Chinook - Feedback and Observations

Discussion in 'Hops' started by DeanMcMullen, 17/7/17.

 

  1. DeanMcMullen

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    Posted 17/7/17
    As above, however I meant this as a bit of a back and forth discussion.

    Background:
    I recently brewed an APA, and I was aiming at 58 IBU's. As I No-Chill my brews, I corrected times for boiling at about 20 minute reductions. So although in my brew calculator I am saying 40 minutes, I actually put hops in at 20 minutes (40 - 20 adjustment).

    The hops I used were:
    12g Chinook at 40 minutes (20 NC)
    10g Chinook at 20 minutes (0 NC)
    45g Vic Secret at 20 minutes (0 NC)
    30g Galaxy at 20 minutes (0 NC)
    5g Chinook Dry Hopped (along with Cold Crashing at 2°c) for 1 week after fermentation was complete.

    Now, I've used Chinook to Bitter before, but I think something went awry in the calculations. To me the bitterness is incredibly harsh. I'm not suggesting the IBU's are over 58 as I have no way of measuring this, however my perception is that it's hard to drink due to the bitterness. I'm fine with high IBU in other brews, so this one is a bit of an anomaly.

    I'm just wondering, has anyone else had extensive experience with Chinook as a Bittering Hop? Is what I'm experiencing normal, or have I messed up the calculations somewhere? Is it a matter of reducing the amount of Chinook I'm using to get a more smooth and balanced profile? Or am I mis-using the Chinook?

    Thanks for any feedback or personal observations you have had.
     
  2. Matplat

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    Posted 17/7/17
    What was your OG and batch size?

    I've not used chinook much, but when I have used it it has always been a smooth bitterness, even using it a 60mins in an APA
     
  3. technobabble66

    Meat Popsicle

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    Posted 17/7/17
    At a glance, it looks like you've used 22g Chinook total, plus 45g VS + 30g Galaxy in the cube with half of the chinook.
    What makes you think the bittering is coming only from the chinook. I'd say you're probably getting a large amount, if not a majority, of your bittering from the VS & Galaxy.
    Maybe more importantly, Galaxy has a reputation for being a harsh bittering agent. Not sure about the VS. 30g in the cube will definitely come through, and if you're sensitive to the harshness of Galaxy, you're likely to be picking that up, rather than anything from the chinook.
    For my experience, chinook is a great/smooth bittering agent.
    2c
     
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  4. warra48

    I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried. Administrator

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    Posted 17/7/17
    I love Chinook, one of my favourites in APAs and IPAs.
    I like it as a FWH along with Cascade as my bittering hops. I tend to use it 50/50 with Cascade, and it works great for me. Used it as a dry hop too.
    Can't say I've experienced harsh bitterness, even at a BS2 calculated 50 IBU I'm still nowhere near my threshold of going over the top.

    I have used Galaxy, but only as a late addition and as a dry hop. Just seemed to give me a different fruity hop character to Chinook and Cascade, but not harshness. Never used VS, so can't comment on that one.
     
  5. DeanMcMullen

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    Posted 17/7/17
    My OG was about 1.047, as I started with 1.057 and brought it down so as to increase volume to 25L (unsure why this brew ended up with less volume than planned).

    Good call out to the Galaxy. I had thought by using it at flame out its effects would primarily be pushed into the flavouring and aroma attributes, and minimal bittering incurred, but you have a point there.

    I was going to redo a Pale with the Chinook as a single type hop brew, so if it is a smooth bitterer than I'll make sure to take that into account.

    Keep the replies coming. Thanks.
     
  6. Droopy Brew

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    Posted 18/7/17 at 12:29 AM
    Galaxy and Vic Secret both have high Cohumulone content which often gives a harsh bitterness. I'd be looking at those 2 as the possible culprits. Cohumulone tends to show up as harsh from 15-20minute exposure or longer. Your calculations may make it 20 minutes for IBU purposes but there is a possibility that the actual extraction time in a no chill may have been a fair bit longer and brought the cohumulones into play.
     
  7. Coodgee

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    Posted 18/7/17 at 3:23 AM
    I would be keen to understand the physical/chemical difference between "smooth" bittering and "harsh" bittering. Can someone like Lyrebirdcycles confirm if there is evidence for this in the literature?
     
  8. Lord Raja Goomba I

    Prisoner of Sobriety Moderating

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    Posted 18/7/17 at 3:48 AM
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  9. hirschb

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    Posted 18/7/17 at 5:26 AM
    Chinook is high in cohumulones too. Keep in mind that some people are more/less sensitive to cohumulones, but to my palate, high cohumulone beers are exactly as described: harsh!
    That being said, I recently had an all Chinook beer that was quite good. When I asked how the fuck he made an all Chinook beer taste good, his answer was "all late additions." His first addition was at 20min. And then most of his hops were placed in the whirlpool or after fermentation. I suspect that if you did the same you'd have had better results. I'd also recommend chilling your beer to 70-80C before throwing in hops that will go into your cube. Lowering this even further (60C) would be even better.
     
    Last edited: 18/7/17 at 5:53 AM
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  10. Dan Pratt

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    Posted 18/7/17 at 9:31 AM
    I don't think the hops used are the issue.

    a 1047 beer with 58ibu or possibly more bitterness is way out of balance.

    you simply don't have enough abv to have a balanced beer which is why it seems overly bitter.

    both Chinook and Galaxy as mentioned are high in cohumulone and you may not like that on your palate.

    chase quality not quantity. If it was the 1057 beer the ibu would of been closer to balanced.

    2c
     
  11. DeanMcMullen

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    Posted 19/7/17 at 2:11 AM
    Thanks All. Great feedback. For your knowledge I have had Galaxy and Vic Secret in other brews and love the characteristics of both of these hops. I'm fine with a high IBU beer (had 70's before, which were nice), but this seems less like high IBU's and more to do with sharp tastes and intense stomach churning bitterness.

    And you are probably right, the beer wasn't balanced enough, probably needed much higher gravity to justify the hop content. Please note, I'm not saying this isn't brewing error, or problems with Calculations. It probably is, I just wanted to see what other peoples experiences were with Chinook. As you mentioned, it's a smooth bittering hop for many, so my investigations need to go deeper than the Bittering addition at 60 mins.

    I'm going to test cooling the beer down for a little while before adding hops in and swirling again. Alternatively I will also try under-aiming the IBU's, with the expectation that it's automatically going to increase and I'm trying to account for that. :)

    Thanks Everyone.
     

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