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Old 12-01-2010, 02:26 AM   #1
Haders
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Default Loss of hop aroma

Brewed an Amarillo IPA recently. Two week primary, two week secondary, dry hopped for last 10 days in secondary.

It was a five gallon batch and I used a total of 6oz of Amarillo, 2oz each for 10 min, 1 min and dry hop, plus NB for bittering. Bottled after secondary, and tasted after 10 days....amazing hop aroma. Two weeks later, the aroma is really reduced.

I've had this problem before. How do the commercials keep that aroma for longer than 2 weeks? Does kegging help preserve the aroma? How does storage temp effect it?

No guesses please...I can do that! Who has found a way to reduce the loss of hop aroma?

Thanks



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Old 12-01-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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All I can tell you is I dry hop for 2 weeks and my aroma begins to fall off 2 weeks after I keg. I have no idea how the big brewers do it and I have no idea how to prolong it in bottles or in a keg. Luckily after two weeks my beer is gone or almost gone. I would be interested to find out if anyone else has some advice.



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Old 12-01-2010, 03:10 AM   #3
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How much did you prime? CO2 can mask hop aromas pretty effectively.

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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Primed about 3.5oz. The point is the aroma was amazing but only for about 10 days, then declined rapidly

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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The aroma declined 10 days after bottling, or ten days after carbonation was complete? If it was 10 days after bottling, we may look at CO2 as a possible factor. I've used my (very hard) well water for brewing before, which has created very harsh hop flavors; I've noticed with such brews that that harshness dissipates about when full carbonation is reached. I'm not certain the same thing would apply to dry-hop aromas, but it's a reasonable assumption. You could try bottling a few without adding priming sugar in the future, just as an experiment.

Also, I know you said no guesses, but I'll note in passing that all the commercial beers I've had with excellent hop aroma were filtered. I can't think of any commercial live-yeast beer that emphasizes hop aromas. Perhaps yeast activity is to blame.

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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I bottled, then allowed to carb for about 10 days. Aroma was great for about another 14 days, so aroma started to disappear about 24 days after bottling.

I have a new batch fermenting. I'll leave a couple of bottles uncarbed as you suggest to see if they retain the aroma.

I've had a very hoppy IPA at a brewpub nearby and have found the aroma very variable...perhaps to do with the age of the keg.

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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I keg. I have noticed that when I naturally carbonate, the aroma of IPAs seems to disappear faster than when I force carb a batch. I'm suspicious that the yeast may be breaking down some of the aroma compounds.

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Old 12-01-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's sounding like yeast activity to me. The yeast consumes the priming sugar, then moves on to things like volatile aroma compounds. If you leave some bottles unprimed, I would put one or two in the fridge immediately and leave some at room temperature as a control; also put some primed bottles in the fridge as soon as they are carbonated (not sure if you already do that). The cold should keep them from starting work on hop aromas and suchlike, eliminating another variable. I'm fairly sure you'll find what the problem is this way.

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Old 12-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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Good idea about putting them in the fridge as soon as they are carbonated....I don't currently do that. I can see that the yeast could munch on the aroma compounds after finishing the priming sugar.

I'll let you know if that helps

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #10
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I've been doing some research here and I'll be trying to replicate this with the next batch.

Russian River: once the beer has done fermenting they drop the temp to get the yeast to fall out of suspension first (and to collect the yeast for the next batch) then they drop hop and let the temp rise. They do 2 dry hop additions, and they re-suspend the hops with a CO2 push at the base of the conical. Alpine do something similar: they recirculate the drop hops to get them back into the beer. Both breweries go about 14 days with the dry hop. Pizza Port Carlsbad (their Poor Man's IPA has an awesome aroma) dry hop in the primary but also dry hop the serving tank which we could do by keg hopping.

Of course they can force carb in a few hours and probably get through the tank very quickly, whereas if we're using a set-and-forget method the effect of the dry hopping is probably all but lost by the time the keg has carbed and it's ready to tap. So perhaps a carbonation stone would help here.

I think 14 days after dry hopping you just have to somehow get it ready to be served very, very quickly. Alpine go from grain to glass in 4 weeks (no aging whatsoever) and their IPAs have an awesome aroma.

This is what I'm going to try for the next batch (I'll bump this thread with the results if I remember):

Ferment at low 60's, slowly increasing temp to 68 (needs to be dry; shooting for 83% atten.) and holding for 2 days for a diacetly rest. Cold crash for 2 or 3 days, transfer beer off the yeast into another carboy (CO2 push to not disturb the trub). Slowly raise temp to 68, add first dry hop, wait 7 days, add second dry hop, wait another 7 days. Cold crash + gelatin for 4 days, or for however long for the hops to settle at the bottom. Transfer to keg, add keg hops (in a weighted bag) and carb using carbonation stone. Tap in 2 or 3 days.



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