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Old 30-10-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
fizz head1982
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Default Are the old ways best?

I noticed whilst looking at some old beer recipes that it was very much the modus operandi to use only one type of hop in the start of the boil usually about 200 grams. This made me wonder, as in comparison the newer recipes tend to call for lots of small additions at frequent intervals and its not uncommon to have two or three or four kinds...

So can some one enlighten me as to the advantages and disadvantages of the old ways and the new?



Im planning a traditional IPA based on something Greysalchemy said:

5kg Pale malt,
Mash at 66c for 90 mins
boil for 60 mins w/
100g Target (have challenger and small amount of fuggles, also have in tea bag style plugs, challenger and goldings i could use)


So any information and guidance welcome.
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Old 30-10-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

A single bittering addition will give quite a one dimensional beer.
An addition at the start of the boil will give you the bitterness but very little hop flavour and no hop aroma. That said, there are probably many beers still brewed this way or with only a very small late addition.

The brewery accountant probably also had a say in the matter.

I also think it has a lot to do with the many varieties of hops that are available these days compared to even only a decade ago or so.

It depends what you want to brew really.....do you want an 'old style' drink or do you like hop forward beers?? I think this should be the determining factor in what you chose to do.....think about what you want in your glass and then you can start to work out how to get it.
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Old 30-10-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
fizz head1982
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

A good answer but brewing has really opened my eyes to taste... I would read things on the side of wine or beer and just think "What the eff are they on about?" but now, making my own, I realise and when I read the side and taste I think "yea, I can taste all those things!"

I guess if its just a greater selective breading custom and choice then thats all there is too it. As a new brewer how will I ever get to grips with what hops does what?!

I just wondered if there was a greater reason.
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Old 30-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

be careful, target is a nasty nasty hop imo.... very challenging bitternes when used to extremes.

sack off those stupid hop bags too and get decent hops from malt miller, worcs hop shop or any decent lhbs
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Old 30-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizz head1982
As a new brewer how will I ever get to grips with what hops does what?!
Although it may look like a minefield, it's not that hard, and is probably easier now than in years gone by.
You probably already know what you like and don't like by the beers you like to drink; but you probably have not translated this in to varieties or how to brew with them to get the required result.

Again, I go back to my comment earlier in the thread.....work out what you want in your glass and then work backwards.
It is pretty easy these days to find out which hops are in which beers; a quick google or question on here usually turns up an answer.

If you boil hops for 90 minutes (the usual duration of the boiling step) then all you get is the bitterness to balance the sweet malt.
Additons of 20 minutes or less, you will get a little bitterness from along with hop flavour and some aroma.
If you go down to 5 minutes and less, then you have a negligible bitterness but you will get some flavour and lots of aroma.
A lot of people steep hop in the wort after the boil is done to get bigger hit of aroma.

Don't be afraid of asking questions.....there is always someone willing to point you in the right direction.
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Old 30-10-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

This may interest you....

http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/50
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Old 30-10-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
dennisking
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by critch
be careful, target is a nasty nasty hop imo.... very challenging bitternes when used to extremes.

sack off those stupid hop bags too and get decent hops from malt miller, worcs hop shop or any decent lhbs
I to find Target to harsh for my delicate pallet.
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Old 30-10-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fizz head1982
Im planning a traditional IPA based on something Greysalchemy said:

5kg Pale malt,
Mash at 66c for 90 mins
boil for 60 mins w/
100g Target (have challenger and small amount of fuggles, also have in tea bag style plugs, challenger and goldings i could use)
I should point out that my suggestion was a recipe from the 19c as I believe I was being asked about traditional IPA's.

Target will be far too harsh on its own, fine if it is tempered with challenger or northdown. I once did a Pale ale with target for bittering and styrian Goldings at the end. It was awful, though it did improve after six months. As it was a very traditional recipe /style i would go with east Kent Goldings or fuggles. i would probably also dry hop as well with the same hop and it needs to be aged for a good while in a keg or bottle 3-6 months.

with regards what is better, well tastes have changed over the last 150 yrs even the last 10. Traditional IPA's were designed to be transported across to india for 6 months maturing as they went along. Today we seem to be bombarded by citrusy american abominations trying to cling on to a faint but glorious heritage.

I must say i enjoy my Odd Job pale ale (a clone of st Austells Proper job a westward looking homage to an IPA). When it is young the hops hit you full on with the most refreshing citrus burst followed by a heavy hit of hop bitterness. But after a while I look forward to when it mellows into a more rounded but still very flavoursome beer.

So really I take a bit of the modern enjoy it for what it is but then age it and enjoy its heritage (faint that it may be).

Hope that helps
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Old 30-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

Came across this in an old cook book from 1852 ,makes my 23lt brews look like child's play

The first preparatory step towards brewing is to gather your necessary plant together in proper working order, and thoroughly clean. Your plant or utensils must consist of the following articles,
viz.:—A thirty-gallon copper, two cooling-tubs capable of holding each about thirty gallons; a mash-tub of sufficient size to contain fifty-four gallons, and another tub of smaller size, called an underback; a bucket or pail, a wooden hand-bowl, a large wooden funnel, a mash-stirrer, four scraped long stout sticks, a good-sized loose-wrought wicker basket for straining the beer, and another small bowl-shaped wicker basket, called a tapwaist, to fasten inside the mash-tub on to the inner end of the spigot and faucet, to keep back the grains when the wort is being run off out of the mash-tub. You will also require some beer barrels, a couple of brass or metal cocks, some vent-pegs, and some bungs. I do not pretend to assert that the whole of the foregoing articles are positively indispensable for brewing your own beer. I merely enumerate what is most proper to be used; leaving the manner and means of replacing such of these articles as may be out of your reach very much to your intelligence in contriving to use such as you possess, or can borrow from a neighbour, instead. the greater power to extract all the goodness and strength from the malt and hops. In order to ensure having good wholesome beer, it is necessary to calculate your brewing at the rate of two bushels of malt and two pounds of hops to fifty-four gallons of water; these proportions, well managed, will produce three kilderkins of good beer.
I recommend that you should use malt and hops of the best quality only; as their plentiful yield of beneficial substance fully compensates for their somewhat higher price. A thin shell, well filled up plump with the interior flour, and easily bitten asunder, is a sure test of good quality in malt; superior hops are known by their light greenish-yellow tinge of colour, and also by their bright, dry, yet somewhat gummy feel to the touch, without their having any tendency to clamminess.
The day before brewing, let all your tackle be well scrubbed and rinsed clean, the copper wiped out, and all your tubs and barrels half filled with cold water, to soak for a few hours, so as to guard against any chance of leakage, and afterwards emptied, and set to dry in the open air, weather permitting; or otherwise, before the fire. Fasten the tapwaist inside the mash-tub to the inner end of the faucet and spigot, taking care to place the mash-tub in an elevated position, resting upon two benches or stools.
Early in the dawn of morning, light the fire under your copper, filled with water over-night, and, as soon as it boils, with it fill the mash-tub rather more than three-parts full; and as soon as the first heat of the water has subsided, and you find that you are able to bear your fingers drawn slowly through it without experiencing pain, you must then throw in the malt, stirring it about for ten minutes or so; then lay some sticks across the mash-tub, and cover it with sacks or blankets, and allow it to steep for three hours. At the end of the three hours, let off the wort from the mash-tub into the underback-tub, which has been previously placed under the spigot and faucet ready to receive it; pouring the first that runs out back into the mash, until the wort runs free from grains, etc.; now put the hops into the underback-tub and let the wort run out upon them.
Your copper having been refilled, and boiled again while the mash is in progress, you must now pour sufficient boiling water into the grains left in the mash-tub to make up your quantity of fifty-four gallons; and when this second mashing shall have also stood some two hours, let it be drawn off, and afterwards mixed with the first batch of wort, and boil the whole at two separate boilings, with the hops equally divided; each lot to be allowed to boil for an hour and a-half after it has commenced boiling.
The beer is now to be strained through the loose wicker basket into your cooling tubs and pans; the more you have of these the better the beer, from its cooling quickly. And when the beer has cooled to the degree of water which has stood in the house in summer-time for some hours, let it all be poured into your two or three largest tubs, keeping back a couple or three quarts in a pan, with which to mix a pint of good yeast and a table-spoonful of common salt; stir this mixture well together, keep it in rather a warm part of the house, and in the course of half an hour or so, it will work up to the top of the basin or pan.
This worked beer must now be equally divided between the two or three tubs containing the bulk of the beer, and is to be well mixed in by ladling it about with a wooden hand-bowl for a couple of minutes. This done, cover over the beer with sacks or blankets stretched upon sticks across the tubs, and leave them in this state for forty-eight hours.
The next thing to be seen to is to get your barrels placed in proper order and position for being filled; and to this end attend strictly to the following directions, viz.:—First, skim off the scum, which is yeast, from the top or surface of the tubs, and next, draw off the beer through the spigot, and with the wooden funnel placed in the bung-hole, proceed to fill up the barrels not quite full; and, remember, that if a few hops are put into each before filling in the beer, it will keep all the better. Reserve some of the beer with which to fill up the barrels as they throw up the yeast while the beer is working; and when the yeast begins to fall, lay the bungs upon the bung-holes, and at the end of ten days or a fortnight, hammer the bungs in tight, and keep the vent-pegs tight also. In about two months' time after the beer has been brewed, it will be in a fit condition for drinking.

That's the way to do it
Bob
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Old 30-10-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are the old ways best?

Well according to "Amber, Gold & Black", IPAs from the late 1800s would typically have a quarter to a third of kettle hops added late in the boil and dry hops added at up to half a pound per barrel (equivalent to about 30g in a 5 gallon brew) so I don't think it is right to categorize old beers as having only bittering additions.

Check out some of the old recipes on Ron Pattinsons blog and you'll see some heavy flavour additions from some surprising varieties!
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