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Old 12-17-2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Beer tasting question

My favorite beers are IPA's and anything else hoppy. My favority IPA is the two hearted ale. My question is, I am not sure if I love two hearted because of the hop bitterness, or hop aroma, or both.
Basically, I would like to know which one it is to better understand which types of recipes I would prefer (adding more bittering hops, or more hops at the end for aroma and dry hopping).
If anyone has any suggestions on how to dicifer the difference in tasting a beer (bitterness vs aroma/flowery taste) I would appreciate it.
I also think Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale has a really good balance, but it's still different from the two hearted.

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Old 12-17-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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I had my first celebration a couple days ago and i had a hard time figuring out the difference between that and the regular pale ale, mainly cuz i didn't have a side-by-side comparison.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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I love two-hearted for the very same reasons. I guess the combination is what makes it so good. Same with celebration.

Sometimes I can sit there for a couple of minutes just enjoying the aroma before I even take a drink. Ok, maybe not minutes. Maybe a few seconds. But it does allow for one to take their time enjoying the smell.

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Old 12-17-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhughes View Post
My favorite beers are IPA's and anything else hoppy. My favority IPA is the two hearted ale. My question is, I am not sure if I love two hearted because of the hop bitterness, or hop aroma, or both.
Basically, I would like to know which one it is to better understand which types of recipes I would prefer (adding more bittering hops, or more hops at the end for aroma and dry hopping).
If anyone has any suggestions on how to dicifer the difference in tasting a beer (bitterness vs aroma/flowery taste) I would appreciate it.
I also think Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale has a really good balance, but it's still different from the two hearted.
Well, bitter is that bitter taste that you get on your tongue. The hop flavor and aroma is more of the fruity/piney/spicy flavor that fills your mouth and nose with the actual flavor and aroma. The key, though, is not necessarily adding more bitterness, or more aroma hops- so finding which you prefer isn't really going to give you a better beer. The key is balance. You want the correct amount of bitterness (IBUs) to balance out the natural malt sweetness and provide the bittering "background" for the flavor and aroma hops so it's balance.

Some beers (like a stout, for example) have little to no hop aroma and flavor. Some beers have tons of it- like IPAs and APAs. So, if you find a style you like, and work towards balance, I think you'll be happy. Some APAs do have more bitterness to them (Lakefront Brewery's Cream City is a good example) but it's also got a fine hop flavor and aroma, too. If you have brewing software, it can help you work toward a decent IBU/SG ratio and see what you prefer.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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As a general rule, flavors you perceive on the initial taste, as you first sip the beer, are things that are present at the front end, or beginning of the boil. So, you perceive a lot of the malts and the bittering hops. Flavors and smells you perceive as you smell the beer or as you exhale after taking that sip are things that were added later, towards the back end, of the boil. This would be the aroma hops as well as, say, coriander and orange peel in a Belgian style wheat beer such as Tallgrass Wheat.

Following that, if you really like hop bitterness, add more at the beginning. If you like the smell, add more at the end of the boil or dryhop.

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Old 12-21-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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I didn't think two hearted ale was actually brewed, I thought god descended to earth every Thursday and placed 6 packs in the walk-in of my local liquor store.

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Old 12-21-2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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I've never known anyone who didn't like Bell's stuff, especially the Two-Hearted. We can't even get it down here in Ga, but I still know a ton of people who drool at the very mention. They're a legendary brewery in their own time.

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