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what is the difference between different bittering hops ?

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ohad

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as the title says:
what is the difference between different bittering hops ?

I have some varieties available, but what is the flavor difference between them?
If I boil it for 60-90 minutes, most of the flavor is gone, and I'm left with AA only, no ?
so can't I just choose the highest AAU hop available, so that I could buy as little as possible (since they all cost the same) ? plus, I'll get less hop particles in the cattle (I don't like using a bag for the hops)
 

Jayfro21

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In general, I think the answer is yes. What other people will say, however, is that there are different types of oils in each type of hop, and so although the AAU is usually what is given, there is differences between two hops of the same AAU. How this will affect a beer, I'm not sure, but some people swear that they can tell the difference. I think if you were making a roasty stout or porter, then it won't make a difference. It also prob won't make much of a difference if you are making in IPA with lots of aroma and flavor additions, because they will probably overpower any subtle differences. Maybe if you were making an English Brown ale with only a 60 min addition, you might taste a difference. I say try it and see if you personally can taste it. Remember that there is no reason to buy a $50 dollar bottle of wine if you personally can't taste the difference between it and a $5 bottle. Hope that helps

Jason
 

knipknup

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Here's an example:
Columbus 12%AA - citrusy
Horizon 12%AA - floral
Galena 9%AA - not much flavor or aroma, kinda like hallertau

I can really tell the difference between them in my beers even when just changing the bittering hops and using the same aroma hops between two batches.

Your best bet is to try each and see what you think.
 

bradsul

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I've been using galena extremely successfully as my bittering hop since this hops issue started. It's very neutral in flavour and high AA% (knipknup we must have different harvests or something, mine are 14%). I save all my expensive EKG and Fuggles for flavour/aroma and just use galena for bittering.

I've done side-by-side comparisons with my standard house beers with EKG or galena as the bittering addition and I can't taste any difference. Even when the hops shortage is over I can't see any reason to stop hopping my beers this way.
 

the_bird

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You might run into some slight differences in flavors using different bittering hops, but they should be subtle. I would expect, though, that it would be more noticable if you were using a lower-AA% hop for bittering, since you would be using a greater amount of hops, it would be natural to expect a little bit of flavor to remain. Nuetral high-alpha hop, like a Magnum, you'll never notice.

For a specific example, lots of people note than Amarillo (which is medium-high AA%) produces a fairly smooth bitterness, which I would contrast with something like Chinook, which I find pretty harsh even at similar bittering levels. It may not be exactly flavor, per se, but there might be some differences in how harsh the bittering feels at a given level of IBUs, dependant on the hop used.
 

knipknup

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the_bird said:
For a specific example, lots of people note than Amarillo (which is medium-high AA%) produces a fairly smooth bitterness, which I would contrast with something like Chinook, which I find pretty harsh even at similar bittering levels. It may not be exactly flavor, per se, but there might be some differences in how harsh the bittering feels at a given level of IBUs, dependant on the hop used.
Very good example. I tried a few beers last night with some local HBrs and one had a very harsh bitterness. Sometimes the bitterness is like dandelion leaves. I wonder if some hops have a higher percentage of vine leaf pieces that contribute to this.

bradsul said:
(knipknup we must have different harvests or something, mine are 14%).
I obtained my galena from a hop grower in Idaho and he didn't have an official AA measurement on it and guessed at 9%. It is also 3 months old now and has been in a ziplock bag. It probably was only 9% by now. On the other hand, I just used my last ounce yesterday :(

When I was brewing with the Galena, I noticed quite a bit of hop leaf parts as it boiled away, which is what got me wondering.

I'm curious how "un-leaf'd" pellet hops are before they are pelletized...

Points to ponder:cross:
 
OP
O

ohad

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the_bird said:
For a specific example, lots of people note than Amarillo (which is medium-high AA%) produces a fairly smooth bitterness, which I would contrast with something like Chinook, which I find pretty harsh even at similar bittering levels. It may not be exactly flavor, per se, but there might be some differences in how harsh the bittering feels at a given level of IBUs, dependant on the hop used.

Thats exactly what I want to know! I'm using 7.5% Perle as bittering a lot (thats whats available for me...). I feel the different bitter flavor, not strength, in different beers. some have a very clear and clean bitterness, in others you get bitterness that engulfs the tongue and palate, and others with "blurred" bitterness. and they can all taste just as bitter!

So is this a factor of the variety of hops used or is it water/yeast/malt that that controls the stage on which the bitter hops play?

I am NOT an experienced brewer. However, I find that in many styles there is a coupling of two features or more that can prevent us from telling where goes the line between them! (examples: lambic cultures and fruit, raw wheat and wit yeast, etc.)

My suspicion is that my brews have a similar bitterness because they all have the same water, and malt from the same producer... not because they are made with Perle.
 

CBBaron

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I noticed a difference between my Chinook bittered IPA and my Centennial IPA in that "harshness" component. I kind of liked the extra bite of the Chinook so I am planning another one. However I would say if the bittering addition is significant then the differences can be noticeable.

Even if it is not a huge IBU if you are using something like 1.5-2oz of EKG it make a significant impact on the beer. A .5oz or less addition of Summit will not have the same impact even if the IBUs are the same. In this case you may need to make to increase a late hop addition to make up the difference.

I did do a recent bitter that was originally planned for EKG bittering and .5oz EKG late addition. I changed it to Magnum bittering and up the late hop to 1oz. Its probably too much hop flavor for the style but I tend to lean that way any how.
:D

Craig
 

knipknup

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CBBaron said:
I did do a recent bitter that was originally planned for EKG bittering and .5oz EKG late addition. I changed it to Magnum bittering and up the late hop to 1oz. Its probably too much hop flavor for the style but I tend to lean that way any how.
:D

Craig
Please post your results once you have some. I use EKG often and am curious how the change faired...
 
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I would argue that the flavors they are picking up are first wort hop flavors,f rom adding hops before the boil is really moving. Science has shown that all the known oils boil off after long boils. The alpha acid isomerizes.

I've made Czech pilsners with Columbus as the bittering hop and saaz for flav/aroma and have fooled my Czech neighbor and his buddy from Czech that was visiting.

The bigger breweries take a high alpha hop and use that for making various styles as the really just want it for the IBU's. I know a retired brewmaster from Labbatt's that now brews for a brewpub here (has a masters in brewing chemistry) that says the same thing.

To each there own, whether some flavors are slipping in there or if it's all in your head. It's what you perceive that matters. :)
 

tgrier

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I am going with this theory and I ordered a # of Galena from hops direct today.

I plan on using it for my bittering and my cascade, cenntienial and such for flavor/aroma.
 
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