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Old 08-05-2006, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default Bittering vs. flavoring

I have a Pale Ale that I brewed a few weeks ago. It was fashioned after a recipe that I have brewed before from a Austin Homebrew kit. The kit brewed excellent beer. I pulled some of the kit beer out at my daughters college graduation party. Everyone loved it, and at the end of the party I only had a few bottles left. I decided I need to brew this again soon. So I took the recipe to a LHBS. This is where things started to get messed up.

First, the recipe called for 6# of extract. The guy accidentally gave me 7#.

Secondly, the yeast listed on the recipe said " White Labs California Ale yeast"
and then had the number #0002 listed. The guy gave me White labs #0002, and White labs #0002 is not California Ale yeast, it is English Ale yeast. The "California Ale is #0001. I did not notice this until after I had made my starter and it was then too late. The # 0002 must be a Austin Homebrew stock number. I have since looked on Austin's website and see that the numbers they list with their White labs yeast are not the White labs numbers.

The original recipe from the kit called for:
1oz. Cascade (4.5 AA) for 60 min.
1oz. Cascade (4.5 AA) for 15 min.
1oz. Cascade (4.5 AA) Dry hop.

To allow for the extra 1# of extract I adjusted the recipe to:
1.25 oz. Cascade (7.25 AA) for 60 min.
1oz. Cascade (7.25 AA) for 15 min.
1oz. Cascade (7.25 AA) Dry hop.

After my first intial tasting last night, my impression is that it was a little sweet and and does not have the pronounced hop flavor I was expecting.

I am making another trip to the LHBS today. I will this time make sure I get the correct yeast. I think I am going to stick with the 7# of extract vs. 6#.
My question is: How do you figure the ratio of bittering hops to flavoring hops? Should I up the bittering a liitle to cut the sweetness and up the flavoring to get a little more pronounced hoppiness? Or would just increasing the flavoring counter act the sweetness? The sweetness would probably be ok if there was a little more hop flavor. Also, will the difference in yeast help with the hoppiness. I noticed that White Labs says their #0001 California Ale Yeast accentuates the hop flavor.
Sorry for such a long post.
I am just a liitle unsure on the difference between bittering and flavoring.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-05-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
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I'm a little surprised on the bittering. You basically doubled the bittering (7.25*1.25 vs. 4.5*1) hops. With bittering, you have to look at the alpha acid content, the amount and the time.

Bittering hops provide bitterness by the conversion of alpha acids, they balance the malt sweetness. All of the oils in bittering hops boil off. Some of the alpha acids in the flavor hops convert and some of the oils boil off, so you get a balance. If you have a problem with the current batch, you could boil 1/2 oz. of cascades for 15 mintues in a pint of water and add that to the fermenter.

I would wait until you have dry hopped to make any adjustments, because much of what we think of as flavor is really aroma.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by david_42
I would wait until you have dry hopped to make any adjustments, because much of what we think of as flavor is really aroma.
And you really won't get good aroma until the beer is carbed.
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Boom-Boom Apricot Hefeweisen; Forbidden Ale;Pale-Ass Ale (SNPA Clone); Ol' Man Winter Ale
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