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Old 08-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
Hernando
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Default Using low AA hops

I was doing a bit of reading and Randy Mosher suggested using lower AA hops in higher quantities rather than using high AA hops like CTZ, specifically for pale ales.

As I am heading to the LHBS this afternoon, I wanted to reach out to the community and see if anyone does this approach and what benefits you get (if any) out of using the low AA hops in higher quatities. I am still messing with my pale ale recipe an found a good malt foundation for it but I am still messing with the hop additions and just wanted some feedback on this.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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Admittedly I have always used high AA hops and times to get my IBU up to where I want it, but lately I have been toying with lower AA hops and even longer boil in times to get the IBU where I want it. This adds a complexity to the hop character that would be missed otherwise and allows for a greater variety of combinations, I feel it also allows a high IBU beer to be a lot smoother rather than just clubbing you over the tastebuds.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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One possible benefit would probably be an increased oil content. Or at least, I'm assuming 2 ounces of cascade has at least a bit more oil than 1 ounce of centennial.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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I read the same thing... and have yet to try it but I think it makes sense for Flavor and Aroma hops..

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Old 08-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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Yeah I never thought about using the high alpha hops, but this really made me think about it. I could see the smoother more complexities coming through with a lower AA type hop.

I can definitely see the higher oil content being a good benefit.

Yes, but I am talking about using low AA hops for bittering hops as well. I have exclusively used high alpha hops in almost all my beers so this just came across as interesting and something worth trying.

Nightshade, What type of hops have you tried? It seems to me that Cascade is a favorite but I was thinking of trying 3 oz. of Williamette for an American IPA. I have never used Williamette so I am not sure first hand of the characteristics of it other than reading about it online.

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Old 08-17-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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Willamette is very similar to Fuggles, so you'll have something closer to an English IPA, except fruitier.

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Old 08-17-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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there are downsides to using lower AA hops in higher quantities. there will be a bit more wort retained in the additional vegetable matter. in the BYO magazine from a month ago ("Oh, Say Can You “C”?:  Brewing Hoppy American-Style Ales"), they had a reason why you shouldn't make an all-cascade IPA - something about all that vegetable matter adding undesirable flavors. i have the mag at home, i'll try to remember to look it up when i return on sunday.

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Old 08-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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I bought 7# of low-AA hops (mostly noble) so I've just started brewing high IBU beers with low AA hops. Overall my 'noble' IPAs have an incredible amount of flavor with smooth bitterness vs my American IPAs which have in-your-face bitterness and little hop flavor.

While I prefer my noble IPAs, that might just be because I like the noble varieties over the American so it's a little hard to say "This way is better".

I suggest trying it out yourself.

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Old 08-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
Nightshade, What type of hops have you tried? It seems to me that Cascade is a favorite but I was thinking of trying 3 oz. of Williamette for an American IPA. I have never used Williamette so I am not sure first hand of the characteristics of it other than reading about it online.
I am actuallly about to start building a new IPA recipe using a combination of grains and low level hops as a first attempt doing this.

This subject came up the other day while chatting with another brewer, ironically neither of us had read this article and after seeing it mentioned I will read it a bit later today.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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I found Horizon hops in a catalog - 8.8% AA. They were said to have a noble hop character. I tried it in a Bavarian Hefeweizen. It was good, but seemed to loose something compared to the same recipe with tettnang hops.

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