Hops/maltose utilization

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lordbeermestrength

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Hey all,

I have an awesome extract american IPA recipe. What made it work so well was a method I tried in which I boiled a 'hop tea' first (about 4 gallons, with 2 oz of hops) then added a light, liquid malt extract and continued as normal from that point with a 60 minute boil, adding more hops additions at 20 mins and 10 mins(then dry hopping later).

I have since switched to all grain. I understand that I will, as a matter of course, not get the same exact beer. I however would like to make it as close as possible.

Here's my thought. Boil up the hop tea as normal, then use that as my sparge water. The problem I am anticipating is that the utilization will be lower because the sparge water will already be partially saturated with hops oils, thereby leaving the sparge that much less efficient.

Anybody have any thoughts? Is this a good plan? Or am I just overthinking this?
 
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I don't really "get" hop teas. As far as I have read, there is almost no utilization without maltose in the mix.

Why don't you just First wort hop them instead? I don't really see what benefit making a hop tea would give you. Please explain if there is something I have overlooked here. :)

EDIT: As far as I know, you need the acidity from the malt to isomerize alpha acids into iso-alpha acids.
 

z987k

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yeah I don't get hop teas either, and I swear I've read that there is little utilization without sugar in solution, but I can't come up with a reason for that or a source to site, so I can't say that's true.

As far as a using hop tea as sparge water, the extremely small amount of oils due to the hops should not effect your sparge efficiency in any appreciable way.
 

RayInUT

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I don't really "get" hop teas. As far as I have read, there is almost no utilization without maltose in the mix.

Why don't you just First wort hop them instead? I don't really see what benefit making a hop tea would give you. Please explain if there is something I have overlooked here. :)

EDIT: As far as I know, you need the acidity from the malt to isomerize alpha acids into iso-alpha acids.
Yeah, what he said. FWH will blow away anything you did with extract. No hop teas needed.
 

Edcculus

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Honestly, the easiest thing to do would be to target the same IBU's in beersmith with your new all grain recipe. If its too little or too less, just adjust next time you brew the recipe.
 

Kaiser

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Yes, the hop utilization in water would be better than in wort. alpha acids are less soluble in acidic solutions (one reason why they are expelled during the fermentation and end up in the Kraeusen) and you need to dissolve them first before they can be isomerized.

This being said, I wonder about the quality of the bitterness that is extracted with a hop tea. That's why I have been proposing to always add some malt extract even if you go with the late extract method.

But yes, you could try hopping the sparge water. Maybe you are onto something. There might be more bitterness loss then usual due to the water trapped in the spent grain and the precipitation of proteins which bind some of the bitterness.

Kai
 

Kaiser

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Honestly, the easiest thing to do would be to target the same IBU's in beersmith with your new all grain recipe. If its too little or too less, just adjust next time you brew the recipe.
The problem is, he doesn't know really know the IBUs of his beer b/c none of the IBU formulas are designed for hops boiled in water.

Kai
 

Edcculus

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Right. I'm just saying that since there is no real good way to figure it out, start with a good guess at what your bitterness needs to be in the new AG recipe. Then adjust your recipe from there. That seems much easier than messing around with hop tea etc.
 

david_42

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IBUs and hop oils are parts per million, so they won't make any difference in the extraction of the mash sugars.
 

Kaiser

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Right. I'm just saying that since there is no real good way to figure it out, start with a good guess at what your bitterness needs to be in the new AG recipe. Then adjust your recipe from there. That seems much easier than messing around with hop tea etc.

What I was getting at is that he may also be getting a different hop character from his procedure. If that is true and he likes that character better then he should actually give hopping the brewing water a try.

My position on the whole IBU calculation thing is anyway that you should use it to get in the ballpark and then adjust based on previous batches of that recipe. I haven’t calculated IBUs in a long time. I just look back in my notes and find the same or a similar recipe and check how much a-acids I used there and how I liked the bitterness.

Kai
 
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Gravity effects hop utilization. The higher the gravity the less room for dissolved iso-humolone.

As for PH. Various interweb sources are stating opposite claims. One says 5-5.4 PH for optimum utilization and one says a PH of 8!

I do know that a study done on temperature and Isomerization (isomerization and utilization on not the same) used water at a buffered ph of 5.2. At 70c less than 10% of alpha acids were converted. At 120c (under pressure I would think) 90% converted to iso-humolone in 30 minutes.

I know a brewing chemist who was a brewmaster for Labatt's for 25 years. I'll ask him when I get a chance to explain all this defintively.
 

z987k

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Well I guess I'll have to look this one up....
Pg. 285 of Brewing Science and Practice, last paragraph:
"However, only 4.5%of allo-iso- -acids
were formed in boiling wort but better yields were found at pH9.0."
That's all I see right now.

You are correct in the high gravity leads to less utilization.
 
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lordbeermestrength

lordbeermestrength

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So...

You guys are saying that my experimentation results line up with the science? :cross: I definitely got a different character doing the 'hop tea.' It sounds like I'll be doing the hop tea with extract this time, only because I want this one to turn out as close to identical as possible, reason being because I am getting requests for "that one IPA that you brewed the week before you moved." But next time I will try using the hop tea as sparge water, as per your suggestions. I just need to figure out now what grains to use when converting 7lbs of Breiss LME to an all grain equivalent.

Thanks guys, these boards are great! :p
 
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Well I guess I'll have to look this one up....
Pg. 285 of Brewing Science and Practice, last paragraph:
"However, only 4.5%of allo-iso--acids
were formed in boiling wort but better yields were found at pH9.0."
That's all I see right now.

You are correct in the high gravity leads to less utilization.
What version of that book do you have. I'm looking at that book on google books and don't see that paragraph on page 285.
 

z987k

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What version of that book do you have. I'm looking at that book on google books and don't see that paragraph on page 285.
Its the full version, the version on google books is missing sections. The paragraph is under 8.2.4. - Isomerization of the ά-acids
 

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