Too many hops......

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Hetuck

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I've been reading a lot about hops additions and hopheads (those who like a LOT of hops in their beer). My question is......can you add too much to a beer before it tastes bad even to a hop head?
Second question......with so many different varieties and species of hops, how do you know which ones blend well and taste good mixed with others? Are there certain types that a brewer must not mix together?
 

ScottD13

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How much hops is too much hops is very subjective; it truly depends on the drinker. That being said there are many other factors as well regarding hop additions, the amount of time in the boil, late additions, dry hopping, etc. But again it comes back to the individual. I personally enjoy hoppy beers but I can imagine that 100 IBUs of late additions would be way too hop forward (not having done it I could be wrong), or 4 weeks of dry hopping could end up being very grassy/vegetal; as with everything else in brewing, balance is key.

As for hop varieties again it’s truly what the drinker prefers. Unless you’re selling your beer to the masses and are concerned with your profit margin just make the beer you like. Hops seem to loosely classified as earthy, citrusy, noble, spicy, floral, etc. I personally don’t like to use more than two styles of hops in a beer, earthy and floral, or citrusy and spicy. By this I mean that I may use more than two verities (Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo) but not an earthy, and spicy, and citrusy hop, but that’s just personal preference.

To answer your question I would have to say that yes you can go too far with hops and no you can’t go too far with hops. It really comes down to what you like to drink.
 

TelemarkBrew

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overuse of hops relative to malt can give you a real vegetal flavor if not done correctly or with some balance. Even IIPA's have some balance.
 

giligson

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I've been struggling with the theory of hope use for a while now too. Its ok to just follow recipes but when you start to formulate your own then you have to start looking more closely at the issues.
I understand that firstly your 60 min boil hops are basically about bitterness - they add very little flavour or smell component, I don't worry too much about the nature of these hops but generally like to use high AA for economy. What i have trouble with is flavour components in late additions. The descriptions are very subjective and a lot of sources that you look at just seem to have cribbed the info from somewhere else so you get a lot of people just repeating themselves. I guess one has to rely on experience and trying a lot of different hops.

BTW - yes, its very possible to make a beer undrikable with overhopping : mostly this is your 60 min boil hops since its the bitteness that drives most drinkers away. Having said that I find it really amazing how most beers have a real "balance" point where neither the hops or the malt overwhelm, and this will vary depending on how malty and alcoholic the beer is. Its not so much a matching of flavour as a canceling out.
 

HOP-HEAD

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I've yet to reach my max... though I agree that balance is the key. I recently brewed an English IPA with just over 8 oz of Hops.... using a combo of Glacier and Kent Goldings. Was good, but not that perfect IPA I'm after.... not really a huge KG fan.

I've got the ingredients now for another, using 3 oz of Cascade, 2 oz. of Centennial, and 1 oz of Tettnang... plus another oz or two of Cascade for dry hopping... at a theoretical IBU rating of 118, it should be delicious.:mug:
 

carnevoodoo

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I've got one in that only hits 65 IBUs, but it is a hop monster when it comes to the additions.

14.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US
1.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.50 lb Caravienne Malt
0.50 oz Warrior [15.00%] (60 min)
0.25 oz Magnum [14.00%] (60 min)
0.25 oz Chinook [13.00%] (60 min)
0.25 oz Simcoe [12.00%] (30 min)
0.25 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (60 min)
0.25 oz Centennial [10.00%] (30 min)
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50%] (60 min) (Mash Hop)
0.25 oz Mt. Hood [6.00%] (30 min)
1.00 oz Simcoe [12.00%] (Dry Hop 3 days)
2.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50%] (Dry Hop 3 days)
 

beersydoesit

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Ale Asylum makes a beer called "Hopalicious" that claims to add hops 11 times.
One more than carnevoodoo :drunk:

It is not terribly bitter but it is hoppy. It is very very nice.:ban:

Regards
 
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Hetuck

Hetuck

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Morbo! We're practically neighbors! For that I'll share my liquid crack with you......if I ever get my hands on some. I looked at the site.....goona have to wait until next January. But I did see that it IS available in Florida. We shall see.....
 

david_42

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No true hophead will ever say too much hops. Even if their teeth turn green and their gums peel. It's a macho thing like hot food.

It's easy to make a beer that tastes like grapefruit juice, pine needles or mud. Not my idea of good.
 

Morbo

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Morbo! We're practically neighbors! For that I'll share my liquid crack with you......if I ever get my hands on some. I looked at the site.....goona have to wait until next January. But I did see that it IS available in Florida. We shall see.....
I'm actually in Pinellas county so we are neighbors lol. I have some liquid crack brewing now that I'll share with you. Should be ready in about another month.

If your talking about the Hopslam total wine has some in stock. $14.99 a sixer. If you wanna get together and do some brewing let me know.
 

Belmont

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Too much hops is absolutely subjective but absolutely possible. I consider myself a hophead and went through a phase of looking for the hoppiest and most bitter beers made. I started realizing that too much bitterness really didn't taste that good even though it was different than a lot of beers. So I started focusing on hop flavor and aroma. I over did this in my homebrews(which cost a lot of money) and found that that could be too much as well. The balance is what to look for and that will only come with experience. Try a bunch of recipes and try to experiment with your own. Do a couple of months doing nothing but pale ales and IPAs. Then look at some other styles that had high hop utilizations like American imperial stouts, American barleywines, etc.

Something that I don't remember reading about that I'd like to warn others about is force carbonating highly hopped beers in a keg. I'm not certain but am fairly sure that I've lost a lot of hop aroma from force carbonating via excessive shaking at high CO2 pressure.

Another thing that I think is important to point out is perceived bitterness and/or harsh bitterness. With FWH you will end up with higher IBUs but with a lower perceived bitterness than if you'd started and 60 min boil time. Simcoe has a higher alpha acid rating but some say that it has a smoother bitterness than Cascade and is more palatable at higher IBUs. My apologies for forgetting his name but the guy at Dogfish Head is a big proponent of late hop additions. He says that it lessens hop harshness at the same IBUs as well as adding complexity to the beer. I think he's right although I do think they overdo it a bit but am glad they did. I still buy their beer because I like it and to remind me of I can do it better.

Bottom line is I don't think anyone can give you a magic number regardless of gravity to IBU ratios. What you like is what matters most.
 
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Hetuck

Hetuck

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I'm actually in Pinellas county so we are neighbors lol. I have some liquid crack brewing now that I'll share with you. Should be ready in about another month.

If your talking about the Hopslam total wine has some in stock. $14.99 a sixer. If you wanna get together and do some brewing let me know.
Yeah.....right now I need all the help I can get. I'll have to check out Total Wines supply of Hopslam. I've never had it.....sounds good. I'm all for brewing sometime. Let me know when you plan on concocting your next batch.
 
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Hetuck

Hetuck

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I'm always up for watching somebody brew up some beer. Thats how I learn.
 

ChickenSoop

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I made an IIPA, with IBU 60. It has specialty grains, and very well balanced, no overpowering hop taste.

I was expecting a jolt when trying the first bottle, but it was mellow, and was told that it is just like cream ale times 10 in taste.

To compare, I bought a local microbrewed IPA at IBU 60, and that had a bit of a hop kick to it.
 

SchizoFilly

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As stated above, there are many who want to push the edge and find out where their limit of hops stands. I am one of those people on that search now. Trying every Double/Imperial IPA I can find and pondering how to get my hands on the elusive Triple IPA (Pliny the Younger?). I haven't found my limit yet, but I want to.

The only way is to try what's available brew what you like or a clone with more hops added at different times in different varieties until you reach one that makes your tongue scream for mercy. Then you must try that one again because it just might be too much of a shock to handle the first time, but the second time is so much better. This also happens when a beer ages and some of the aforementioned harshness mellows.

It's a complex little dance of subtleties that all have to come together in the right amounts to make the cosmos align and pour your perfect beer, but there's always a tweak to any recipe that will make it more likable for one person. That same adjustment will completely ruin the beer for someone else.

Tailor your beer to your tastebuds and let the chips fall where they may. You might be a hophead, then again, you might prefer BMC.
 
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