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Old 03-03-2009, 06:18 AM   #1
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Default Hops/maltose utilization

Hey all,

I have an awesome extract american IPA recipe. What made it work so well was a method I tried in which I boiled a 'hop tea' first (about 4 gallons, with 2 oz of hops) then added a light, liquid malt extract and continued as normal from that point with a 60 minute boil, adding more hops additions at 20 mins and 10 mins(then dry hopping later).

I have since switched to all grain. I understand that I will, as a matter of course, not get the same exact beer. I however would like to make it as close as possible.

Here's my thought. Boil up the hop tea as normal, then use that as my sparge water. The problem I am anticipating is that the utilization will be lower because the sparge water will already be partially saturated with hops oils, thereby leaving the sparge that much less efficient.

Anybody have any thoughts? Is this a good plan? Or am I just overthinking this?

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Old 03-03-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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I don't really "get" hop teas. As far as I have read, there is almost no utilization without maltose in the mix.

Why don't you just First wort hop them instead? I don't really see what benefit making a hop tea would give you. Please explain if there is something I have overlooked here.

EDIT: As far as I know, you need the acidity from the malt to isomerize alpha acids into iso-alpha acids.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #3
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yeah I don't get hop teas either, and I swear I've read that there is little utilization without sugar in solution, but I can't come up with a reason for that or a source to site, so I can't say that's true.

As far as a using hop tea as sparge water, the extremely small amount of oils due to the hops should not effect your sparge efficiency in any appreciable way.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
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Yeah, I know acidity plays a role but I swear I read years back that sugar does as well. Can't seem to recall where that info came from either.

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions View Post
I don't really "get" hop teas. As far as I have read, there is almost no utilization without maltose in the mix.

Why don't you just First wort hop them instead? I don't really see what benefit making a hop tea would give you. Please explain if there is something I have overlooked here.

EDIT: As far as I know, you need the acidity from the malt to isomerize alpha acids into iso-alpha acids.
Yeah, what he said. FWH will blow away anything you did with extract. No hop teas needed.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions View Post
Yeah, I know acidity plays a role but I swear I read years back that sugar does as well. Can't seem to recall where that info came from either.
Actually hop utilization is higher in a more alkaline solution... at least iso-alpha-acids
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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Honestly, the easiest thing to do would be to target the same IBU's in beersmith with your new all grain recipe. If its too little or too less, just adjust next time you brew the recipe.

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Old 03-03-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Yes, the hop utilization in water would be better than in wort. alpha acids are less soluble in acidic solutions (one reason why they are expelled during the fermentation and end up in the Kraeusen) and you need to dissolve them first before they can be isomerized.

This being said, I wonder about the quality of the bitterness that is extracted with a hop tea. That's why I have been proposing to always add some malt extract even if you go with the late extract method.

But yes, you could try hopping the sparge water. Maybe you are onto something. There might be more bitterness loss then usual due to the water trapped in the spent grain and the precipitation of proteins which bind some of the bitterness.

Kai

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Old 03-03-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Honestly, the easiest thing to do would be to target the same IBU's in beersmith with your new all grain recipe. If its too little or too less, just adjust next time you brew the recipe.
The problem is, he doesn't know really know the IBUs of his beer b/c none of the IBU formulas are designed for hops boiled in water.

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Old 03-03-2009, 02:00 PM   #10
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Right. I'm just saying that since there is no real good way to figure it out, start with a good guess at what your bitterness needs to be in the new AG recipe. Then adjust your recipe from there. That seems much easier than messing around with hop tea etc.

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