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Hop Flavor/Aroma Units??

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wendelgee2

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Hi folks,
As I was thinking about putting together a clone of a local beer (sixpoint sweet action) I realized that I didn't have any idea how much flavor or aroma to add to it. We as brewers have elaborate formulas for simulating bitterness (HBUs, IBUs, etc) but are completely guessing when it comes to targeting the amount of hop flavor or aroma we're putting into a beer.

I know this effort would be really challenging (some say that %AA of a hop corresponds to the amount of all other flavor compounds, but what of the noble hops??), but has anyone seen any attempts at it, or research on quantifying the amount of flavor/aroma imparted to a beer by a certain hop schedule?

Even if it's not purely scientific, something that would give you a point of comparison among beers would be helpful...like the IBU/OG rating in Designing Great Beers is. Maybe this would be Flavor or Aroma Units/IBUs to judge the ratio of flavor to bitterness. So, a german lager with almost no late additions would score lower than a hoppy IPA.

just ruminating...
 

Belmont

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IBU/OG doesn't really have much to do with the final hop flavor though. It can certainly affect the overall flavor profile but pure hop flavor comes mostly from hop additions in the 15-30 minute range. There are a lot of ways to add aroma but you could have 0 IBUs from not adding hops to the boil(you'd never want to do this of course) and then dry-hop and have a high hop aroma so using IBU/OG for aroma would miss the mark. I've read an explanation of why flavor is not measurable but don't remember where now. I think they said it was mostly subjective.
 

pjj2ba

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I'm slowly looking into this. What I've been doing is looking at the oil composition of the hops I'm using and trying to be able to correlate them with the final flavor. The idea being to figure out what the oil profile I want, and then picking hops and their amounts to reach my goal. Kind of like building brewing water from RO water. One problem is much of the oil content info. is not very exact and the range given can be a bit wide. It would be way cool to get samples of the oils and then mix and match to one's taste and then pick hops to get that oil profile.

This might actually work when it comes to dry hopping, or say flame out or hop back additions. Now adding in boiling, and you have to figure out how each of the oils is affected by boiling and it's going to get real complicated. If it could be done it would be a fantastic tool. It would cut down on a lot of trial and error.
 
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wendelgee2

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IBU/OG doesn't really have much to do with the final hop flavor though.
I didn't mean to imply that it does. My point in bringing up IBU/OG is that it's a type of practical ratio measurement, rather than a scientifically derived measurement.

So, we might be able to find a SIMILAR TYPE of ratio measurement to help us quantify beer flavor/aroma, without having to do intensive laboratory experiments.
 
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