Purpose of hop additions?

Discussion in 'Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water' started by LesTom, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. Sep 16, 2018 #1

    LesTom

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    I've just started to wonder about how some recipes stipulate adding different amounts of hops at different times during the boil phase.
    I understand that different kinds of hops fulfill a specific function, for example I get that the initial hops that go in say at the start of a 60 minute boil are for bitterness. What I'm wondering is, the instruction to add some hops after 45minutes, then more at 30 minutes and then again with 15 minutes left and finally at flame out. I know these are the aroma hops, but why not chuck the whole lot of them in with 45 minutes left of the boil phase?
    Over to you knowledgeable folks
     
  2. Sep 16, 2018 #2

    Mavroz

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    Maybe the hops release different flavour and aromas the longer or shorter time in the boil. Increasing or decreasing intensities?
    Sure someone will be able to throw a good bit of light on this, here.
     
  3. Sep 16, 2018 #3

    MmmBeer

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    Hops contain a vast array of different chemicals that are used in brewing, those with the lowest molecular weight are very volatile and will readily dissolve into hot water, but will also boil off very quickly, these are the aroma chemicals. Others with a medium molecular weight require longer to dissolve and take a longer time to boil off, these give the flavour to the beer. The heaviest molecular weight chemicals (alpha acids) give the bitterness to the beer, these require a long boil time to isomerise them and make them soluble, but don't boil off readily.

    So as you said the bittering hops are added at the start of the boil. Hops added 45 or 30 minutes from the end will give some bitterness and some flavour. Hops added 5 - 20 mins from the end mainly give flavour. The maximum aroma can be added by dry hopping in the FV, or slightly less by adding after partial cooling or at flame out. By adding several additions at different times, you can create a more complex flavour profile, although this may not always be discernible.

    The skill of recipe formation is to select individual characteristics of each hop and add at the time in the boil, which will most enhance that characteristic. You can use brewing software like Brewers Friend, to target the bitterness of your beer, but flavours and aromas are down to taste and experience. Most recipes have just 2 or 3 addition times (start, 10-30 mins from end and flame out), some aroma heavy beers like IPA may have more late additions, Guinness only has one, at the start, leading to no hop flavour / aroma.
     
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  4. Sep 16, 2018 #4

    Hoppyland

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  5. Sep 16, 2018 #5

    Bigcol49

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  6. Sep 16, 2018 #6

    cushyno

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  7. Sep 17, 2018 at 8:08 PM #7

    peebee

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    Same author! But Mr Smith is fairly prolific with his articles.

    I thought I was pretty level-headed when it came to hops, but reading the BYO article drives home that I do all five of the hop additions listed. Seems my level-headedness has picked up a few bumps. But I'm still well clear of the "add-three-hops-every-45-seconds" brigade. I'll probably follow Mr Smith's advice from now-on and forget late hops, just add boil hops and post-boil hops (steep and dry hops).

    But these articles have the same flaw as many others I read on the subject: They give the impression that boil hops do nothing but add IBUs and not much flavour-wise. I'll use Challenger hops in many of my bitters, but only ever as "boil" hops, not late additions, yet if I do the same with another hop like Target there is a marked difference in flavour at the end. And just to muddle it some more, Mr Smith also writes articles expounding the benefits of "first-wort" hopping techniques. He seems to have ignored them for the articles listed above.

    I think when following the advice in these articles you've got to remember the different techniques do not "throw switches" to dictate the final outcome, they only "shift the goal posts" a little. I don't think Mr Smith intends to give the "throw switches" idea, but that is what jells in some peoples heads.
     
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  8. Sep 19, 2018 at 4:19 PM #8

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Yes, although they all impart bitterness, each hop variety must impart a different flavour, even when boiled to bug**ry!
     
  9. Sep 19, 2018 at 5:16 PM #9

    ACBEV

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    I only add hops during the boil phase i.e. at start of boil to 5 minutes before the end of the boil. Like other new fangled stuff, I've never dry hopped, added before boil, at flame out or any other hop malarkey. Seems like my beers have good bittering, flavour and aroma qualities.

    Whoever, does multiple nano additions of multiple hops at ever decreasing intervals needs to be given electric stock treatment and locked into a dark room until they are cured of such behaviour.
     
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  10. Sep 19, 2018 at 7:55 PM #10

    jjsh

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    I'm not a vastly experienced brewer, but after brewing a Ron Pattinson Victorian Lovibond recipe that had no additions later than 30mins, and exuded both hip flavor and aroma, I can't fully agree with the theory that mid boil additions don't add anything. My opinion, for what it's worth (sample size of one person, and all that), is that they add a complexity that late and dry hopping doesn't.
     
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  11. Sep 20, 2018 at 9:54 AM #11

    peebee

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    Ah … a "defender of the faith"?

    I don't think anyone is disputing (EDIT: "saying" - I'm having trouble being clear?) the added complexity does absolutely nothing. But these methods do need to be put in context. There are plenty of methods in brewing generally that make big impacts on the final result; should we put a lot of effort into an area that has doubtful results? And should these doubtful methods be given such huge credibility that they should be flagged up alongside (instead of even) methods that really do make a difference? I probably could be described as an "experienced brewer" (45 years brewing) so perhaps I should be defending the old de-facto hopping standard of "add most of the hops for the entire boil, add about 10% for the last 20 minutes of boil, optionally add a small handful to the pressure barrel"? … Na.

    Let's see what happens commercially: There are the old breweries who may have tweaked their recipes and methods over eons to reach the "jewel" they produce now. There are the new breweries (and wannabe new old breweries) churning out dozens of recipes - there's no time to tweak these recipes (which might only exist for a few batches) but no trouble, they can get their marketing departments to spin stories about some doubtful technique they'll use.

    And then there is us. We can't do what old breweries are doing, their methods are arcane, shrouded in secrecy, not a lot recorded or proven about what they do; but it can't be doing them a lot of good 'cos they are disappearing at an alarming rate. But the new breweries: There are loads of techniques recorded - crikey I can get hold of the exact recipes some of them used, loads of methods that are obviously better than other methods 'cos they say so, loads of reasons recorded by the brewery of why their techniques and methods are best … we'll go with them.

    ...

    :?:

    What's just happened?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 1:40 PM
  12. Sep 20, 2018 at 10:51 AM #12

    Sadfield

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    In my experience hops added at any stage of the boil adds varying levels of flavour, aroma and bitterness.

    Isomerised hops are highly important for good head retention.

    Late and dry-hopping are great for aroma and flavour. However, strong chemical bonds are usually a factor of time and temperature, so this may explain why late hops don't hang around for long. Yet, IPAs used to be brewed to age. Why was that?

    Hopping at regular intervals throughout the boil, makes a very tasty and aromatic beer, in my experience. I guess Dogfish Head would concur.

    There's a time and a place for everything, even in hopping beer. All depends on what you are trying to brew and how quickly you need to drink it.

    I was interested to see, in the new CAMRA homebrewing book, that two of the hoppiest, modern beers had 30 minute additions. IIRC Verdant Pulp and Odyssey Drop That Ghetto Blaster.

    The certain way to waste hops is to dry or late hop then carbonate via secondary fermentation and not have the ability to purge with co2 at packaging.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 11:10 AM
  13. Sep 20, 2018 at 11:09 AM #13

    Dutto

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    After many years of smoking fags and a pipe, chewing tobacco and eating highly spiced foods I probably don't have sufficient taste-buds left to notice "subtle nuances" in anything that I drink.

    That doesn't mean that they aren't there, but as I can't taste them I can't be bothered to produce them ... :hat:

    ... and just follow the KISS principle where possible! athumb..
     
  14. Sep 20, 2018 at 11:50 AM #14

    GerritT

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    Yup, I keep it simple too with 1 or 2 hops per brew. Perhaps 3 if I have to get rid of a leftover :laugh8:

    I don't really 'get' very complicated hop or malt bills. 5 malts and 3 hops is the most complicated recipe for me.
     
  15. Sep 20, 2018 at 1:26 PM #15

    peebee

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    Explain please. That baffles me; not that I do carbonate prior to packaging (or have any means or desires to), but I do dry hop in the primary/secondary fermenter (being a conical fermenter it is usually playing at being both).
     
  16. Sep 20, 2018 at 1:58 PM #16

    Sadfield

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    Secondary fermentation, as in restarting fermentation by priming, can remove hop volatiles added during dryhopping. The warm phase required to allow priming is the opposite of the ideal cold storage recommended to preserves hop aroma.

    Oxidation at packaging is known to have a dramatic effect on hop aroma.

    I found my hop aroma dramatically improved in both intensity and stabilty when I switched to force carbonation and being able to purge bottles/kegs at packaging.
     
  17. Sep 20, 2018 at 5:00 PM #17

    jjsh

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    Nope, just making an observation about beer I've brewed. :laugh8:
     
  18. Sep 21, 2018 at 10:33 PM #18

    Hoppyland

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    Wow! that's an interesting statement!
    Come on, you cannot be seriously suggesting that the average home brewer who bottles their beer, using secondary fermentation to carbonate, is wasting their time if they use late addition or dry hops? Most - me included - will not purge their bottles with CO2 at packaging. In my case, I actually could, as I do use 6kg cylinders of CO2 elsewhere in the brewing process. But I don't when bottling - although I do take a lot of care to minimise oxidation through air incorporation.
    For me, the really certain way to waste hops is to boil them to extinction. I use a small quantity of very high-alpha hops as bittering hops in the full boil, because you don't need a lot. Therefore cheap, and job done.
    Then, I'll use flavour/aroma hops mainly at the end of the boil and (often loads in my case!) for dry hopping. If there are any subtle flavours that I'm missing by not hopping at intermediate stages, well so be it. I'm totally unconvinced that I could tell the difference. Of course, I could be entirely wrong - but I'm not going to go through the rigmarole of multiple brews that would conclusively prove it to me one way or the other!!
     
  19. Sep 21, 2018 at 10:58 PM #19

    Sadfield

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    But I didn't say you'd be wasting your time, I said wasting hops, indicating that you'll get a poor return on the quantity used. That is if you want hop aroma to be stable more than a few weeks. Feel free to search the forum for numerous NEIPA oxidation threads to get an idea of the point I'm making.
     
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