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Old 12-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default Why late-hop beers meant for aging?

FACT: Hop aroma and flavor are the first things to fade in a beer as it is aged.

QUESTION: As these aromas and flavors ‘fade’ from obviousness, do they still leave some kind of imprint on the beer that would not have been there otherwise?

In other words, if the plan is to brew a big, English-style Barleywine, which, once bottled, won’t see the light of day for at least 12 months, is there any point in putting those 2 ounces of Fuggles in near the end of the boil? If all flavor/aroma is just going to dissipate into nothingness by the time the bottle is drunk, why not save yourself the $$$? Or, do those few hops make some difference to the overall impression of the beer way down the road?

Thoughts? It’d take some serious dedication to do a side-by-side experiment to find out. Has anybody done one, or heard of anyone doing one? Results?

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Old 12-20-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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An analogy i use is cooking spaghetti sauce or soup. You can all the ingredients and cook it up on the stove top and eat it right away. At that point the spices are easily discernible. Leave it sit in the fridge for a couple days, and the flavors meld a LOT more and make the overall experience more complex.

So, with beer, you will lose that big hop nose in an aged IPA, for example. But in my opinion, the flavors will meld into something much more complex given time.

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Old 12-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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So, with beer, you will lose that big hop nose in an aged IPA, for example. But in my opinion, the flavors will meld into something much more complex given time.
That is what my intuition tells me too. Plus, I simply would like to believe it, since it adds a kind of romanticism to the notion of aging.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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I don't do any 0-min additions in big, aged BWines, but I think you can still taste the 15min+ additions.

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Old 12-20-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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I don't do any 0-min additions in big, aged BWines, but I think you can still taste the 15min+ additions.
Why would that be the case? Why would the partially boiled hop oils hang around longer than the ones that bypass the boil altogether?
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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Why would that be the case? Why would the partially boiled hop oils hang around longer than the ones that bypass the boil altogether?
Once under a full boil, essential oils are released from the hops. Boiling imparts "flavor" while post boil and dry hopping imparts "aroma". Aroma may fade...but the flavor will live on.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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Once under a full boil, essential oils are released from the hops. Boiling imparts "flavor" while post boil and dry hopping imparts "aroma". Aroma may fade...but the flavor will live on.
Muncher's got my back. +1
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Once under a full boil, essential oils are released from the hops. Boiling imparts "flavor" while post boil and dry hopping imparts "aroma". Aroma may fade...but the flavor will live on.
How does boiling “impart” flavor? I thought the oils were responsible for both flavor and aroma, and when you boil the oil for 10-15 minutes, you destroy the lighter more sensitive ‘aroma’ part of the oil, but leave behind the ‘flavor’ part of the oil.
ie. It’s not as if boiling actually creates the flavor, in the way that boiling creates bitterness, but only that boiling removes the aroma (leaving behind the flavor). That is how I understand it. Am I fundamentally wrong?
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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How does boiling “impart” flavor? I thought the oils were responsible for both flavor and aroma, and when you boil the oil for 10-15 minutes, you destroy the lighter more sensitive ‘aroma’ part of the oil, but leave behind the ‘flavor’ part of the oil.
ie. It’s not as if boiling actually creates the flavor, in the way that boiling creates bitterness, but only that boiling removes the aroma (leaving behind the flavor). That is how I understand it. Am I fundamentally wrong?
The longer you boil a hop, or more accurately, hold it above 140F, the less aroma effect it will have on the beer. This is true.

In addition to this, the longer you boil a hop, the more bitterness it imparts, but the less flavor of the hop makes it into the final beer. After only 5 min, you will taste a lot of the hop flavor, the citrusy or earthy type flavor. But after 30 min, you pretty much just have bitterness.

This has to do with the fact that the acids make it into the beer near immediately, but over time they "isomerize" into bitterness.

EDIT: Realized I missed part of your question. As I understand it, you are actually converting the aroma to flavor with some heat, and it happens quite quickly at boiling temperatures. Dry hopping can also impart some flavor but it takes much, much longer (days), but it retains more of the aroma due to the lack of heat.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKershner View Post
The longer you boil a hop, or more accurately, hold it above 140F, the less aroma effect it will have on the beer. This is true.

In addition to this, the longer you boil a hop, the more bitterness it imparts, but the less flavor of the hop makes it into the final beer. After only 5 min, you will taste a lot of the hop flavor, the citrusy or earthy type flavor. But after 30 min, you pretty much just have bitterness.

This has to do with the fact that the acids make it into the beer near immediately, but over time they "isomerize" into bitterness.
I’m solid on the bitterness thing. My confusion is regarding the differences between aroma additions and flavor additions. A lot of the literature seems to suggest that there’s something which happens to the hop when you boil it for 10-15 minutes that CAUSES flavor, when, that is not exactly accurate (as I understand it).

To the point… in your first post here DKershner, you said you wouldn’t add aroma hops at flame out for a big BW that you planned to age. Instead you’d add hops @ 15 for ‘flavor’. But both flavor and aroma come from the same oils. If you tossed those hops in at flameout instead, shouldn’t you be getting the flavor as well as the aroma (the latter which would quickly fade, but the former which would hang around quite a bit longer)?

In that example, why is it advantageous to toss those hops in @ 15 min as opposed to flame out?

Let me reformulate my question. Why are late/flameout/dry hops considered 'aroma' hops specifically? Aren't they actually flavor+aroma hops?
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