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Old 09-01-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
jeffdill
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Default Single Hop Mini-batches?

In order to help with future recipe creations I've been wanting to try recipes with just one hop variety so I can get its pure flavor. I would (ideally) like to do 5-6 one gallon batches, each with its own hop (probably to pale ale IBU's), to try them side by side and makes notes on flavors.

I feel like there MUST be an easier way to do this than doing each batch separately! Has anyone tried anything like this? I have a fermentation bucket, two carboys (both in use), and four growlers (1/2 gallon), but only two airlocks.

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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One idea would be to brew a pale ale with a neutral bittering hop and minimal (neutral) flavor hops.

Then rack the five gallons -- while hot -- to five different fermenters. While the wort is still hot, you can add a different hop to each of the separate fermenters for aroma. Once the wort has cooled, add yeast and, after a few days of fermentation, add the appropriate dry-hops to each batch (e.g. dry-hop with cascade if you used cascade aroma hops).

This isn't the same as really just using a SINGLE hop. . . but because you're using a neutral bittering hop, and ideally one that you're familiar with and will recognize, you'll get the result you want: learning what the other hops taste like. I did this using Yakima Magnum as a neutral bittering hop, and it worked well (I thought).

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Old 09-01-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
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I was thinking something along those lines, since the bittering hop loses all its flavor during the boil, yes?

My only issue with what you said is that the hop I want to taste would only contribute the aroma, not the flavor...I was hoping for both. Maybe there's no easy way to get around that.

Also - can I use something in place of an airlock and not ruin the beer? I don't have 5 fermenters so I would have to resort to gallon milk jugs or something of the sort.

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Old 09-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Do what I did when I wanted to learn about the differences between hops. Do an extract only, hop bursted beer. Boil about 1.25 gallons of water, add your extract and use some brewing software to add about 30 IBUs of hops at 15 minutes, 15 IBUs and 10 minutes and 7 IBUs at 5 minutes. Cool it in an ice bath and toss it in a 1 gallon carboy, divide up some dry yeast and have at it.

I can double check Beersmith tonight and tell you for sure what my hop additions were, but the bottom line is I was able to get 5 different single hopped beers boiled, cooled and in the fermenting chamber in less than 4 hours.

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