IPA's, Pale Ales and HOPS!!!

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Jayhem

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Hoppy beers. I never used to really like them. I had a Sierra Nevada a time or two before but in December was the first time I had actually purchased a case of Sierra Nevada as their bottles are good for home brewing!

Now I can't get enough! I have been buying Red Hook IPA (great beer) and Sierra Nevada almost exclusively when I run low on conditioned home brew!

My question is about IBU's. I have seen some IPA recipes with IBU's over 100. Considering how hoppy a 37 IBU Sierra Nevada seems to me I would think 3X that would be too much bitter. Do your taste buds actually perceive 3X more bitter from 100 IBU v. 37 IBU? I'm looking for more hoppy flavor in my beer but don't want it so bitter that it wipes out the malt profile. Advice?

I'm in search of the perfect IPA flavor in my home brew. My first batch is actually a Sierra Nevada clone. If it comes out right I may increase the hops and shoot for an IPA next time around. :mug:
 

scottland

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It's a question setup for a very open-eneded answer.

A. Let's start right off with saying that calculated IBUs and actual (measured) IBUs aren't always the same, especially when you're calculated IBUs are >60. It's extremely hard to get 80+ IBUs into a beer.

B. It's all relative. You typically won't find a 5.6% ABV pale ale (Sierra Nevada) with 100 IBUs. If you did, it would probably taste 3 times as bitter as a 37 IBU Pale Ale. The 100 IBU beers are Double IPAs, and the extra alcohol, and malt balances those IBUs out. Are they still very bitter? Yes, but not that much more bitter than a Pale ale.

C. Many brewers like a 1 to 1 ratio of IBUs to OG in their IPAs. So a 1.060 IPA would be about right with around 60 IBUs. A pale ale will be less IBUs. But you can brew to your tastes. If you like your IPAs bitter, brew them in the 60-75 IBU range, if you like them less bitter, brew them in the 45-55 range.

D. The trick to more hoppy flavor without heavy bitterness is to load up the hops at the end of boil. Big 15 minute, 5 minute, and 0 minute additions (or anywhere in between) will give you big hop flavor, without big bitterness. Dry Hopping heavily will also give big hop flavor and aroma without any bitterness. That's the trick to heavily hoppy beers that aren't heavily bitter.
 
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Jayhem

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It's a question setup for a very open-eneded answer.

A. Let's start right off with saying that calculated IBUs and actual (measured) IBUs aren't always the same, especially when you're calculated IBUs are >60. It's extremely hard to get 80+ IBUs into a beer.

B. It's all relative. You typically won't find a 5.6% ABV pale ale (Sierra Nevada) with 100 IBUs. If you did, it would probably taste 3 times as bitter as a 37 IBU Pale Ale. The 100 IBU beers are Double IPAs, and the extra alcohol, and malt balances those IBUs out. Are they still very bitter? Yes, but not that much more bitter than a Pale ale.

C. Many brewers like a 1 to 1 ratio of IBUs to OG in their IPAs. So a 1.060 IPA would be about right with around 60 IBUs. A pale ale will be less IBUs. But you can brew to your tastes. If you like your IPAs bitter, brew them in the 60-75 IBU range, if you like them less bitter, brew them in the 45-55 range.

D. The trick to more hoppy flavor without heavy bitterness is to load up the hops at the end of boil. Big 15 minute, 5 minute, and 0 minute additions (or anywhere in between) will give you big hop flavor, without big bitterness. Dry Hopping heavily will also give big hop flavor and aroma without any bitterness. That's the trick to heavily hoppy beers that aren't heavily bitter.
Awesome response, thank you! What is an appropriate quantity of hops to dry hop a 5 gallon batch for an IPA? I only used 1.0 oz pelletized Cascades to dry hop my current American Pale Ale recipe but I had 3.5 oz of hops added in the last 20 minutes of the boil as well.
 

scottland

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Pale Ales, I keep the dry hop on the smaller side. .5oz to 1.5oz.
IPAs:Some people go as low as 1oz. I usually do 2-4 oz
Double IPAs: The sky is the limit.
 

Calichusetts

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Its all relative...I tried Harpoon 100 Barrrel Czech Hops last weekend and it was very bitter (31 IBUs) while my IIPA comes in at 96 IBUs yet it is not bitter at all. I dont find Hop Stoopid that bitter either (104 IBU I believe.)

It depends on how it is balanced with other ingredients, a good indication is the GU:BU ratio among other things
 

SouthBay

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Gravity units relative to bittering units, or vice versa. A 1.060 gravity beer has 60 gravity units. If it was 60 ibus, then it would also have sixty bittering units, and thus have a 1:1 ratio.

If the same beer had 30 ibus, it's a 2:1 ratio, and so on. I always thought it was presented bittering:gravity, not the other way striping around though
 

rifraf

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Very big difference between hop bitterness, and hop flavor. I never realized or paid attention until I started homebrewing. What made it sink in for me was trying an Amber Ale and a Pale Ale by the same brewery. I did Costco's Kirkland brand beer because I was trying to get cheap empties to bottle with.

It ended up working out really well because they are very simple beers without a lot of different flavors. Tasting them I realized that they were both almost equally bitter but the amber one didn't have the floral/grassy hop flavor of the pale ale.
 

CoalCreekBeer

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From what I have heard, and how I understand it, the human tongue is incapable of tasting anything over the 80 IBU range. I could be wrong, but if that is the case, making any beer over 80 IBU's would be a waste of time and hops.
 
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Jayhem

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From what I have heard, and how I understand it, the human tongue is incapable of tasting anything over the 80 IBU range. I could be wrong, but if that is the case, making any beer over 80 IBU's would be a waste of time and hops.
It would be a waste of hops on the bitter scale but hop flavor has a lot more to it then strictly bitterness; think of the citrusy/leafy/herb-like flavors you get from hops. :rockin:
 

CoalCreekBeer

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It would be a waste of hops on the bitter scale but hop flavor has a lot more to it then strictly bitterness; think of the citrusy/leafy/herb-like flavors you get from hops. :rockin:
Very good point, I never really thought to look at it that way....now those 120 IBU beers are starting to make a lot more sense...
 

RM-MN

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Awesome response, thank you! What is an appropriate quantity of hops to dry hop a 5 gallon batch for an IPA? I only used 1.0 oz pelletized Cascades to dry hop my current American Pale Ale recipe but I had 3.5 oz of hops added in the last 20 minutes of the boil as well.
It depends on the hop variety. I dry hopped with half an ounce of Citra and got more aroma than when I dry hopped with an ounce of Cascade. I would guess going from memory that 3 ounces of Saaz might have less aroma than 1/2 oz of Citra. (way different aroma too)
 
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Jayhem

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It depends on the hop variety. I dry hopped with half an ounce of Citra and got more aroma than when I dry hopped with an ounce of Cascade. I would guess going from memory that 3 ounces of Saaz might have less aroma than 1/2 oz of Citra. (way different aroma too)
I wish I could find a table that listed all the hop varieties with aroma types and strength.
 

Grinnan5150

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Jayhem said:
I wish I could find a table that listed all the hop varieties with aroma types and strength.
Randy Mosher has a book called Radical Brewing which has a pretty extensive hop chart that includes bitterness, aroma and shelf life.
 
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