Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Confused about the link between Aplha Acids and Cohumulone
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
Grinder12000
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Default Confused about the link between Aplha Acids and Cohumulone

OK - the main bittering agent in hops are alpha acids which are insoluble in water until boiled.

Where does cohumulone fit in here which is "part" of the alpha acids?

It seems cohumulone breaks down easier when boiled. ????

OK - what does that do for me ???

Lets say I'm using Horizon 13% - does that mean I get MORE of that 13% then a "like" hop that has 13% but HIGH cohumulone??

OH MAN - I'm becoming a brew geek!!


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Old 07-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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I would try to explain, but hopefully Steve Parkes can say it better. This is taken from BYO - Hop Chemistry: Homebrew Science

Quote:
Basically, alpha-acids are a class of compounds known as humulones. They consist of a complex hexagonal molecule with several side chains, with ketone and alcohol groups. Examples include humulone, cohumulone, adhumulone, posthumulone, and prehumulone. Each different humulone differs in the make up of the side chain, for instance, humulone has a side chain of isovalerate attached, while cohumulone has isobutyrate as its side chain. These side chains can become detached during extended storage under poor conditions and result in cheesy flavors associated sometimes with old hops. It has become accepted dogma among brewers to think of each of these humulones to have different bitter characteristics. There are some that swear that the bitterness associated with cohumulone is "harsher" than that from humulone. Other studies have shown no difference in sensory impact when each of the different humulones are compared. Nevertheless, the humulone:cohumulone ratio is now quoted in hop analyses and new varieties are being bred with low cohumulone levels in mind. Historically, the most highly prized hop varieties - including noble hops such as Hallertau, Tettnang and Saaz - also happen to be those that have low cohumulone levels.


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Old 07-17-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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WELL - that makes my eyes cross and tells me not to worry about it.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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I brew a lot of IPA's and depending on what I am going for, I always look at the cohumulone levels in hops I am using. It makes a huge difference. Cohumulone has the a strong bite and lingers on the back of the pallet. Sometimes you want that and sometimes you may not. For a summer poolside IPA that I want to throw down all day, I make a lower ABV (almost a session IPA) and therefore you dont want to wreck your pallet so I use Horizon and Simcoe for bittering-both VERY low cohumulone but still high alpha, then a tad in the middle and pound the end with hops. The first time I tried it it blew me away how smooth the bitter was. I have converted a lot of non IPA drinkers with this recipe. The reason they dont like IPA is not the hops, its the bitter bite. For a DIPA you might want that bite being that you may not drink enough to fatigue your pallet and you are going for the hop bomb. Go to lugwrenchbrewing.com and they have the chart. Cheers!
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