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Old 01-22-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default High AA hops for bittering Belgian vs lots of low AA hops

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone had tried using some neutral high alpha acid bittering hops (like Warrior) in a Belgian to provide some bitterness without using up a ton of low alpha Saaz. I just brewed a batch of Jamil's Belgian Golden Strong and used .45 oz Czech Saaz (4%AA) for a gallon. I couldve used .1 oz Warrior (15%AA) to get the same level of bitterness. Since the hops are low key in these beers and only used to add bitterness (not flavor/aroma), does hop choice matter? Would love to hear of anyone's experiments/attempts at this. Thanks!

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:32 PM   #2
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I personally don't like high alpha hops on small 5 gallon batches on anything but an over the top IPA. I find it really hard to get the bittering right as the margin of error measuring out 20%AA magnum whole leaf is way too big. Even with a "cocaine" scale as Jamil advocates, whole flower hops are not a consistent homogenous product. And if you are doing a "classic style", you should spend the extra couple of dollars and use the right hop varieties....especially on styles that aren't hop forward. Late hops can cover up a neutral bittering hop but if your only addition is 60minutes, you will be able to taste the difference between high alpha hops and the same beer bittered with a low alpha aroma hop.
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