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Old 12-07-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
Jeffro74
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Default Yeast vs. Hops

Probably a n00b question... and I think I have an inkling on the answer, but here goes:

Within the human palette of taste, who wins the battle? Yeast vs. Hops

I'm pretty sure that in general, hops would overpower the subtleties of yeast flavors, no? Are there exceptions? Can a yeast compete with maybe a dry hop flavor?

Looking for opinions, facts, metrics, and experiments. Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Not sure I understand the question. It's subjective based on the hopping rate as well as the type of yeast used and the style of beer being produced.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D
Not sure I understand the question. It's subjective based on the hopping rate as well as the type of yeast used and the style of beer being produced.
It's a subjective question definitely... but what yeast strains have the more prevalent flavors?... what ones will get lost in a hoppy brew? And then what hops are the most subtle and what ones (or time in the boil *or* dry hopped) will get lost vs an overpowering yeast strain?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
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Speaking generally, most of the time you'll be able to taste a belgian/abbey/hefe yeast in something - even an IPA no matter what because that yeast produces more esters/phenols.

Hops have AA% printed on the bag. The higher the number the more bitterness they contribute per oz. The noble hops (hallertauer, EKG, tettnang) mostly(very general) are for flavoring. Simcoe, Centennial, Citra and Amarillo are great for flavor and aroma (and in a pinch bittering). Hops don't necessarily get lost when it comes to the yeast. But over time the aroma has a tendency it to mellow out.

English ales and the stuff based on them tend to use a pretty clean yeast. (boadly speaking) I don't know if that makes any sense but like I said, it's based on the style. There's guidelines for all that stuff that basically tell you what's appropriate in terms of yeast choice, bitterness, aroma of hops and yeast.

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Old 12-08-2012, 12:07 AM   #5
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Here is a simple view, a generalization and probably not totally accurate; A Cali-Belgique style ale comes to mind.

American Ales: Highly hopped with citrus type hops, and clean yeast so as not to compete and allow the hops to be the star.

English Ales: Can be highly hopped, but more subtle and spicy, with a slightly fruity yeast to complement, and bring complexity to, the hops.

Belgian Ales: Lots of yeast flavors, ranging from spicy to fruity. Low hopping so as not to compete and allow the yeast to be the star.

Who wins? We do .... again, think Cali-Belgique.

Really it is about showcasing the main feature of the beer, be it the hops, the yeast, or the malt (which I didn't mention above).

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Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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In my opinion, neither.
I usually make English pale ales, using English grains (Maris Otter), hops (EKG), and yeast (WLP002/Wy1968).
On a few occasions, I have substituted clean tasting American style yeasts for the WLP002, and the result was totally different, and not in a good way.
I also make American pale ales for my friends, using WLP001, Wy1056, or S-05, and Cascade hops. I've never tried replacing the yeast with WLP002/Wy1968, but I cannot believe that such a substitution would be good.
A few years ago, I was in England, and tasted some samples in a pub before placing my order. I picked a traditional English Pale Ale, using English malt and yeast, but used a substantial amount of Cascade hops for flavouring. The owner of the pub contacted the brewery, and confirmed that everything was English except the Cascade hops.
I've also made some English IPAs using English malt, hops, and yeast, but using American techniques, adding very large amounts of bittering, flavoring, and aroma hops. (A total of 10 oz of hops for a 5 gallon brew and ~ 100 IBU). Only one person criticized these brews. He said they were underhopped! He couldn't tell the difference between bitterness and flavor of American C hops.

-a.

He couldn't tell the difference

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Old 12-08-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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Find yourself a good Belgian IPA (the Stone Cali-Belgique mentioned above is a good example) and you'll see they can live together in perfect harmony ;-)

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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I second the Belgian IPA thing. Make one. They're a delicious mix of hop and yeast character. The yeast still comes through even when the beer is dry hopped.

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Old 12-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #9
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I use an English yeast in most of my beers and the yeast character is much more prevalent than in beers using the boring ol' California ale yeast. Even my really hoppy IPAs still have some noticeable fruity esters coming through.

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Old 12-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #10
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Not sure where you are driving with this question. Hops contribute bitterness, flavor, and aroma to beer. Yeast contribute flavor and perhaps aroma, but not bitterness. So the human senses can detect each of these even when combined into a tasy beverage. Different styles of beer dictate which of these, or combinations, you want to highlight. For instance a good kolsch will have very little hop aroma or flavor, accenting the yeast while an IPA is accenting all three aspects of hops and yeast will not be accented in the final product. The other thing that you need to take into account are the taste contributions of the malts you use. And then finally, the water chemistry can be manipulated to highlight some aspect of the taste, like hoppiness. So I don't think you look at this as a "battle" of flavors and aromas but instead a symphony where each note contributes to the total experience. If you are asking if you can drown out the contributions of one ingredient type over the other, I guess the answer is yes, but really your job as a brewer is to find a way to make the band play together. Hope this helps!

Cheers!

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