Putting lid on kettle to increase hop aroma?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Suppose you're doing a nice long 90 minute boil. You add your bittering hops and boil as normal for almost the entire boil...but right near the end when you add the aroma hops (let's say @ 5 minutes remaining) you put the lid on the kettle for a few minutes. Then when you lift the lid you sort of tilt it and let the condensation on the lid drip back into the wort. Then boil for a couple more minutes and flame-out.

Would this help increase the aroma?
Would the hop compounds that are boiled-off and then recondensed undergo any oxidation during that process?
If so, is that a good thing?
 

Figbash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
Messages
216
Reaction score
1
Location
Michigan
Put your aroma hops in at flame out and the oils won't have time to boil off.

Tom
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Thanks Tom but I've done that. I'm trying to get better 'aroma utilization' and I'm sure there's a constellation of different ways to do that. I'm asking if this particular method I mentioned above works. I'm gonna try it either way but my next brew is a Tripel which won't be ready until forever...so any results are at least a couple months away.
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
45
Location
Hanover, PA
The hop aromatics are volatilized very quickly even at flameout when the burner is switched off. I usually just toss 'em in at flameout, but you might getting bigger hop aroma if you hold back that addition until the wort cools somewhat, around 170-180°.
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
51
Location
Delaware
As far as the lid thing goes, I usually put my lid on for the last few minutes of the boil to sanitize it. I don't notice any unusually good hop aroma when using aroma hops.
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Thanks. I've done ~2 minutes after flame-out but that's as far as I've gone...and that was when I was cooling slower.

I probably should just use pellets there. I've heard many people say 'pellets for bittering and whole for flavor/aroma' but it seems to work better for me the other way around. But pellets clog the strainer and whole hops help filter trub so I usually don't use pellet.

Also, I dunno how to describe it but I want the 'beer-y' hop aroma...not that raw/grassy hop aroma.
 

Figbash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
Messages
216
Reaction score
1
Location
Michigan
Have you tried dry hopping, or better yet using a hop back? A hop back is the only way I've found to get enough flavor and aroma in my IPA's.

Tom
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Good suggestions.

I tried dry-hopping a long time ago and it didn't give the aroma I'm looking for. It was the more raw hop/grassy type of aroma.

I dunno how I'd use a hopback. I do almost everything in regular ole pots and use an IC...no valves or CFC or whirlpooling or anything.
 

XXguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
17
Location
Southeastern PA
I was listening to one of the brewcasts last night - talking about hop aroma. I forget who it was that said it - but his feeling was that if you could smell that "good smell" of hops - it was all of the hop aroma escaping.

His recommendation was a hop back to capture & "seal" in the flavor & aroma.
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
51
Location
Delaware
I wonder if trying different addition times might help get what your looking for. Try a 10 min., a 5 min., and a 0 min. to see the differences. Just thinking out loud here.
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
I've tried all sorts of hop schedules but I must just be too conservative on the hops. I'll see people post a recipe with .25 oz at 5 minutes and I think why bother...I'd never get any detectable aroma from that...often at even twice that I'd get nada.

There is a chart/graph that I've seen posted that shows bitterness, flavor, and aroma 'utilizations' wrt time. IIRC, the max aroma utilization was adding them @ 7 minutes before flame-out. I dunno if that was whole or pellet...if that's pellet then it should be even longer for whole.

Also, I don't really want flavor that much here...just aroma...the 'good' aroma (which I think are oxidized compounds and not the actual 'volatile four' hydrocarbons...but I'm out on a limb here). I know the line between flavor/aroma is blurred and you can't completely seperate them...or can you?
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
51
Location
Delaware
Well, I can say this:

I've brewed quite a few batches of Helles, which can be brewed with only bitterness additions. I brewed the first few batches like this, which were good, but I wanted a tiny bit of hop aroma because I thought it would add some positive character to the beer. So, on my next batch, I added 0.25 oz of Hersbrucker at 1 min. (on a 10+ gallon batch). It was perfect! Just a pleasant, slightly detectable Noble hop aroma as you brought the glass to your mouth. So, I guess quantity depends on the beer style. On a delicate beer like a Helles, a little can go a long way.
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
I can detect some aroma in the Helles in my sig but I only later called it a Helles because I brewed it as a Pils and underhopped it (for a Pils). lol...the Dort Exp in my sig was orig supposed to be a Pils too. But you are right mensch...I don't think I added a ton of aroma hops to it. It's really only enough to get a nice whiff from a fresh pour though.

Maybe I just need to man-up and get aggressive with the hop amounts...and try hop-bursting. I'm not a hophead by any stretch and don't like a lot of bitterness or flavor so I'm always worried I'll add too much and make it too bitter and hoppy for me..but I really like the 'good' aroma. Previously, big aroma additions resulted in too much flavor but again...that was back when I was cooling slower.
 

GreenwoodRover

me-no-r-no Nice Guy
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
1,049
Reaction score
13
Location
Chicago, IL
Have you tried First Wort Hopping?
When I combined that with dryhopping (hops in beer for 7 days max then removed), I felt I got some really good hops flavor and aroma.

For me the the key was to 1) adjust the bitterness as if it were added at 20min (I don't think the FWH option in Beersmith calculates correctly)
2) let them steep in your full runnings, meaning don't start the kettle on the heat until after all your runnings are collected.
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,288
Reaction score
3,729
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
I wouldn't (and don't) cover my brew pots. If you do, you run the risk of getting DMS into your wort...

From our Wiki

Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is an organic sulfur compound present above its flavor threshold in most beers. Because of its low flavor threshold, 10 - 150 ppb, it is a primary flavor and aroma compound that makes a significant contribution to beer character, especially in lager beers. It has a characteristic taste and aroma of cooked corn or creamed corn.

DMS is created whenever wort is heated, by the breakdown of precursors found in pale malts. Under ordinary circumstances, most of the DMS that is created by heat is then evaporated during the boil. Some DMS is also removed during vigorous ale fermentations, which is why higher levels are often found in lagers.

Covered boil
Covering the brew kettle during the boil prevents DMS from evaporating, and results in high levels of DMS in the finished beer.
It will be all well and good to want to have an uber hoppy beer, and just end up with cooked corn beer instead. I'd up my hops, fwh, and dry hop to achieve what I want.
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Revvy, I had considered that but the DMS should have boiled off and the wort is still boiling so I don't think there is any concern regarding DMS (as long as I cool quickly enough for it not to reform)...even though I do often use Pils as a base. The lid would only be on for a few minutes and at the very end of the boil.

Greenwood, I've tried FWH many times and didn't detect any aroma...flavor yes but no aroma. But again...maybe I didn't add enough because I was worried about it being too bitter. I do 'calculate' FWH as a 20 minute addition.
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,288
Reaction score
3,729
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
Revvy, I had considered that but the DMS should have boiled off and the wort is still boiling so I don't think there is any concern regarding DMS (as long as I cool quickly enough for it not to reform)...even though I do often use Pils as a base. The lid would only be on for a few minutes and at the very end of the boil.

Greenwood, I've tried FWH many times and didn't detect any aroma...flavor yes but no aroma. But again...maybe I didn't add enough because I was worried about it being too bitter. I do 'calculate' FWH as a 20 minute addition.
If that were true then quick cooling wouldn't be a concern....A closed boil or slow cooling of the wort may therefore lead to abnormally high levels.

Slow cooling
Because DMS is created at temperatures below boiling, cooling the wort too slowly means that excessive levels of DMS can be created which cannot be evaporated once the boil has stopped.

The DMS produced during the hot wort stand will stay in solution even if the hot wort tank is vented. For every extra hour of hot wort stand, a DMS increase of approximately 30% will result. The level of DMS in the wort determines the level of DMS in finished beer. In order to predict the level of DMS in finished beer Table V shows the relationship between SMM in malt and DMS in beer.
They wouldn't be worried about it, if it were all gone by the end of the boil, would they?


I've read stuff that says it remains, even throughout the cooling of the wort, if it is trapped and not allowed to vent out...It's driven off as long as it is uncovered..
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Revvy,
The DMS boils off during the boil. One of your quotes above gives the key:
Because DMS is created at temperatures below boiling, cooling the wort too slowly means that excessive levels of DMS can be created which cannot be evaporated once the boil has stopped.
The DMS forms pre-boil...then we boil it off...and after 85 minutes of boil it's pretty much as low as it will be at 90 minutes (i.e. it's at an acceptably low level). As long as I cool quickly enough for it not to reform then DMS is a non-issue here.

Am I misunderstanding you? Because DMS is a non-issue here...really.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,440
Reaction score
940
Location
St. Louis, MO
A hop back is the best solution but barring that:

  • Add your normal hop additions during your boil.
  • At flame out, drop in your chiller and get the wort down to 180 degrees and pull the chiller.
  • Dump in your (additional) aroma hops and hold for 10-15 minutes.
  • Drop in the chiller and resume.
  • Covering a pot post 90 minute boil is not an issue, but if you're at 180 degrees you shouldn't need to cover anyway. There shouldn't be enough evaporation to carry off aroma.
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Great idea BM...I'll try that.

And FWIW...I feel like I have to cover below 180 F because I brew outside. I always have it covered during the chill.
 

GreenwoodRover

me-no-r-no Nice Guy
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
1,049
Reaction score
13
Location
Chicago, IL
I also brew outside, and although as mentioned DMS isn;t really a factor, I use a tip I picked up from EdWort and use a fullsize bath towel folded in half to immediately cover my beer after flameout. The seatm gest absorbed an not released back into the beer as condensation containing any trace DMS...
 
OP
SpanishCastleAle

SpanishCastleAle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
4,339
Reaction score
45
Location
Central Florida
Good idea Greenwood. Depending on how windy it is...I usually let it cool a bit and then half-cover it (which helps warm the lid a bit)...then when the steam subsides enough I fully cover it. Unless it's cold outside there is very little condensation on the lid (not enough to drip or run). But on a cold windy day I'll need to try the towel.

After further thought; I'm a little concerned with BM's method above because then I'm right back to cooling slowly and DMS may reform. I'll have to look around for that temp range that DMS is a problem (I'm thinking it still may be high enough @ 180 F but I can't remember the exact range). I can work out the 're-sanitizing the IC before I put it back in' issue.
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
51
Location
Delaware
I also brew outside, and although as mentioned DMS isn;t really a factor, I use a tip I picked up from EdWort and use a fullsize bath towel folded in half to immediately cover my beer after flameout. The seatm gest absorbed an not released back into the beer as condensation containing any trace DMS...
I use a dome-shaped lid, which is actually a large, dollar store, SS mixing bowl, to which I added a cabinet knob to convert for lid use. With this, any condensation rolls down the inside of the dome and to the outside perimeter of my kettle and, therefore, not into the wort.
 
Top