Hi guys! (popping the cherry here).
I've actually been reflecting on the low-IBU of hopslam ever since I read an email from the head brewer @ Bell's. I think it makes a lot of sense. IBU does not indicate how many hops are added to the brew, after all, it only indicates how early the hops were added. Right?
Compare, for example, the difference when you add 5oz of 10% Centennial hops to a 5-gallon boil
60 minutes: 271 IBU
30 minutes: 208 IBU
10 minutes: 98 IBU
5 minutes: 54 IBU
1 minutes: 11 IBU
You can see how drasticly this simple example changes when you change the addition time. I know us brewers already understand the relationship between IBU and how long the hops are boiling, but it makes me think a lot about the relationship HopSlam has with the hops. We already know most of the smell and taste comes from late additions, and HopSlam has aroma and taste out the wazoo. But what about bitterness? What if HopSlam simply slams the hops all in at the last minute, making an incredibly hoppy beer that has very little bitterness. It's kind of neat when you think about it. Deceptive, even.
It makes me really want to brew up a few different batches of Maris Otter / CaraPils and vary only when the hops are added. I actually have a freezer full of 1lb of hops (centennial / cascade / magnum) but I only brew 1 gallon at a time. Maybe I'll experiment with this on a small scale. I couldn't afford to drop 20oz into a 5 gallon brew, but I think I can handle 4oz into a 1gal brew
I bet the Centennial will be perfect for this (I'd need too much cascade and the magnum isn't known for its aroma, but for its smooth bittering properties).