Choosing Hops

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ajr1

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How do you find out what hops go together? Is it by experience or can you get an idea from their descriptions?

What combinations work for particular styles, like an ipa vs a brown ale?

I'm going by suggested extract recipes but I eventually want to improve my process, experience, to form my own recipe and move on to all grain
 

jtrentpearson

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I started out by looking at recipes and then searching comparable hops, you can really learn a lot that way.

Other than that its just a preference thing. I love Fuggle hops in most beers, some people don't. You will learn. Here is a nice website to learn from. https://ychhops.com/
 

jerbrew

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Put simply, a lot of hop selection comes from experience. If you want to start deciding what hops you want to use in this vs that beer or which combinations go well together then looking at recipes and description is a great start but brewing simply and building from there is the best. Get to know your ingredients and you'll become familiar with using them. Hops, yeast, malt, and even your water. Knowing why you choose an ingredient comes from knowing what that ingredient does for the finished product. Just an excuse to brew more beer. :rockin:
 

pshankstar

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If you can do some SMaSH brews that will help you better understand the hops and Malt that was brewed in the beer. There are many hops where I detect some of the characters from the descriptions and not others. This way I can get a sense of what I like and don't. Then I can make a decision from there.

Also reading and listening to podcasts have been helpful too. The latest BeerSmith podcast with Stan Hieronymos was very interesting on hops, combining them and blending them. Link below to the podcast.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast...wing-podcast/id398500515?mt=2&i=1000389749824
 

Yooper

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A simple way to learn about hops is to group them by country of origin. While they are different to be sure, German hops are subtler, and not citrusy (with few exceptions of new hops), English hops tend to have some earthiness or a bit of floral note, American hops have a lot of fruit and citrus and pine to them.

So if I"m brewing an English pale ale, I look at the traditional English varieties to get an idea of what I want for that beer.

For a German lager, I use traditional noble hops and decide on which ones based on that the descriptions (or experience) tell me will be what I want for the beer.

There are a lot of new Australian and New Zealand hops to discover, and I'm finding that they work best in hoppy beers like pale ales and IPAs, as they tend to be fruity as well.
 
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