Hops: Bitterness "flavor" on long boils; explained

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I have some debates on here about flavor imparted by hops when those hops have been boiled at a rolling boil for over 60 minutes.

I could not understand how some people insisted that there was a notable "flavor" difference for different bittering hops even when long boiled.

All the beta acids etc (read flavoring compounds) boil out of the beer after 60+ minutes.

The one thing I forgot was cohumulone levels. A hop with a considerable % of cohumulone will impart a more astringent or "harsh" bitterness. Usually these levels are higher in high alpha hops but not always. (cohumulone is an alpha acid after all).

For example Columbus is a high alpha acid hop that has very low cohumulone levels and imparts a fairly clean bitterness, in comparison to it's rather pungent flavoring/aroma compounds.

High cohumulone have a tendency to seem harsher with more delicate light srm beers and less noticeable with heavy dark beers.

So in fact there can be a difference in bittering hops but this "flavor" is not the same as the flavoring compounds that are in your beer when the hops are added at the end of a boil.

Se here for some basic information:
http://www.brewingwiki.com/w/index.php?title=Cohumulone#Cohumulone
 
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First Wort Hopping is a whole differant ball game. I'm talking about adding hops after a rolling boil is already going and boiling for an excess of 60 minutes.

(I've also mash hopped with success, but have to say it's not a very efficient use of hops)
 

Buford

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I was considering getting some Magnum since it is characterized as a "clean" bittering hop, but I never did. Would it be a good bittering hop for pretty much anything?
 

bradsul

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For most of my bittering additions where the taste doesn't matter I've switched to galena with great success (including in side-by-side comparisons of stout, ordinary bitter and IPA recipes).

I've heard magnum is also fairly neutral in flavour but I have no experience with it so I can't say for sure.
 

niquejim

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Denny's Evil Concoctions said:
First Wort Hopping is a whole differant ball game. I'm talking about adding hops after a rolling boil is already going and boiling for an excess of 60 minutes.

(I've also mash hopped with success, but have to say it's not a very efficient use of hops)
I've heard that there is little to no added benefit beyond 60minutes.
 

Evan!

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Galena is an excellent neutral, "clean" bittering hop. With the shortage and all, I've been using a touch to bitter most anything.
 

Evan!

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niquejim said:
I've heard that there is little to no added benefit beyond 60minutes.
There's a little, but the drop is precipitous. Mash hopping, OTOH, imparts a very subtle flavor/aroma without affecting IBU's very much.
 

Got Trub?

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bradsul said:
For most of my bittering additions where the taste doesn't matter I've switched to galena with great success (including in side-by-side comparisons of stout, ordinary bitter and IPA recipes).

I've heard magnum is also fairly neutral in flavour but I have no experience with it so I can't say for sure.
I'm using Magnum alot for my lagers and liking it. You get little flavour/aroma from it when used as a purely bittering hop as you use so little. You can use it for flavour/aroma as well as it is a derivative of hallertau mittelfruh. One thing for sure with these high AA hops you need an accurate scale for measuring the bittering addition.

GT
 

bradsul

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Got Trub? said:
...One thing for sure with these high AA hops you need an accurate scale for measuring the bittering addition.
Use grams and it's nice and easy. Metric System FTW! :D

Seriously though, for high alpha hops you can't beat a cheap postage scale that uses grams. I used to do it with my grain scale which supposedly does 1g increments but I had a lot of inconsistencies I didn't like.
 

Kaiser

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Some sources say that during the boil, and even more for FWH and mash hopping, flavor compounds of the hops are oxidized into more stable aromatic compounds. I guess that's where you get the flavor from bittering hops from. Germans supposedly don't go to all the lengths of keeping O2 out of the hop storage. (was mentioned in one of the Basic Brewing Radio podcasts) This may make a difference as well.

Kai
 
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