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Old 02-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default NB Sierra Madre..Should I dry hop?

I just brewed the Northern Brewer Sierra Madre (Sierra Nevada Clone) extract kit yesterday and I purchased 2 oz. of whole leaf Cascades with it as well. I have been wanting to dry hop a beer for a while and figured that this might be the best one to try it on. Should I try none, one or two ounces in my dry hop. I don't want it to be overpowering but I do want something along the lines of an IPA.

The recipe already has;

1/2 oz. Summit (60 mins)
1 oz. of Perle (20 mins)
1 oz. of Cascade (0 Mins.)

all pellet hops.

I'm not necessarily going for accuracy here, just a good tasting beer.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
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My vote is for yes. I'd toss in one ounce. I never go for "accuracy" with my beers. I brew what tastes good to me. I love the punch in the face hop aroma you get with dry hopping so I do it on quite a few of mine, even if it's not proper for the style.

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Old 02-17-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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I've been very happy with the NB kits. I would start with their instructions and then alter it.

I do partial boils and did their amber. My brother in law did a full boil of the extra pale ale (essentially same recipe). His seemed a lot hoppier. All their instructions are for partial boil. If you do a full boil you may consider decreasing hops amount.

- I am not trying to start an argument about hop utilization and full boils. The issue of hop utilization is not settled. I am just going off of my own anecdotal experience and the statements of some of those on this site.

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Old 02-17-2011, 01:52 AM   #4
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If you want a super hoppy aroma then yes. I'd try an ounce and see what you think.

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
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What is the difference between Partial Boil and full boil? SWMBO just got me a new turkey fryer with a 30 qt. pot for my b-day, so I can now do a full 5 gallon boil. But, haven't yet. I was also considering a Partial Mash Beer kit here soon too. When the tax return comes in hopefully i'll be moving up to all grain.

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Old 02-17-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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You mean, difference in flavor?

Especially for a hoppy beer, using exactly the same recipe the beer will be more bitter/hoppier when you do a full boil. It is possible to make appropriate adjustments between partial/full boil to account for the differences, but just using a stock recipe you are better off doing a full boil.

Basically what happens is the boiling wort isomerizes the alpha acids in the hops, but the amount of alpha acids that get isomerized depends on the gravity. The lower the gravity, the more bitter your beer ends up being for the same amount of hops (up to a point). When you do a partial boil, you typically have a much higher gravity wort than if you do a full boil. E.g. if you partial boil 2.5 gallons and then top off to 5, your gravity throughout the boil is approximately 2X that of a full boil.

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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So a full boil is recommended for an IPA style (AKA more bitter beer), is what I'm getting here.

If I wanted to do a full boil and wanted to keep the gravity where it is. Would I just add some more DME to make up the difference? Most importantly, will the beer still be drinkable when switching the partial boil recipe to a full boil?

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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I don't think you understand what I mean. The hops isomerization depends on the gravity during the boil, but the gravity of the wort you end up with after topping off should be the same either way. You shouldn't need to add more extract at all. Most recipes are designed for a full boil, so it should be fine as-is. The only real difference, as I said, is that you aren't getting the full utilization from your hops when you do a partial boil.

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Old 02-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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Okay I get it now. I have been using a little more water (3 gallons, rather than the recommended 2.5 gallons) for my boils lately, but using the full 5 gallons of water during the boil is the best way to utilize my hops. In that case I'm looking forward to doing a full boil the next time around now that my pot is large enough for it. But I guess I would have to consider the amount of hops used in order to keep the bitterness from being to overpowering.

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