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How and when to hop

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msleeve_ak

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I have been brewing for almost a year, and i am trying to get my bitterness right. If i have the perfect recipe, but it is to bitter, can i just add less hops? Or should i add them at different times?
 

Janx

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You need to do some basic reading on hops, alpha acids and how they impact brews so you know better how to control the hopping in your beers. Recipe calculators (to figure out the IBU of your beer) are very handy when you're trying to figure out how bitter a beer will be.

The short version is, the more alpha acid, the more bitterness a hop can contribute. Alpha acid percentages will be on your package of hops. You usually add the bittering hops at the beginning of the boil. By adding more or less of these, your beer will be more or less bitter. Or, by using hops with lower alpha acids, you can lower you bitterness. For example, a beer with one ounce of Columbus hops will be much more bitter than one with 4 ounces of Fuggle hops.

Hops added late in the boil contribute flavor and aroma rather than bitterness.

Hope that helps. Welcome to the forum! :D
 

phuzle

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Janx said:
Hops added late in the boil contribute flavor and aroma rather than bitterness.

Hope that helps. Welcome to the forum! :D
i've wondered about this. is there NO bitterness for hops added late in the boil, or is there just a small enough amount that it is negligible? how do the alpha acids get out of the hops? heat times time?
 

NUCC98

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phuzle said:
i've wondered about this. is there NO bitterness for hops added late in the boil, or is there just a small enough amount that it is negligible? how do the alpha acids get out of the hops? heat times time?
Here's what I found:

Using pellets increases your utilization by 10%, boiling them in a bag, reduces by 10%. The actual bitterness is calculated, from what I use, by the Tinseth Method:

http://realbeer.com/hops/research.html

That should spin your head for a bit....... :D
 

Janx

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The vigor of the boil, the heat over time...hops have all kinds of different oils and compounds in them that break down and change over the course of the boil. You get no bitterness out of late-addition hops to speak of, though more hop flavor can increase your perception of bitterness.

Play with a IBU calculator and you'll get a feel for how it works. Also, Designing Great Beers has extensive discussion of hop chemistry and utilization.
 
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msleeve_ak

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All the advice is good, i think i just have to experiment a little to find out what does what.
 
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