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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Unfortunate Confirmation...
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Unfortunate Confirmation...

Just a thread to confirm that it's not a good idea to use your homegrown hops to bitter your beer.

I brewed a pale ale using my homegrown cascade and centennial hops. I used fresh hops, just picked off the bines. I used a 5:1 ratio for weight.

The aroma is very good, the flavor is like a grassy bouquet of flowers, and there is very very little bitterness. It's basically undrinkable. I'm hoping it improves, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:25 PM   #2
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First year harvest?

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerGrylls View Post
First year harvest?
Nope. Third year.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
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Sorry, but while one may never know the precise AA% of his/her home grown hops, they actually can be used for all phases of brewing - if they're good hops, that is. My Chinooks have consistently run in the ball park of commercial AA%, starting with the first year harvest, and are fabulous for bittering. I use ~20% more than "store bought" Chinook and the results are empirically very close...

Cheers!

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:56 PM   #5
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I believe the main reason people avoid using their homegrown hops for bittering, is because they are unsure of thier potency. Almost any hop (correct me if im wrong) will have the same affect when used for 60 minutes. By this I mean the flavor and aroma qualities are lost/boiled out. They will only impart bitterness. How much bitterness is determined by the potency of the hops. Homegrown hops tend to have a lower Alpha Acid than do commercial hops of the same variety. So, it is better to use a commercial for bittering, because you have a firm grasp on thier bittering potential, and use your homegrown hops for late addition, flameout, and dry hopping to make best use of thier fresh flavor and aroma. I just brewed my first homegrown IPA yesterday and I used 2 OZ of Warrior (storebought) for bittering, and the rest were Columbus Hops.

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:04 AM   #6
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I don't typically use homegrown hops for bittering, but in the last couple of beers I have and they've come out great. I dry them first though, as I'm not a fan of the grassy/vegetal flavor I pick up from wethopped beers.

The beer I'm drinking now was hopbursted with all homegrown (newly dried) hops from this year.

The hops schedule for 10 gallons was:
4.00 oz Cascade (Homegrown) Boil 20.0 min
2.00 oz Centennial Hops (Homegrown) Boil 15.0 min
2.00 oz Chinook (Homegrown) Boil 10.0 min
2.00 oz Cascade (Homegrown) Boil 5.0 min
2.00 oz Centennial Hops (Homegrown) Steep 0.0 min
2.00 oz Chinook (Homegrown) Aroma Steep 0.0 min

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:29 AM   #7
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Thanks for the encouragement, folks.

I'll certainly use them for flavor and aroma stl, but I'm not likely to use them for bittering again anytime soon on a five gallon batch. Possibly on a one gallon batch, using dried hops.

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Old 10-15-2013, 01:48 AM   #8
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So, can you blend that beer down, or am I missing the point?

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Old 10-15-2013, 02:13 AM   #9
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In three years I've never wet hopped, with my home-growns or anything else. I prefer to let the compound most associated with "grassiness" to dissipate during the drying process.

Wrt to wet-hopped brews, I've read that the grassiness will subside with time, but obviously bitterness isn't going to increase on its own. I would brew up a strong hop tea and add it to taste. One could draw a pint of the weak sauce, measure in some tea (probably by the teaspoon), note the amount needed to bring the pint up to snuff, then do the math to determine how much tea is needed for the batch.

A couple of dry ounces of your favorite bittering hop simmered in a quart of water for an hour would be a good start...

Cheers!

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Old 10-15-2013, 02:18 AM   #10
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I had the same problem -- really wanted to make an all-homegrown hops beer, and it has ZERO bitterness. Also virtually no hop flavor or aroma, despite using nearly two lbs of wet Nugget hops (mostly late-boil). I'm thinking I just harvested too soon; they smelled great, but almost no hops presence in the beer. I doctored the finished beer with a hop tea, but it pretty much sucks, and will probably be a dumper.

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