Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Why not more high AA bittering hops?
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default Why not more high AA bittering hops?

I've noticed that the high AA bittering hops are typically only used with very hoppy beers like IPAs. Why aren't they used more in lesser amounts instead of 5-7% hops like Cascades or Centennial? It would seem like you would get more for your money that way.

Mike


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Old 07-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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I do this all the time with a neutral high AA bittering hop like Magnum or Galena for the bittering addition.


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Old 07-08-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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There's some concern they add a harsh bitterness.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
There's some concern they add a harsh bitterness.
Entirely dependent on variety, though. Chinook is known for being rather harsh, while Galena and Magnum are quite appropriate with a smooth bitterness.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #5
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Because not too long ago hop prices were low enough that hops could be used in rediculous proportions. Times have changed and what you are inquiring about has gotten much notice however, some recipes don't transition well.

Part, perhaps only small however, of the price issues were wttributed directly to farms trading in the lower alpha products for higher alpha varieties that would process well into extracts. At one point, it was rumnored that many of the C varietals would become scarce as a result of this practice.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:54 PM   #6
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The other important thing in hops is the co-humulone amount, not just the humulone resins. The co-humulones are important in the "smoothness" in the taste. Many high AA hops have high co-humulones, too, so they are "harsher".

That's why some of the "newer" high AA hops like magnum are less harsh- they have high AA but low co-humulones. Ray Daniels book, "Designing Great Beers" has a long discussion on all of this, and why some still use the Noble hops for bittering, flavor, and aroma when they really don't "need" to for the bittering.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
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I've been reading up on beta acids and cohumulones. It looks like Warrior or Magnum would be a perfect substitute for bittering where most recipes call for lower AA hops.

Mike
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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To add to the already mentioned reasons, in homebrewing, with high AA hops, a small miscalculation can have drastic results. Example if you need 1/4oz of 16%AA hops, which is about 7 grams, and you get around 9 grams, thats quite a difference. For the same recipe you would need 1 oz of a 4%AA hop, if you are off 2 grams, 30 instead of 28, not such a big deal.
Now all of this means nothing if you have an accurate enough scale, but many homebrewers do not.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:55 PM   #9
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Instead of using more of a lower AA bittering hops, I'm using Nugget at 13%AA next weekend. I thought by using less hops at a higher AA that I was accomplishing the end result but with less hops. The second/final addition at 20 minutes for me is 1oz of cascade at 4.9%AA.

I'll let you know how it turns out considering all the input everyone else put in the thread regarding co-humulone .
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:02 PM   #10
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Nugget should be good. It's cohumulone is 24-30% according to the wiki.


I can see where small errors can have big results. Is there a decent scale for a reasonable price available anywhere?

Mike


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