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Old 10-12-2012, 02:50 AM   #31
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How would you do this? I made a really hoppy American amber a month ago and what I learned is that crystal malt doesn't really create sweetness per se, lowering the IBUs does. You can't just use a bunch of crystal or vienna/munich. Not only that, but dumping in those malts is going to make the beer too syrupy.

I suppose you could use a less attenuative yeast. But the human tongue can for sure taste the difference between a 70 IBU and a 100 IBU beer. 5-10 IBUs, sure, but 30 is going to be pretty apparent.

If I were a judge I would ding a 100 IBU American IPA for lack of balance. While I don't doubt that some people genuinely enjoy imbalanced bitter beers, they aren't in the majority.
An example would be I like to First Wort Hop all of my IPA's. On paper it increases the bitterness but to my palate, and others, it tastes less bitter because the bitterness is smoother. I know some people even calculate the FWH IBU addition as a 20 minute addition. Someone else was talking about Pliny or other well made Imperial IPA's.....on paper the IBU's are through the roof. I have had traditional IPA's that tastes much more bitter than Pliny though they are only 70 IBU's. A big part of that is ingredients...specifically what hops are you using and when they are used.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:59 AM   #32
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I think Phundog summed it up pretty well. Think Pliny, on paper it's like 285 IBU or some insane number like that, tested it's near 100 (?). It's hoppy as $hit, like biting a hop, but is it bitter? Not overly so. More like a mild bitterness that comes from loads and loads of flavoring hops. I almost always over shoot IBU on my IPA according to the BJCP, but I get the majority of those IBU from flavor addition, not the bittering shot. In fact, I've even done a few with no "bittering" addition, all flavor/aroma but with alot of IBU from those adds. The perception is not of a bitter beer, but of lots of hops flavor and aroma. On paper, those beers aren't "to style", but to the drinker, they are. BJCP judges are drinkers.
Pliny is a double IPA, though. Also, it's considerably more bitter than an IPA.

A Pliny clone entered in 14 B isn't to style. I don't think it's a question of theory vs. practice, you can tell the difference between a 70 and 100 IBU beer.

If judges are scoring double IPAs entered in 14 B higher than well-brewed IPAs that are actually to style, that's not good. There's a category for them; Imperial IPA.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:09 AM   #33
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Pliny is a double IPA, though. Also, it's considerably more bitter than an IPA.
You're right. I still say it doesn't come across as a terribly bitter beer, but a DIPA it is.

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If judges are scoring double IPAs entered in 14 B higher than well-brewed IPAs that are actually to style, that's not good. There's a category for them; Imperial IPA.
I agree, but the lines are blurred. A single beer can be "to style" in both categories.


I think this all is just one of the many reasons that I love IPA/IIPA/IIIPA/DIPA so much. Not only is it tasty, but it spawns discussions like this, or entire books for that matter. I'm drinking a St. Peter's IPA (English IPA), very solid beer, and to style. The English struggle with keeping this style "to Style" as much as we do, more so, but for very different reasons
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