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Bittering Hops

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daveisbludging

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Guys,

I saw a recent discussion on POR hops and not to use beyond 20 or 25 IBU as they can be harsh. I'm just getting into extract brewing and I understand how the hops affect the overall bitterness depending upon their AAU but is there different types of bitterness? Besides the IBU's how do the different hops affect the final taste?

Cheers,

Dave
 

joecast

Eat, drink...and drink some more.
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first off, im no hop expert. from what ive read heres my take.

each type of hop will give the beer its own unique characteristics. this includes flavor aroma and bitterness. some hops will be more suited to adding flavor while some bitterness. this doesnt mean all bittering hops will give the same results, even when the same ibu's are the goal. im sure others here will know more about it, hopefully i havent screwed up too much.

have a look here for an explaination of some hop styles:
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/hops.php

you should be able to find out lots more on the net, or talk to someone at your lhbs for which hops go with which styles. good luck
joe
 

Snow

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Dave,
as a rule of thumb, bittering to a given IBU with a low AA% hop will give you a "softer", smoother, less harsh bitterness than the same IBU reached with a high AA% hop.
Cheers, Snow
 

wedge

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is this why we bitter say at 60min and 30min, to allow a softer bitterness, (and of course aroma and flavour)!

i've often wondered hows the best way to teach oneself about bittering.

I can calculate bitterness for recipes..... but....

I think perhaps only time and experience will allow this.

Your Thoughts?
 

JasonY

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Bittering is usually done at 60 or 90 mins. The reasoning is that the alpha acids (AA) in the hops need to be isomerised by the boiling action to create the bitterness. The longer you boil a hop the more isomerisation takes place and hence your utilisation of the hop increases (ie you need less to get the desired IBU).

You can also try things like first wort hopping where you add the hops to the wort as it is coming out of the tun during the sparge and they stay there all through the boil. This is supposed to produce a less harsh bittering.

Conversly the longer you boil a hop the more of the flavour and aroma volitile compounds are lost to evapouration. So you add your flavour and aroma hops late in the boil (last 15mins to flameout).

So bittering hops are generally high AA say 8%+ so you don't need as much and save some $$. Flavour and aroma hops are usually lower AA which is not an issue as you are not after much bittering from them.

But all this said there is nothing stopping you from using any hop to bitter or flavour your beer (this is the great thing! :D ).

Just jump in and do it!
 

wedge

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Great post!

Do bittering hops, say northern brewer, give a distinctive bitterness after a 60min boil?
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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I would say after using Northern Brewer in my Steam Beer that it definately is a different bitterness, more bitter at the beginning but then the malt takes over. And that was bittered to 40IBU. I used it in earlier partials which was an Amber Ale bittered to 30IBU and it was well balanced.

Do a split boil with an ale and add Northern Brewer for bitterness in one and say Goldings in the other, go for the same IBU around 30 and a wort OG of 1050. In fact I may try this myself when I get time :rolleyes:

If anyone gets around to doing this let us all know how it turns out.

C&B
TDA
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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To answer, yes the bittering given by some hops, especially the superalphas, can be harsh

Not that it is always to do with AA%. Progress 5.7% is sweeter and has a softer bitterness than Fuggles at 4.8%

Jovial Monk
 

Trough Lolly

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Further to the above posts - hop extraction efficiency has a fair bit to do with the final outcome as well...
For those brewers who are not full wort boilers, your quantity of hops used to bitter a beer will have to increase if you work the IBU calculation on, say, 23L of wort, when in fact you only boil say 10L of wort. The higher the SG of the wort that you boil, the more hops will be needed to achieve the desired level of IBU's from any given hops when you get to final volume. For a starter on this issue, check out John Palmer's article, which advocates the Tinseth method of calculating hop efficiencies, here.
TL
 

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