Bitterness and Flavour

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Pistolpete01

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G'day Guys,

In the past I have always brewed other peoples recipes but I want to start punching out a few of my own beers, I like hop forward beers with lots of aroma and low to mid bitterness around the 4% to 5% abv. and 15 to 30 IBU mark.

Now to my questions, What is the advantage to having several hop additions? 30, 20, 15, 10, 5min? Can I not just add all my hops at 5min or whirlpool to get the desired IBU's? Obviously I would need to use slightly more hops, but in doing so wouldn't I get more flavour?

Is it possible to have too much flavour and not enough bitterness?

Is there a noticeable difference in early or late addition bitterness?

I brew on a 20L braumeister and chill with an immersion chiller via an ice bath so I can drop temps quick. (I also have a small plate chiller but I have never used it).

Cheers,
Pete.
 

Screwtop

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Wow, that simple question has an answer that would outdo War and Peace in volumes.

But simply, it takes around 60 min boiling to isomerise all of the alpha acid (bitterness). Less and you get proportionally less bitterness and more of the flavour.

The Hop variety and crop levels of Alpha Acid (made up of Humulone, Ad-Humulone and Co-Humulone) contribute to bitterness. Beta Acids (Lupulone), Essential Oils (such as Myrcene) and resins contribute flavour.

The variety of hops and it's level co-humulone in the Alpha Acids dictate the type of bitterness produced. Higher Co-Humulone hop varieties tend to produce a more harsh bitterness, while lower levels tend to produce a softer bitterness.

Hope this helps,

Brew Well and Cheers,

Screwy
 

Coodgee

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The simple answer is you will have to try it and see. There is no predictable formulaic way of interpreting the way a beer will turn out with say 5 separate hop additions in the last 20 minutes compared to one addition at 5 minutes, except that you will need more hops for the same level of bitterness and theoretically the bigger addition of hops will add more flavor and aroma. But our tongues are not sophisticated sensors that measure exact levels of hop isomerisation which is why you just have to try it and see!
 

motman

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I understand many pro brewers are using bittering and then just late addition hops for equivalent results to hopping through the boil. I tend to go first wort (which definitely brings flavour to the brew despite a 60 min boil), 10, flame out and dry or keg. I believe but have not tested side by side, that this is as good as hopping throughout and more hop efficient. I'll be interested to hear other people's take on this.
 

Blind Dog

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The advantage of adding hops at different times is in depth and complexity from the differing contributions of bitterness, flavour and aroma. Try a recipe with all early hops and then try it again with the same malt and mash, same IBUs but half as early additions and the rest as flameout. Should answer your question.
 

indica86

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Play and see what works for you, your mouth and your gear.
For me in my urn with no chill a first wort addition, then flameout and maybe dry hop works best.

And YES, you can have too little bitterness. I have found that to a certain level it works like a flavour enhancer, the correct level of bitterness can really make hop flavour shine.
 

Pistolpete01

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Thanks for the reply's gents.

I think I will have to experiment a bit and see what I can come up with. I will let you know how it pans out.

Cheers,
Pete.
 

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