassy that it was like chewing on a big wad of grass clippings. A couple months later the grassy flavor was gone and it turned into a delicious, rich resiny flavor and mouthfeel.

Sometimes you just want those aged hop flavors, hop flavors don't go away with aging, they just change. So much that I think some people don't recognize them as hops anymore

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:01 PM   #20
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Here's a thought.
Why not age the beer however long you feel is necessary, let's say two months or so, THEN dry hop as normal and keg or bottle. It seems to me that hop aroma and flavor dissipate with age much more quickly than bitterness anyway. So this way you could still get great aroma and flavor from the dry hopping and keep most of your bitterness, but still get a nice aged and conditioned beer.

What does everyone think about this?

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