Am I doing it right (hops)?

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blitzgp

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I love hops and hoppy beers. Ive never used any sort of calculator for hop strategies, but as I brew more Im wondering if I need to. Right now I use a few thumbrules: I use the alpha% in early additions to dictate how bitter I want my brew. So if I am making an IPA I would be using 15%+ alpha hops mainly, with a little bit of whatever hops I wanted as the aroma (based off the description of the hops ie grapefruit aroma). Then as I get closer to flame out, I lower my high alpha hops and bump up my aroma hops of the profile I desire. I will then late addition or even dry hop using a hop that is from my desired aroma.

I usually use higher alpha early on too, so that I get max efficiency for bittering since this will happen when I dont even have low malt levels (currently I am doing partial mash batches).

Is this a sound strategy? Am I missing anything as far as hopping strategy?
 

hercher

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You may be using more hops than you need. For the bulk of your boil, your bittering hops(high alpha) is really all you need. As you boil, you are boiling off any aroma. Then at flame out and dry hop, you should use only your lower alpha aroma hops.

This is not to say that there aren't some terrific high alpha hops that work well as aroma hops or lower alpha hops that work well as bittering hops, however. You might consider doing something like using only one type of hop. Start with something fairly traditional, such as Goldings or Fuggles.
 
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