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Old 12-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default "Mystery Ingredient" Mystery

Hello--I hope everyone had a good holiday.

So--My brother gave me a beer kit for Christmas. While he was at the store he noticed they had a grab box of "mystery ingredients" and for $0.50 he could grab one. Of course he did and also gave it to me. I have not opened the bag but it appears to be a 1oz bag of some sort of unlabeled hop. So--is there anyway to tell what kind of hop it is. I am a pretty new brewer--1yr--and have tried to experiement with different varieties. I have tried smelling them all and they all smell the same to me so that method of differentiation is out. I can taste the differences but that will be too late and could have already screwed up a batch. Anyway--is there some other method to tell what variety it is?? Alternatively--is there some basic recipe that I could use that wont be screwed up if it turns out to be high IBU like magnum or low like saaz?? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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Old 12-26-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Use it in a dry hop and it won't contribute any IBUs. Since it's only 1 oz, you'll probably either want to combine it with another hop, or do a small batch (2-3 gal) with it in there alone.

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Old 12-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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My only one gallon batch was to test a mystery hop. I used extract to avoid putting a lot of work into it. I've also read that you can "test" bitterness by making hop teas with known hops and comparing it to the mystery hop.

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Old 12-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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+1 on the dry hop. Another possibility is to brew a blonde or pale ale with a simple grist, use your favorite yeast and use the mystery hop as a late addition. Randy Mosher advocates using high alpha varieties as aroma addition for conventional beers with a twist; and while not a classic high alpha hop, I have used Perle at 8,7% with good results as aroma addition.

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Old 12-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Just make a 1 gallon SMASH with it boiled for 60 minutes. Your either going to end up with a mildly hoppy pale if their cascades or some noble low AA hop, or a nice bitter beer if its a higher IBU!

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Old 12-26-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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15min Pale Ale?

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Old 12-27-2013, 03:17 AM   #7
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What an odd thing to have - a mystery bag of hops. I mean, even if it turns out great, then your chances of replicating the batch are next to nil.

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Old 12-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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It could be the beginning of a life-long quest to find more.
"Mystery IPA"
"Lost Hop Ale"

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