Hop extraction vs acidity - Home Brew Forums
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:25 AM   #1
GlueST1CK
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May 2013
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I was wondering if there is a correlation between the acidity of the wort and the extraction of alpha acids from hops. I'm curious about this because I added some orange slices into the wort before the first hop addition and I am not getting the bitterness I was shooting for.

 
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:20 AM   #2
ajdelange
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Hop acids are acids. The higher the pH the more they dissociate and the more soluble they become. The bittering power of a given weight of hops is diminished appreciably at lower pH. If the addition of the orange slices lowered the pH of the wort significantly what you observed is exactly what is to be expected.

 
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
markdodge
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What would be the effect if oranges are omitted in the recipe? Would the taste be too much bitter or bearable?
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
ajdelange
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That would depend on a whole lot of factors. All I can say is that the lower the pH, the less hop acid extraction/isomerization you will get. Presumably the oranges contain some acid and lower the pH somewhat. Thus if you take them out you can expect the bitterness to increase by some amount. Uniformity of hops utilization is one reason brewers control kettle pH.

 
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