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Old 01-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #1
shlongstar
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Default Sierra Nevada Pale Ale "Hoppiness"

I must admit, I love all beer, but have only tried Sierra Nevada in the recent months.

Upon first impression, I thought the bitterness was a bit too much for me... but I gotta say I'm starting to like it.

As reference for a newb like me... How would you guys rate Sierra Nevada's "Hoppiness"? I kinda find it a good balance, and can't imagine much more bitterness in a beer. Maybe I'll never be a "hophead?"

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Old 01-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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As per their site SNPA is right around 37 IBU's. It's an APA, which range from 20-40 IBU's, so it' on the high side you might say but there are way hoppier offerings out there. Go and buy a single of one of the Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Harvest and see if you like that, its about 65 IBU's.

Maybe it's not for you, but I bet it will grow on ya.

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Old 01-09-2009, 07:56 PM   #3
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SNPA is pretty hoppy, particularly if you aren't used to that sort of thing. Keep in mind that it's just a pale ale, so those 37 IBUs go a long way. There are many beers that are much hoppier, though that doesn't mean they come across as a lot more bitter.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
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Talk about hops try dogfish heads 120 minute IPA!!!! OFF THE RICHTER!!!!

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:10 PM   #5
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but the 120 isnt bitter at all

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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What would be a good example of a beer that is hoppy (or higher in IBU) but still well balanced and doesn't make you pucker when you drink it?

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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I think it's all perception- I think SNPA is a balanced beer. Kind of boring, in a way- neither hoppy nor bitter. But I think if you look at the IBU:SG ratio, you could determine what makes a beer bitter.

What I mean is, 39 IBUs in a 1.090 OG beer is nothing. But 39 IBUs in a 1.030 OG beer would be bitter. So, for a "balanced beer", you'd want to have the IBUs in line with the gravity of the beer. Software helps a lot with that- it helps when you calculate how "bitter" that beer is going to be.

Basically what I am trying to say is, that the more malt in a beer, the more hops you need to counter the malt sweetness. So, any number of beers can be balanced between the hops and malt. As far as a style that almost always shows balance, I think of American Amber. Neither malty, nor hoppy, but balanced.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:23 PM   #8
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Puckering is more an issue of astringency, or perhaps sourness. Maybe you just have to work your way up. Great Lakes Commodore Perry is a pretty hoppy but balanced IPA, IMO.

But I still say that what sets big hop bombs apart isn't their bitterness, it's their mass of hop flavor. It can turn you off at first. Stone Ruination was hard for me to drink at first, but it wasn't really the bitterness to blame.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:30 PM   #9
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Victory had the Yakima Twilight a little while back that was a double IPA but not super bitter. very well balanced and super dark. One of my all time favorites.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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Well, maybe I'm not using the correct terms, but for example, the first time I had a Stone ABA, that first sip felt like I got smacked in the mouth. Not that it was technically "bitter" (in terms of astringency) but that is was like hop overload. The front of my tongue felt like it had a seizure and the after taste was consuming, but not necessarily in a good way. On the other hand, I tasted a very well balanced IPA at my local homebrewers club meeting last night that was quite hoppy, but didn't feel overloaded like the Stone ABA, as it was well balanced. The front of the tongue definitely noticed the hops, but there was enough malt to counteract it and leave my mouth feeling like it was not dying. I hope I'm making sense here.

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