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Old 10-06-2008, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default Help me make a good hoppy beer

My hoppy beers have never been up to snuff the way my other beers have. My malty beers and belgian beers have always been much better. Back in Pittsburgh I made a double IPA that turned out pretty good, but my last attempt at an APA (northern brewer's extra pale ale) is only so-so. Maybe I mucked with the recipe too much (in my infinite wisdom I switched up the hop schedule entirely so that instead of 1oz cascade at 60, 30, and 5, I did 1oz FWH, 1oz 15, and 1oz dry)

Right now I'm drinking a Bell's Two Hearted and honestly to me it is the best IPA ever made. I love this stuff.

First of all, I've now gotten my fermentation temperatures down from 70-72 to 66-68 where I'd really like them. The only other thing I can think of is water. I currently mix in 1 tbs of 5/2 stabilizer with the strike water just before dough in. My water report gives no useful info to brewing that I can see. Should I do something different from the 5/2 for an IPA? What say you?

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Old 10-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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You could try adding Burton crystals. They bring out a kind of crispness in hoppy beers, though I believe they're only really useful if your water is soft.

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Old 10-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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The first thing that came to my mind was "water". In my case, my water is hard, but I know nothing else. The water department told me, "You don't need a water report- it's safe to drink little lady! But it is very hard.". Um, yeah, thanks. I'm going to order my own testing, but until then............

Anyway, because my water is hard, I believe my IPAs and APAs are kick ass. My blondes and Belgians, not so much. They tend to be more astringent than I want.

I'm just wondering if your current water is softer than your previous supply. If that's the case, the 5.2 stabilizer won't harden it.

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Old 10-06-2008, 02:13 PM   #4
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I'll send a sample to ward labs today. I thought it was more expensive and I move a lot, but really it isn't much money and it would be really nice to know.

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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If you subbed 60 minute hops for FWH you are going to get almost no bittering. FWHs are equivilent to 20 minute hops as far as bittering they're used mostly for flavor/aroma.

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleTwanger View Post
If you subbed 60 minute hops for FWH you are going to get almost no bittering. FWHs are equivilent to 20 minute hops as far as bittering they're used mostly for flavor/aroma.
AFAIK, FWH gives slightly more IBUs than a 60-minute addition, according to BeerSmith, but it's perceived as being a less harsh bitterness. I guess it depends what you're after - I tend to FWH most of my brews, but I've never quite managed to recreate the kick-your-f'kin-teeth-in bitterness of the IPAs I really like. So for my next batch of IPA I'm going with a much larger than standard 60-minute addition to see if that helps.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleTwanger View Post
If you subbed 60 minute hops for FWH you are going to get almost no bittering. FWHs are equivilent to 20 minute hops as far as bittering they're used mostly for flavor/aroma.
I did some reading on FWH before I did that and the results seemed to be described as "a more complex bitterness" or just flavors that married better. It seemed to me that since the hops were still in for the 60 minutes, the alpha acids were still isomerized but the magic of FWH was that the flavor and aroma somehow aren't boiled away. Either way it is something I haven't even begun to master/understand so I probably won't tinker with it again for a while. The reading I did also indicated that it was intended for and originally used in pilsners.

So here's my plan: Get my water analyzed, figure out what if any water treatment I need, find a good two-hearted clone recipe, actually follow the recipe, and ferment it at 66-68. Ready? Break.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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I would just use more hops. I've never over hopped an extract batch like one can with all grain. When I would do extracts I would rate my 60 minute hops at 20% or lower. So for that rating 1 oz 60, 1 oz 30, 1 oz 15 for cascades @7%aa youd be at around 31ibus. I like my APAs over 35ibus and ipas around 50-60.

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:49 PM   #9
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Do yourself a favor and brew this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/bee-...ery-ipa-59907/ don't change anything it will be great. I have got nothing but rave reviews from everyone who has tried this beer. Ed Wort rules.

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Old 10-06-2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleTwanger View Post
I would just use more hops. I've never over hopped an extract batch like one can with all grain. When I would do extracts I would rate my 60 minute hops at 20% or lower. So for that rating 1 oz 60, 1 oz 30, 1 oz 15 for cascades @7%aa youd be at around 31ibus. I like my APAs over 35ibus and ipas around 50-60.
Wait I'm confused...how did we get talking about extract? This was an AG extra pale ale. My cascades were only 6.3%, but with that hop schedule and set to tinseth, my beersmith gives 56 IBU.
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On Tap.........[The Munchner][Spiced Cider][English Cider][Simcoe IPA][Triple Hops Grooved][Cider'n 'gnac]
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