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Old 09-09-2009, 01:24 AM   #1
KayaBrew
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Default Interesting hops question...

I was at a friends today harvesting some fresh Cascades and I began to think about hops, bittering, flavor and aroma. Here goes:

If the 60 minute hop addition is for bittering only (I've read that boiling for 60 minutes only leaves bitter AA's, and not any flavor), then why do we brewers use all sorts of varieties of hops for our 60 minute addition instead of just a good, clean bittering hop like Magnum or Warrior? I've been using Magnums to bitter my IPA's and PA's for sometime now, and I like the results. The flavor and aroma hops come through clean like they're supposed to. Any thoughts from the pros?

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:31 AM   #2
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Well, in part, your bittering hops will leave something behind, even if you boil them 60 minutes. It's not much, but it's there. I love using my Perle for bittering, and I know what's there because of it.

In part, it's because hops like Magnum and Warrior haven't been around all that long, and many brewers are a creature of habit.

In part, it's because it can be hard to get the bitterness right if you are brewing a beer that does not have the IBUs of something like an AIPA. If you are brewing something that needs 35-45 IBUs, your margin for error on measuring those hops is much wider if you are using something around 8%, rather than around 15%.

Finally, it's also because we'll use what we have. I don't brew 50 batches per year, anymore, like many do here. Still, it's more economical for me to buy hops by the pound, if I use them all. It doesn't always make much financial sense for me to buy a pound of Magnum, as I won't get through it. I can buy a pound of Centennial, Perle, Fuggle, or something like that and go through it all while still saving money and brewing some beer that makes me smile.


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Old 09-09-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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I will second the magnum as a fantastic. most of the time it is a pretty clean bittering hop.. a tiny bit of spiciness and hint of citrus go with most of your finishing hop selections.

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Old 09-09-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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I think they different hops also provide a different kind of bitterness. Some are smoother, others a more harsh. So they do impart something in the bitterness that will blend with the flavor and aroma. I think they do add some flavor as well, albeit minimal.

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Old 09-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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i do a cranberry beer and i use only bittering hops, i have tried switching it out with another. i an tell the difference in them the flavor is not like flavor hops but it comes through in the after taste.

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Old 09-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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its definitely not cut and dry. Boiling hops for 60 min will drive a lot of flavor and aroma compounds off. That doesn't mean some doesn't stay around. Thats also why people try to use appropriate hops even for the 60 min addition. So bittering additions add some flavor and aroma, flavor additions add some bitterness and aroma, and aroma additions add a little bitterness and some flavor.

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Old 09-09-2009, 03:45 PM   #7
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There are six primary bittering compounds. Each hop has different ratios.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
There are six primary bittering compounds. Each hop has different ratios.
Can you expand on that thought a little more?
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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On Jamil's Can You Brew It podcast I heard the head brewer at Lagunitus (I think) say it doesn't matter what hop is used for the bittering - just the AAs. I don't know if he came right out and said they use different for the same beer, which I would find incredible. I couldn't tell you what show.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:31 PM   #10
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FWIW, I use Magnum for all my bittering. Hops Direct bulk purchase.

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