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Hop/Malt Balance

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Craig311

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After reading about beer/homebrewing for a few months, then making 7 of my own extract batches, listening to the brewing network podcasts, the Jamil shows, preparing myself to go all grain, etc... 1 year later it seems like the one thing that everyone talks about in a truly good beer is balance.

I'm having trouble telling if my beers are "balanced" or not. I didn't notice this until I brewed my first APA. It's a extract with steeping grains and dry hopped beer recipe from my LHBS.

It's been in the bottle for 4 weeks now after spending 2 weeks in the primary and another 2 and a half in the secondary, and it tastes great.

So... There isn't a huge hop nose on it. When you first drink it, you can taste the hop bitterness (and it's great), but it finishes really malty.

My expectations for an APA start with a classic Sierra Nevada, and then I go from there. So, In order to help you gauge the beer I made - it has much less of a floral aroma as a Sierra Nevada would (despite my 1 min hop additions and dry hopping). It has almost an identical hop bitterness when it's in your mouth. When it's all said and done, its a malty finish and I'm left thinking I brewed a malty beer with a little hop bitterness.

I ended up with exact hydrometer readings and a 6.9% beer. So, everything seems right on target.

Was it the recipe?
 

SteveM

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I'm having a hard time really understanding the question. I guess I would only say that you should brew the beer you like - if it pleases you, then don't worry about concepts like "balance." If it needs more of something, then do that in the next batch. Don't be overly constrained by recipes or what other people think.
 

Arneba28

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you dont know how long I have been looking for that chart ^^^^...I looked but all of them were type specific....
 

homebrewer_99

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Balance is basically the flavor of your beer. It it tastes both bitter and sweet or neither one is dominate then it's balanced. :D

I find that most of the west coast brews are out of balance for my taste buds. They just like that extra kick of hops. I don't. ;)

On the other hand, I like my Hefe Weizens on the sweet side. :D
 

joejaz

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SuperiorBrew said:
Just in case you haven't seen it before:

I prefer my brews dryer then maltier . Like to finish at 1.010, anything else seems to sweet. This looks pretty cool. Do you have any detailed instructions on how to use this chart. I will try to figure it out when I'm not drinking.
 

cuinrearview

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Most recipe calculators give projected OG and IBU numbers. Just google a calculator, I use BeerSmith, and tweak your ingrediants to meet the parameters in this chart. :mug:
 
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Gonna bump an old thread because I don't want to start a new one for a simple (possibly stupid) question...but why do all the hop balance charts show OG vs. bitterness? Shouldn't it be final gravity since that's what we end up tasting?
 

david_42

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No, OG is closely related to ABV and what is being balanced is alcohol content to IBU to residual malts. The chart does over-simplify with an implicit assumption of 75% attenuation.

YMMV (Your maltiness may vary)
 

stedtale

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There is also Balance Value.

Basically:

BV=BU/RTE
RTE=(.18*OG)+(.82*FG)

It supposedly takes into account that more than just OG will play into the maltiness for a brew.

http://beercolor.netfirms.com/balance.html

A BU:GU of .5 is "balanced
A BV of 1 is "balanced"

I'm just starting to play with both of these figures.
 

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