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Hops Utilization

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Krueger

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Hey all,
I was thinking about the percent of hops that are utiliazble in the brewing process. I have heard that only 30% of all available alpha acids are utilizable in a boil. Given that that boil has a low gravity 1.040 OG and is boiled for at least sixty minuets. This of course drops when you either increase the gravity or decrease the time...
What i was wondering was this. If i boiled the hops seperatly from the mail boil and added them, say, before the pitch, would the %utilizatoin go up. It seems so but i am not sure. Has anyone tried this? Or does anyone have any thoughts about this idea. I am sure that i am not the only one that has thought along these lines. Anyhoo, thanks for all the help/insight.

Happy brewin
 

fsinger

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I was interested in your message. Sounds like you want to improve the hop flavor in your brew. I have successfully created some really good hop flavored ales by buying fresh leaf hops and using LOTS in the boil. Even though I over did one batch, I named it "Extra" hoppy, and with that warning the folks who love stronger beer really love that one!

I order 4 lbs of fresh hops from www.hopsdirect.com , a small grower in Mabton, Washington where lots of american hops are grown. The 1-pound sealed bags cost $4.50 to $5.50 or so depending on the variety. I smelled them all, and just picked the one I liked best for my dark partial grain brew.

I put about 1-1/2 oz at the start of the boil, and then another 1-1/2 oz or 2 oz during the last 30 minutes of the boil using the normal hop boil bags. I've tried three of the varieties of hops I bought, Cascade, Willamette, and Hallertau (SP?). On the "extra" brew, I started with 3 oz of Cascades, and added another 3 oz during the last 30 minutes. I ran the risk of bitter, but the recipe I use is very sweet, so it came out fine.

Okay, there's my 2 cents worth.
 

tnlandsailor

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Are you trying to save money? I'm all for increasing the efficiency of the process, but you can spend less than a buck for extra hops to make your beer more bitter. You would use more money than that in heat (electricity or gas) just for the extra boil you are considering. I'm not sure of the chemistry, but perhaps the remaining 70% of the acids do not contribute favorably to beer flavor? Any chemists care to comment? Personally, I would stick with standard methods on this.

Additionally, you can buy hop oil extract. This is pre-isomerized alpha acid that is completely soluble in beer. You can put it in post-fermented beer via an eye dropper to increase bitterness.

Keep questioning, that's where innovations come from.....

Prosit!
 
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Krueger

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hey all thanks for the posts,
i guess it is true that i probably would waste the ammount of gas/electric trying to boil the hops without the wort. what i was after was a really predictable way to find the final IBU (international bittering units) that one brew might have. That way i could fine tune a particular brew. anyway my wife calls me a contro freak but i brew some good stuff anyway.
happy brewin,
 

tnlandsailor

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I hate to repeat myself but.....Promash, Promash, Promash. Gravity, IBU's, efficiency, inventory control, boil-off calculator, dillution calculator, hop alpha degradation calculator, brix to SG conversion....you name the tool and it's there. The ideal thing for control freaks ;) . I would be lost without it.....

www.promash.com; best $25 you can spend in the brewery.

Prosit!
 
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tnlandsailor said:
I hate to repeat myself but.....Promash, Promash, Promash. Gravity, IBU's, efficiency, inventory control, boil-off calculator, dillution calculator, hop alpha degradation calculator, brix to SG conversion....you name the tool and it's there. The ideal thing for control freaks ;) . I would be lost without it.....

www.promash.com; best $25 you can spend in the brewery.
Being a computer geek by trade I looked at Promash early on into my brewing (like March 05!). The only value I saw at the time was the Hydro adjust but I was doing doing kits. Now as I prepare for my 1st all-grain next weekend and after going to an AG class I look at Promash and all I can say is "What a Tool!".
 

Swervo Maneuver

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desertBrew said:
after going to an AG class all I can say is "What a Tool!".
now, just because the teacher was a jerk doesn't mean you shouldn't use the software anyway.
 

andre the giant

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I refuse to use Promash... because it won't run on a Mac. I'm not going to install a Windows emulator on my Mac and bug it all up.

Promash sounds like a great tool, but it's not worth getting a PC for. :)
 

Dienekles

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Now that is a facinating idea - if you are doing a partial mash recipe where you need to add additional water to your brew (ie. you want to have 7 # WME for 5 gallons of water OR 5 # DME per gallon of water)

Why not hop the water you need to add to your brew - as if it were the wort itself.. that means you will have higher extraction, potentially saving money and increasing the potential IBU's with less hops ITS BRILLIANT.

I might give that a go next time around. Is there something I missed here?
There must be a reason that doesnt work.
 
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