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-   -   Why not high alpha hops for bittering all the time? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/why-not-high-alpha-hops-bittering-all-time-72504/)

cee3 07-15-2008 03:10 PM

Why not high alpha hops for bittering all the time?
 
Is there a good reason not to use high alpha hops for bittering? If you're boiling them for 60 min they don't contribute to the flavor anyway. With the price of hops so high these days I figure that would a way to save a few bucks.

bradsul 07-15-2008 03:15 PM

That's what I do now. I use Galena as it's the highest alpha acid hop I can get and it's got a nice neutral flavour. The only exception is when I'm first wort hopping, then I'll use the hop I feel is appropriate for the recipe.

TheJadedDog 07-15-2008 03:18 PM

Nope, no reason not to. I know a lot of brewers are using this method in the face of rising hop prices and increasing shortages.

Revvy 07-15-2008 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bradsul (Post 755004)
That's what I do now. I use Galena as it's the highest alpha acid hop I can get and it's got a nice neutral flavour. The only exception is when I'm first wort hopping, then I'll use the hop I feel is appropriate for the recipe.

+1 on Galena.

There was a great piece on "surviving the hops shortage" on the Barley Legal Blog that recommended High Alpha bittering, and some other cool tips and tricks. http://barleylegal.ca/Articles/HowToSurviveTheHopShortage

It's a good read.

Bokonon 07-15-2008 04:12 PM

The only reason I can see not to do it is if you are making a low IBU beer. Just throwing some numbers out there. If your looking for about 10 IBUs if you use .25oz of a 12% AA hop if your scale is off a little or your using whole hops and theres more leafy matter in there then you could be off your mark. On the other hand if you use 1oz of a 3% AA hop a small difference isn't going to change much.

GilaMinumBeer 07-15-2008 04:26 PM

That depends on how you want to look at it.

The commercial market trends is doing this, thus more high alpha varieties are favored and more acreage is devoted to high alpha hops. Hence, the lower Alpha varieties are more scarce and command a higher price per ounce. Economically, it makes all the sense in the world. More bang for less material.

But.........

IMO, it all depends on the bittering you are looking for (and your water). Meaning, sometimes high alpha hops can contribute a harsh, sometimes unpalateable bittering. And, if your water is high in Sulfate (and you don't amend) that harshness can be exxagerated. For example, IMO, Chinook is a great hop but, in high sulfate waters it's a horrible bitter ( cue milwaukee's best bitter beer face).

david_42 07-15-2008 05:22 PM

Bokonon has it right, ditto GMB. Some beers require low IBU and low cohumulone levels, hard to achieve with the high AA hops.

Schlenkerla 07-15-2008 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 755124)
The only reason I can see not to do it is if you are making a low IBU beer. Just throwing some numbers out there. If your looking for about 10 IBUs if you use .25oz of a 12% AA hop if your scale is off a little or your using whole hops and theres more leafy matter in there then you could be off your mark. On the other hand if you use 1oz of a 3% AA hop a small difference isn't going to change much.

I agree it depends on your target IBU and if you want to add hops for flavor and aroma. (Late Additions)

I made a Summit Pale Ale with Summit Hop at about 32 IBU's hopped from 60 to 0 and dry hopped.

Some are good for bittering, flavoring and aroma. Other are not as good this one.

My Summits were 16.5% AA!!!! :rockin:

The tangerine-citrus taste is awesome.

See this recipe. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/summit-smash-beer-72206/

Doog_Si_Reeb 07-15-2008 05:58 PM

I have been using Magnum for bittering on my last 5 brews, one of which was a blueberry wheat. I have a decent scale so I just adjust the amount of hops needed to meet my IBU target. I have been very happy with the Magnum bittering. I haven't noticed any unusual flavors that I can attribute to the bittering hops.

I just took a pull off my West Coast Amber Ale last night and it has a good clean bitterness and awesome flavor (especially for being green). I used Magnum for the 60 min addition and Amarillo for all the rest.

zoebisch01 07-15-2008 05:59 PM

Yeah pretty much what has been said. The only case being you have to be careful with low IBU beers, but I have had fairly good success. We are talking only adding say 5 or 7 grams of a high Alpha hop at 60 minutes, so it becomes more crucial for your measurement to be accurate.

That all being said, I still use German Hallertau for things like Hefe's and such. Or in the case of Lagers, I think you need to be more careful as well because they tend to have less masking going on.


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