do Hops increase alchohol content? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #1
pnj
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I've been reading up on the history of IPA's and some sites are saying that the Brittish added large quantity of hops which increased the alcohol in the beer.

What quantity of hops is needed to increase the alchohol and how is the alchohol increased? are there sugars in the hops?

 
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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No, hops have zero fermentables. The high hop levels were there for the preservative effects. Not everything on the web is true.

Another aspect of those early IPAs, they frequently used simple sugars to produce a dry beer with fewer unfermentables. That also reduced the odds of an infection.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Not everything on the web is true.
Sure it is... just ask Al Gore, he put it there.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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that's why I asked here...

I also just read that it's a myth that IPA's were created to make the long journery to India. any truth in that statement? and of couse, russia had their Imperial Pale Ale (IPA)....

 
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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pnj, its only partly true, there were several kinds of beers that would make the trip... IPA wasn't the only one, I read something here about it... The part of the story that isnt true is that it was the only one designed JUST for this trip... it may not have even been designed for the trip, its just too vague on data to know for sure... If I recall what I read.... but don't quote me on it... I just definitely remember its NOT 100% factual.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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Well IPAs generally have a larger quantity of malts as well as hops: the style had an increase in alcohol (and malts) as well as hops. Having extra bitterness and alcohol would let the beer keep longer and still have bite when arriving to India. I don't think there are much of any sugars in hops (especially the quantities we use in bittering) that would add to fermentation. So I think the texts should be saying that IPAs have an increase in alcohol and hops, not from hops....
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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No. BUT -- they do suck up moisture in the brew kettle -- so i guess it indirectly does...
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:36 AM   #8
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No BUT- they do have an antiseptic/ preservative effect that I suppose (esp in the "olden days") could decrease competing elements and let the yeast do their jobs more effeciently. Which I suppose could theoretically result in higher attenuation/alcohol content.

 
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Just ask Ron Pattinson. (olllllo and I will smirk here and no one else will get it)

I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but essentially all that stuff was a myth from what I gather. I suppose I should look up where I got that from... meh.

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:02 PM   #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigafoos View Post
Just ask Ron Pattinson. (olllllo and I will smirk here and no one else will get it)
I got it too!

To the OP, there are a number of myths surrounding the origin of IPA. While it is true that heavy hopping had a preservative quality, alcoholic strength is a different matter entirely as far as some beer historians are concerned.

 
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