Icognito hop virgin

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Beer-lord

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Grabbed some Mosaic and Citra Incognito from Yakima recently and am planning on trying it very soon. I'm starting to see more comments about the best way to use it and there's definitely many opinions on it. I was thinking of adding all 20ml in whirlpool at 180 for about 15 minutes. Some have said this may cause a slight chemical taste (that's a rare opinion it seems). Others say pull 1 gallon of wort at knockout into the fermenter on top of the Incognito and chill the rest and add the chilled wort to the fermenter on top of it, chill to pitching temps as normal. And others say it's best to add some hops in pellet form with the incognito at whirlpool to help the incognito to hold onto as it will help avoid blockage in the fermenter and keg since its oils really stick around.
Hence, my hop radar is up wondering what others may have found with their use of Incognito on the homebrew level.
 

pvpeacock

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I made an IPA this weekend using the Incognito. I will be very curious how it comes out. However, I discovered that his stuff is very messy to use. It is sticky, sticky, sticky, and when I started cleaning up I seemed to find sticky traces of it everywhere.

I planned to use half of a jar (10ml) at flameout. When I opened the jar, I realized it was too thick to measure with a syringe. So I resealed the jar and submerged it in a cup of hot water for a while. This helped liquify it enough to use the syringe. When I finished boiling the wort, I took 1 gallon of hot wort and poured it into my conical fermenter. I then added 10ml of Citra Incognito and 1 oz of Citra hop pellets directly into the fermenter. The Incognito created an oil slick on top of the wort and did not seem to dissolve much. I was afraid to stir the wort in the fermenter for fear that the Incognito would stick to the spoon. After cooling the rest of the wort, I poured it into the fermenter and the Incognito seemed to float to the top like an oil slick. After cooling the fermenter to the right temperature, I pitched the yeast. I will be curious to see if the Incognito dissolves into the wort during fermentation or if there is still an oil slick on top when it is done. I am also curious to see if any of the Incognito is stuck to the cooling coils in the top of the fermenter. I hope not, because that would be a pain to clean.

I ran really hot water through the syringe while cleaning up, but could not get all of the sticky Incognito out of it. In addition, my hands were sticky and no amount of soap and water seemed to clean them. I ultimately resorted to rubbing alcohol which did the trick on the syringe and my hands. Did I mention that this stuff is really sticky yet?

Hopefully the beer comes out great since I still have a half jar of Citra left. The good news is that when I use the rest up, I don't have to measure it. I can just heat up the jar and pour the rest into the batch.

Stay tuned for the end results in a few weeks.
 
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SanPancho

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You really have to prepare it well. Just doing a standard whirlpool will not get it all into solution. Personally I think getting it warm and diluting it before you add it are key. You can pull off some wort and dilute it, or use alcohol.
the other thing to realize is that you really need to be careful about using it in the kettle. It’s essentially a sticky oil, it will bind up with trub and hops to form globs and be wasted, especially when it goes in cold and sinks to bottom.

dilution was my preferred method. But given the limits of home brew systems the idea of putting it into fermenter with hot wort could be a good one. However you still need it to get stirred and mixed so not sure how that is accomplished in a ferm. The idea of using colder wort to mix doesn’t sound effective with gravity or weak home brew pumps.

I think it’s gonna take a while before a “preferred” method is established on home brew level. I have some simcoe/citra/mosaic co2 extracts that get treated the same way as incognito, so I’ll be trying out an idea soon. But in the meantime I’d say heat and dilution are still key to getting good results.
 
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Beer-lord

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Had my first taste of my brew with Incognito yesterday. I like it very much! I was expecting a bit more aroma but it's still very much there.
What I ended up doing is at flameout, I took about 2 quarts into a sterilized pyrex boil and added the warm Incognito with just about 1/3 oz of Lupo Cascade which I was told would help to 'glue' the oil to a bit of the hop material (maybe regular T90 hops would be better). I added that oily mixture to my fermenter after about 20-25 minutes when the kettle was chilled to about 66 (F) degrees.
I'm pleased with the process as it didn't leave me a mess to clean up except the pyrex boil was was easily done. I used a recipe similar to my favorite simple IPA recipe so that I could notice any differences. I had a small 60 minute addition as well as a small 20 minute addition and the Incognito hop stand plus some Citra Lupo dry hop. It's a very nice balance and you don't know it's 80+ IBU's. Can't wait to try Incognito again soon.
 

pvpeacock

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Thank you both for sharing. This afternoon my conical fermenter was chugging way in the brewery (garage) and the smell coming from the airlock was amazing. Fingers crossed that the end product comes out great.
 
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I've been trying all kinds of different hop combos lately and with hops I'm not very familiar with and the beers have been good but even quality brewed beers don't always taste like you might want them to or expect them to. This beer used my kind of hops and I rarely talk up my beers but this one is one of the top 3 I've brewed over the last 12 or so years. Was it due to Incognito? WTF knows but, I'm hoping it is. It's not a cheap product and I hope the price comes down as more hops become available for that process. I'll be in the front of the line. In fact, I'm thinking I may try an all Incognito beer soon.
 

troxerX

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For Ferm you need to use their other product, Spectrum, which seems to be a low density version of Incognito for ‘dry hopping’ but not sure if that’s available in small sizes for homebrewers yet

dilution was my preferred method. But given the limits of home brew systems the idea of putting it into fermenter with hot wort could be a good one. However you still need it to get stirred and mixed so not sure how that is accomplished in a ferm. The idea of using colder wort to mix doesn’t sound effective with gravity or weak home brew pumps.
 

SanPancho

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For Ferm you need to use their other product, Spectrum, which seems to be a low density version of Incognito for ‘dry hopping’ but not sure if that’s available in small sizes for homebrewers yet
i think what you mean is that for "cold side" usage you want to use spectrum. its a water soluble extract. it mixes freely. that type of product has been out for years, just not available to homebrew.

what @pvpeacock is talking about is essentially a "dip hop" procedure, but using incognito instead of hops. the small amount of wort goes into the ferm HOT, as in right from the kettle, then incognitio added, and then hopefully it can be mixed up well enough to disperse into the wort when you knockout and fill the ferm.

yes, its in a cold side vessel. but its not cold side usage.
 

pvpeacock

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San Pancho is correct. From what I read, it was recommended to mix the Incognito with hot wort in the fermenter with some hop pellets and then add the rest of the wort once it was cooled.
 

troxerX

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@SanPancho Thanks for the clarification!. I now understand what you were referring to. I have some citra incognito from the last release but haven’t been able to use it yet. I thought about pre-heating it in its container with hot water and then mixing with hot wort to a gooey consistency and see if it is possible to smear it with pellets. Another idea that came to mind was smearing with plenty of dextrose, maybe mixing with a powder could help homogenize it, just a crazy thought..
 

pvpeacock

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Update: I kegged my Incognito beer this weekend after 2 weeks in the conical fermenter. It smelled great and the gravity sample tasted wonderful. If did find sticky Incognito residue on the cooling coils and on the inside of the SS fermenter. The coils are soaking overnight in PBW, so we will see if that removes it. However, the stickiness was easily removed form the inside of the SS fermenter with soap and hot water. I will be curious to see how it smells and tastes in another 2 weeks. However, barring something spectacular, I will probably stick to pellet hops (including Cryo and Lupomax) over using Incognito given the messiness factor involved. Since I'm only making 5 gallon batches, I am not concerned about wort/beer loss from the pellets absorbing liquid.

P.S. I still have a half a jar of Incognito left, so may try a different way of using it next time. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

smcinco

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Have any of you used just regular CO2 hop extract? I'm wondering what the difference is with incognito, perhaps just more specific hop varietals so more targeted use instead of just general bittering?

Have any of you tried regular hop extract in the whirlpool? Too many unknowns?
 

seatazzz

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Following this thread, as I purchased some Mosaic Incognito last week and plan to use it as dry hop in the IPA I brewed Sunday. After hearing the stories of how gummy/oily it is, going to try heating up some distilled water in the microwave, shake the incognito with it, then add to the fermenter. Unless somebody else has a better idea?
 
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