Originally Posted by Germey
Hey Kristofo, how goes it?
Have you ever tried this? The theory goes that without components of the malt, the hop acids have nothing to isomerize with, and it is isomerized hops that make "bitter". But, like someone's tagline says here, "everything works in theory."
It goes good Germey, hope the same is for you. Sorry we didn't get to meet up again while you were in town...that comp was keeping me busy until 5, and I rapidly passed out each night at about 6.
Back on topic... all they need to isomerize are protons, and there's plenty of that in water. Plus because iso-alpha-acids are soluble in water, and alpha acids are not, so the fact that you are boiling the hops in water to make the soluble product drives the reaction forward. Yes, I've boiled hops in water to make a hop-tea before, and it was too bitter to drink. My chinese friend loved it though.
Certainly adding a bit of gypsum or epsom salts would help with the extraction and provide a bit of a buffer, but shouldn't be necessary.
I've never tried adding the hop tea to beer though, so who knows if it will even be noticeable. I ran the numbers for 1oz of hops at 6.3% alpha through the different utilization formulas, assuming a 60min boil length of 24oz of water (sg=1.000), which would evaporate down to ~8-12oz by the end of the boil. I then took that volume (12oz) and the IBU's and diluted it into a 5.0gal batch. The end result was the theoretical increase in IBU's:
Basic Formula: 25.0% Utilization (1258.18 IBU) --> +23.6 IBU in 5gal
Daniels: 29.9% (1503.97 IBU) --> +28.2 IBU
Fowler: 34.2% (1721.43 IBU) --> +32.2 IBU
Garetz: 21.5% (1081.73 IBU) --> +20.27 IBU
Mosher: 24.2% (1219.88 IBU) --> +22.86 IBU
Rager: 30% (1511.42 IBU) --> +28.2 IBU
Tinseth: 35.9% (1809.16 IBU) --> +33.9 IBU
~1500IBU's in 12oz of "hop tea"....no wonder it wasn't drinkable.
Of course, take those numbers with a grain of salt, or better yet a shaker of salt, because there's a lot of variable that were just "assumed" to not have any effect other than what occurs in wort in addition to the assumptions made in the formulae themselves. It was just a fun thought experiment in why it "should" work, and approximately what could happen.
Edit: Post #666