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Author Replies
04/13/08 02:30 PM  
If you get no hop flavor or aroma with early additions (say 70-90 minutes in the boil) does it matter what variety of hop you use or can one just go based on IBU?

I'm looking at a strong dark that needs about 28 IBU that is all added at 90 min. The original used 2.5 oz. EKG but I'm wondering if I can't get by with like 1/2 oz of Galena or similar. Hop crisis. Desperate measures.

04/13/08 02:37 PM  
Re: Bittering
When fresh, I still think it tends to lend a tiny bit of flavor, but as it ages out I don't really think it matters all that much
04/14/08 10:01 AM  
Re: Bittering
I think there's little doubt that the choice of bittering hop CAN noticably alter the character of the beer. I say this based on general experience, and also on tasting experimental versions of a commercial beer bittered with Magnum vs. Columbus.

That said, I've had good luck getting clean bitterness in Belgian-style brews with the high-alpha varieties Nugget, Warrior, and Magnum. Maybe you could get some additional character by bittering with EKG or Styrians (and maybe not) but if good clean bitterness is good enough then one of the above should give it to you with minimum ounces. (And, sorry, can't speak for Galena one way or the other.)

Also I agree with Potts it's more important that the hops are fresh than anything else. (Though I still would avoid super-"sticky" American varieties.)

04/14/08 10:24 AM  
Re: Bittering
could a compromise be reached by bittering with small amount of high alpha and then adding the originally designated EKG in a smaller amount at say 30 min?

04/14/08 12:18 PM  
Re: Bittering
I agree with Baums. IMO you do get a mild amount of flavor from your bittering hop addition. As he said, using clean high alpha hops for bittering works very well in our current hop situation. Stress on clean, like he said, stay away from most of your C-hops for that.

Your plan certainly sounds like a good compromise. I've been keeping some magnum on hand for just this reason. I think you'll probably just want to go light on your EKG addition, otherwise it'll probably turn out fine.

04/14/08 01:27 PM  
Re: Bittering

Remember when we did the Saison swap? Your beer was hopped at or near the 60 minute mark with EKG yet I picked up what variety it was pretty quickly.

I think Baums makes a great point about the clean bitterness aspects of a hop and getting more character from some of the noble varieties. Also, what bittering hop to use depends mainly on the beer your brewing. If you have a beer with alot of different malts in the grist to hide behind, then the bittering variety isn't as important. For instance, a dark strong would have hop flavor and/or bitterness as a secondary marker versus it's complex malt profile. On the other hand, I wouldn't hop a strong golden with a high alpha acid hop as the malt bill is mainly pils and sugar. More than likely, the character of the hop will show through the light malt profile.

04/14/08 07:55 PM  
Re: Bittering
yes I do remember that ross...I remember your gagging reflex.


I'll consider these points. I think I'll bitter with Northern Brewer and then add 1/2 oz. EKG at 30-40 min. to compensate.

thanks to all of you for the advice.


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