Low hop utilization brewing with Crystal Mountain spring water, need help....

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brobeman

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Been brewing for about a year now and have several successful brews behind me. The only issue I'm having is what appears to be low hop utilization when brewing IPA's. I've got Zombie Dust, Union Jack, and Green Flash West Coast clones on tap right now and although they're all "pretty" good, they really lack that pungent hop aroma and some of the bitterness I love in the commercial versions.

I'm planning on brewing NB's new Kiwi Express IPA later this morning and would love to pull out more of the hoppiness I love. Any thoughts on what I might do to increase utilization?

Thanks.

Brobeman
 

BigEd

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You're assuming the problem is the water. I doubt that's the case. A recipe with hop schedule along with water additions would be helpful. Hop utilization is mainly a function of gravity and boil time. Hop flavor and impact can be affected by ion content, particularly sulphates.
 

KuntzBrewing

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According to my taste buds the only thing ive noticed with sulfites are that the beer taste dryer and crisp, and bitterness is sharp. Ive never noticed it making hops taste pop out. I attribute that to hop amounts and boil/steeping times
 

squeekybobo

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You want some more aroma, dry hop in the kegs! Throw em in a sack and put them in.. And you can do it to the beers already tapped!
 

CraigT

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Are you doing partial boil extract batches? If so maybe your recipes are designed for full boils. This would effect your hop utilization
 

CraigT

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CraigT said:
Are you doing partial boil extract batches? If so maybe your recipes are designed for full boils. This would effect your hop utilization
Sorry just noticed this thread is in the all grain/ partial mash forum. Guess that rules this out
 
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brobeman

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BigEd said:
You're assuming the problem is the water. I doubt that's the case. A recipe with hop schedule along with water additions would be helpful. Hop utilization is mainly a function of gravity and boil time. Hop flavor and impact can be affected by ion content, particularly sulphates.
Hi BigEd,
Through conversations with others I think I had ruled out hop schedule. The recipes in question are the all grain Zombie Dust thread located here on this board, and the Green Flash and Union Jack are from Jamil's Can You Brew It show. In all cases I have followed the recipes to the letter. Others have raved about these beers, but I am just not getting the hippiness I see in the commercial versions. I have heard it suggested that by adding some mineral content to the boil that utilization could be improved, but doing research on this (and other) boards have yielded no firm advice.

Thanks.

Brobeman
 

BigEd

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Hi BigEd,
Through conversations with others I think I had ruled out hop schedule. The recipes in question are the all grain Zombie Dust thread located here on this board, and the Green Flash and Union Jack are from Jamil's Can You Brew It show. In all cases I have followed the recipes to the letter. Others have raved about these beers, but I am just not getting the hippiness I see in the commercial versions. I have heard it suggested that by adding some mineral content to the boil that utilization could be improved, but doing research on this (and other) boards have yielded no firm advice.

Thanks.

Brobeman
It does not affect the hop utilization but sulphate content will accentuate the hops in a beer. For hoppy ales like IPA an addition of gypsum (Calcium Sulphate) to bring the sulphate ppm up to 100+ will probably help.
 

mack65

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I live in Colorado and have very soft water and I had the same issue. I started using Gypsum in the mash and boil and immediately noticed the difference. I would suggest playing with the EZwater calculator and trying some Gypsum additions. I found that it really helped with hops utilization.

EZwatercalculator is here in this sticky about water profiles and tools.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-profiles-tools-131443/
 
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brobeman

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mack65 said:
I live in Colorado and have very soft water and I had the same issue. I started using Gypsum in the mash and boil and immediately noticed the difference. I would suggest playing with the EZwater calculator and trying some Gypsum additions. I found that it really helped with hops utilization.

EZwatercalculator is here in this sticky about water profiles and tools.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/brewing-water-profiles-tools-131443/
Thanks Mack. I will give that a try.

Brobeman
 
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