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Old 03-23-2009, 09:11 PM   #1
Crucial-BBQ
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Default W.G.V. hops. Help.

I brewed a batch of home brew last night and as it was cooling I noticed something funky smelling. I could not put my finger on it, but it was rather pungent. After the wort was cool I racked it to my fermenter. As I was doing so, the funky smell got stronger. It was definitely coming from the wort. The smell was familiar, but it took me about ten minutes to figure it out. It smelled like an ashtray.

I thought that maybe the hops or grain were spoiled, if that is possible, so I looked it up on the internet. Turns out that W.G.V. (Whitbread Gold Variety) hops have a tobbacco aroma to them.

I was not aware of this. I only used them because I was under the impression that they were a sub. for fuggles. I tasted the wort before I pitched the yeast and it was.....I am going to optimistic and say unique. It definitely had that astringent, sucking on a tea bag bitterness to it. Not good.

I know that I should have done my research into the hops before hand, but isn't that all a part of the home brewing process? Experimentation.

Anyways, does anybody have any experience with the W.G.V. hops? I am thinking that if I let this batch condition that it will mellow out. I was thinking at least a solid four weeks after primary and before bottling. Would this work?

The good news is that it is only a 2 1/2 gallon batch (I've learned my lesson with experimenting with 5 gallons or more).

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Old 03-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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let it condition for 4-8 weeks after bottling. i have a pale ale that was overhopped with saaz and i let it settle and it came out great.

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Old 03-23-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Are you suggesting four to eight weeks after primary? The smell coming from the airlock smells nice and 'doughy' as normal.

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Old 03-23-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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go with 14 days in the primary, 7-14 in the secondary, and then condition in the bottle for 4-8 weeks. or do this---bottle carbonate for 2 weeks, try one and see if you like it. if its still too hoppy, let it condition for 4-8 weeks. it should mellow out.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:45 PM   #5
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I'm carbing a batch of APB right now.
Hop schedule was:
0.5 oz Willamette 6.6 FWH
0.5 oz Willamette @ 60 mins
0.5 oz WGV 4.5 @ 15 mins
0.5 oz WGV tea in secondary
It was brewed on 2/21 - 2 weeks in primary and 2 weeks in secondary.
It's only been on the gas for a couple days, but since you mentioned it,
I went and got a sample.

I think the aroma is pleasantly smoky.
I don't get tobacco or ashtray, but maybe it's a matter of degree.
How much WGV did you use?

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:00 AM   #6
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0.5 oz. @ 60 min.
0.5 oz. @ 10 min.

Like I said, it was only a 2 1/2 gallon batch. No other hops were used.

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Old 03-25-2009, 03:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crucial-BBQ View Post
I looked it up on the internet.
Well there's your problem.

Unless the hops were really old, badly mishandled or otherwise funkified I seriously doubt the WGVs were the source of the ashtray smell. WGV are not unlike Kent Goldings in that they have the woodsy/floral notes typical of UK noble hops. I've tasted a tobacco note from other hops, notably Kent Goldings, but only as a nuance and only in beer with a boatload of hops. One ounce split in two additions for a 2.5 gallon beer would not seem to do it. I have made facisimile 19th Century English IPA with over a pound of WGV in a 10 gallon beer with very good results in the flavor and aroma departments.

WGV
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:39 PM   #8
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I know this is an old post, but still relevant as I found it in search if anyone else had the same experience. I have used WGV in two batches so far and I resonate that these are some bad tasting hops. My initial thoughts were ‘burnt plastic’ but ‘ashtray’ works too. I wouldnt describe the flavor as tobacco flavor but as ‘used’ tobacco flavor. I used a decent amount in a mild and it was awful. I didn’t realize it was the hops at the time, I thought the beer was oxidized or something. I used a very small amount in a blonde that I just did (ended up being around 15 IBU) and that same flavor is noticeable. My recommendation would be to stay away, but taste is subjective. I can’t say I have ever disliked a hop as much as this one.

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