Small batch pale ale hopping strategies....

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Feb 12, 2009
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I plan on breaking up a 5 gallon batch into five 1 gallon batches and hopping them each with only one type of hop. Should I choose 5 bittering hops and boil each mini batch for at least 60mins, or should I boil the entire 5 gallons and add a subtle, crisp bittering hop to stand up to the malt, then break it up into small batches and add 5 different flavoring/aroma hops? The second option sounds like it might require less work. Anybody done anything like this? Any hop suggestions for either approach?


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Jan 20, 2009
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Austin, TX
Never done anything like this and probably never will, but it looks like a good opportunity for you to learn the different profiles of different hops. How you proceed depends on what you want to learn.

If you want to determine the profiles of different bittering hops, then go with the first option -- five 1 gallon boils with five different bittering hops. If you use flavoring hops you'll want to use the same ones.

If you want to learn about different flavoring hops, then take the second route -- full boil with a single clean bittering hop. Then break it into five different batches and continue with the boils.

If I were doing it, I'd go the second route. Again, which finishing hops you use depends on what type of brewing you're into. There are many different subcategories your finishing hops can be grouped into: Old-world noble, American, German/Czech, etc. Figure out what you like and pick your hops based on that.

Good luck and be sure to post your results here.