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Old 08-13-2014, 02:21 AM   #1
johnsoncurt1980
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Default Why doesn't the hop character of my beers taste the same as commercial beers

Homebrewer for a couple years now, and for the most part pleased with my beer. Although I am satisfied, im still striving to make my next better than the last. What im focusing on right now is hop flavor/character. What I mean by that is when I make a all cascade beer it tastes very different than any commercial example of all cascade. My hops all seems muted/dull. I dont get that in your face grapefruit I am looking for. I have tried late hopping(dumping in lots of hops at flameout) then chill. I have tried hop stands as well. Both result in a similar flavor and aroma. I do dry hop as well. I am beginning to look elsewhere for my problem. What should I try next? Other source of hops, use RO water and treat with just some cal chloride and gypsum. Since my last batch I have began treating my mashes for PH as necessary.

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:01 AM   #2
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Hopback maybe?

What yeast? Do you cold crash? Bottle or keg?

Can we get a recipe?

Have you tried to clone a all cascade commercial beer and compared?

Without knowing some of the above, I'd say try a different hop supplier and type of hop (whole instead of pellet). But I'm not convinced this will have a major effect.

Maybe changing water is the way to go. May e adding a different hop variety that accents the cascade would do the trick.

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:08 AM   #3
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Water chemistry will be key. Start messing with that and you will get there.

Also, many brewers use hop tea/extract after fermentation

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:12 AM   #4
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I do not have a hopback at this time but not opposed to getting one at some point. For yeast I tend to use 1056 frequently. I do cold crash and bottle. To help, I will post a recipe in a bit.

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by johnsoncurt1980 View Post
Homebrewer for a couple years now, and for the most part pleased with my beer. Although I am satisfied, im still striving to make my next better than the last. What im focusing on right now is hop flavor/character. What I mean by that is when I make a all cascade beer it tastes very different than any commercial example of all cascade. My hops all seems muted/dull. I dont get that in your face grapefruit I am looking for. I have tried late hopping(dumping in lots of hops at flameout) then chill. I have tried hop stands as well. Both result in a similar flavor and aroma. I do dry hop as well. I am beginning to look elsewhere for my problem. What should I try next? Other source of hops, use RO water and treat with just some cal chloride and gypsum. Since my last batch I have began treating my mashes for PH as necessary.
You haven't provided enough information to properly assess your problem. Start with where you live (ie which municipal water supply you're on - provide a water profile if you can). Then give a recipe of something you thought would work that didn't. Also provide technique information. For example, do you filter? Crash cool? Control fermentation temp? So many factors, including your own personal perceptions, that make it impossible to help you yet.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:18 AM   #6
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Water chemistry will be key. Start messing with that and you will get there.

Also, many brewers use hop tea/extract after fermentation
While this is true, messing with water chemistry without knowing what you are doing is recipe for disaster. Or, at least, not gaining any valuable knowledge on how to get where you're going.

For example, I live in a municipality with a fantastic water supply. Moderate carbonate/bicarbonate and fairly low sulfate. When I make hoppy beers, I cut it in half with distilled, and add gypsum to try to get up to ~ 150 ppm. A little more sulfate will enhance the bitterness perception. This will differ entirely depending on where you are.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:25 AM   #7
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While this is true, messing with water chemistry without knowing what you are doing is recipe for disaster. Or, at least, not gaining any valuable knowledge on how to get where you're going.

For example, I live in a municipality with a fantastic water supply. Moderate carbonate/bicarbonate and fairly low sulfate. When I make hoppy beers, I cut it in half with distilled, and add gypsum to try to get up to ~ 150 ppm. A little more sulfate will enhance the bitterness perception. This will differ entirely depending on where you are.
Since apparently I wasn't clear enough and no one has faith in others to do some research...

Start learning about water chemistry and your beers will improve.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:33 AM   #8
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Water report
Ph 8.96
Alkalinity CaCO3 108
Sodium 72
Sulfate 55
Calcium 41
Chloride 32
Hardness 9 grains CaCO3
Magnesium 13

Example recipe that didnt quite meet expectations.
cascade pale ale
6 gallons
OG 1.067
FG 1.14
45 Ibu

4.8oz acid malt
3.8oz carapils
1lb crystal 75
13.75lbs 2 row
1.25oz cascade 30min
1.25oz cascade 10 min
2.5oz at flameout and 30 minute whirlpool
2oz dry hop in secondary

Fermented in primary for 2 weeks
2 weeks in secondary dry hopped at day 4 in secondary. Cold crashed day 12-14. Bottled

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:34 AM   #9
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Since apparently I wasn't clear enough and no one has faith in others to do some research...

Start learning about water chemistry and your beers will improve.
It's complicated. I'm a chemist and I don't always get it right. Just suggesting to change your water isnt that helpful.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:35 AM   #10
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I know its only a pale ale, so it wont be a hop bomb but relatively speaking it had very little hop aroma and flavor

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