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Old 12-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default Replacing Hop Aroma Tablets

Hey Everyone,
I recently bought a recipe for a pliny clone at my local HBS. The recipe includes a number of hop aroma tabs. I've never used these before, and before I put them in my beer I was looking into what all they're composed of. Turns out that its hop oils, effervescent chemicals, and some other stuff. Now, this may sound grouchy, but I tend to like to keep my beers as close to natural as possible (outside of using some campden when dealing with fruit). So, does anyone have any ideas how many AAU's or the weight in hops that a hop aroma tab would translate to? There are 2 tabs added at 30 minutes, and 3 added at flame out.

I can't even tell what hop they're from, so I am going to assume cascade (that seems to be the most omnipresent hop tab online).

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Old 12-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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I've never used them, but it sounds like they may just be pelletized, concentrated hop oils?? Here is the description from the Williams Brewing site:

Have you wanted to increase the hop character of your beer without making it too bitter? Made of hop oils isolated from C02 hop extract, Hop Aroma Tabs are virtually free of alpha acids. These dense tablets deliver flavorful oil deep into the wort, adding more aromatic oil than is normally possible with traditional whole or pellet hops.

Made from varying aromatic hops, use 1 to 2 quarter-sized tablets per 5 gallons of wort, adding at the end of the boil or in the fermenter. Tablets are brittle and often arrive broken - this one ounce pack contains about 6 tablets.

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Old 12-20-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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So they're aroma "tabs" that aren't actual hops? I'd be takin' that kit back. That's just me though...

Unacceptable IMO.

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Old 12-20-2011, 02:19 PM   #4
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Sounds like hop Fizzies. I like the traditional ways myself...
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyHighBrew88 View Post
So they're aroma "tabs" that aren't actual hops? I'd be takin' that kit back. That's just me though...

Unacceptable IMO.
It comes with about 5oz of hops, along with a packet of aroma tabs. Usually the shop is pretty spot on, I'd just prefer not to use a tab when I can use real hops and dry hopping to get similar effects, you know?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Exactly so. Maybe call them & ask what hops they're made from?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msarro

It comes with about 5oz of hops, along with a packet of aroma tabs. Usually the shop is pretty spot on, I'd just prefer not to use a tab when I can use real hops and dry hopping to get similar effects, you know?
Oh totally! I would much rather be using hops. I bet you could compare the hops they gave you with other "Pliny Packs" and see what those aroma hops are supposed to be. Maybe your LHBS is out of the necessary hop types & is using a substitute.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:03 PM   #8
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I assume you are talking about Keystone's kit- if some other kit, this really still applies though.

I have brewed that one, and it comes out really good. Maybe not spot on, but really good. The aroma tabs work surprisingly well. Keep in mind it is called "Pliny the Affordable" for a reason- they substitute the hop tabs and make some other shortcuts to keep the price of pre wing a batch of Pliny under $55.

So understanding that about the kit, if you want to substitute real hops in there, there are plenty of clone recipes available and even the one from Vinnie. You just will spend about another $20 to $30 on hops. Keystone is very good about returns, so I am sure they would take the tabs back if you wanted to go with the real hops.

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopDr View Post
I assume you are talking about Keystone's kit- if some other kit, this really still applies though.

I have brewed that one, and it comes out really good. Maybe not spot on, but really good. The aroma tabs work surprisingly well. Keep in mind it is called "Pliny the Affordable" for a reason- they substitute the hop tabs and make some other shortcuts to keep the price of pre wing a batch of Pliny under $55.

So understanding that about the kit, if you want to substitute real hops in there, there are plenty of clone recipes available and even the one from Vinnie. You just will spend about another $20 to $30 on hops. Keystone is very good about returns, so I am sure they would take the tabs back if you wanted to go with the real hops.
It IS from keystone! I live a few blocks from one of their locations. I actually don't really intend to return it - I kind of figured some corners get cut to bring the price that low on the kit, and I don't really have a problem with that (I'm already modifying it to use about 2-3 more lbs of malt to balance out the flavor a little towards my palette). In general I tend to not follow kits exactly, just use them as a baseline - plus they tend to save a few $.

I'm more curious about how the tabs line up with hops, and how I can go about subbing in normal hops for the tablets. There's got to be some sort of conversion to what a single hop tablet equates to in hops, you know?

I know I've found an old copy of Vinnie's Elder recipe some time ago, that's probably a good place to start.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #10
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My very limited experience (from that one batch) is that they have add a general hop aroma/flavor without any of the strong specific character you might get from using a single hop. Kind of like using several different strains of hops. But they are good for what they are. I think that one tab is supposed to be about similar to using an ounce of hops, but that is just what I have heard.

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