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The Averagely Perfect American IPA Project - Poll #14- Bittering Hop Philosophy

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by VikeMan, Feb 2, 2013.


What should the Bittering Hop Philosophy be?

Poll closed Feb 4, 2013.
  1. Use one or more of the TBD American Flavor/Aroma Hops for bittering

  2. Use a High Alpha Acid, Low Cohumulone Hop, not necessarily American

  3. Don't restict to Low Cohumulone and don't restrict to one or more of the TBD Flavor/Aroma Hops

  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (930) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    Let's decide whether the bittering hops (which I'll arbitrarily define for now as anything at 60 minutes or earlier) should be one or more of the varieties selected for flavor/aroma (which, remember, we have determined will be American varieties only), or if they should be a high Alpha Acid, Low Cohumulone variety not restricted to American varieties, or if neither restriction should apply. If you believe it's too early for this question, e.g. you want to know what flavor/aroma hops will be selected first, you may want to vote for the third option to not restrict anything regarding bittering hops at this point. This is a philosophical question, with non-numeric choices... Straight plurality will win. For those thinking ahead, I plan to go into flavor/aroma hop selection in the next poll, regardless of the outcome of this poll. i.e. we'll start the selection process for aroma/flavor hop varieties, perhaps along with bittering, depending on the outcome of this poll.

    This poll will be open for 48 hours.

    If you don't know what this thread is about, please see this thread...

    If you have issues with or suggestions for methodologies used in this project, please Beer Mail me.
    Let's keep the threads themselves on topic to the question at hand (not about how you would have asked the question differently). I will not address methodology questions in the forum any more. I'm not going to risk having a thread deleted due to a flame war. If this irks you, please consider not playing.

    The Averagely Perfect American IPA Recipe so far...
    5 Gallons
    Target ABV: 6.5%
    Target OG: 1.062
    Target FG: 1.012
    Apparent Attenuation: 81%
    Recommended Mash Temp: 151F
    64 IBUs (per Tinseth Calc)

    Grain Bill:
    Two-Row Brewer's Malt (92%)
    Crystal 40 (5%)
    Carapils (3%)

    American Flavor/Aroma Hops, varieties and schedule TBD

    Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05
  2. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    I'm thinking Yakima Magnum.
    brewsader likes this.
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    Well I need to make another bulk hop order anyway, so the outcome of these polls will help determine what to order. If it's something that's not available, I'll wing it as close as possible.

    I'd like to keep chanting USA! USA! USA! tho :D
  4. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Advocate (500) Utah May 2, 2006

    Personally I like bittering hops in IPA's to bring some character to the party. I'm also a fan of "continuously" hopping my IPA's, a la Dogfish Head. I guessing that this beer will not end up going this direction, though.
  5. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (400) Michigan Dec 14, 2006 Verified

    I'm thinking CTZ for bittering and flavor/aroma (along with other varieties for F&A)

    This IPA is 'Merican, lets keep them hops from 'Merica. USA USA USA!
    AlCaponeJunior and brewsader like this.
  6. wspscott

    wspscott Advocate (660) Kentucky May 25, 2006

    This is what I was thinking as well, CTZ to bitter then CTZ and Centennial for flavor/aroma
  7. Others may disagree, but is the varietal of the bittering addition really going to matter much in this beer? I'd love to see someone pick out an otherwise identical American IPA, one bittered with CTZ and the other bittered with Magnum in a side by side. The late additions are going to completely overpower any flavor contributions of the bittering addition.
    mnstorm99 likes this.
  8. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (400) Michigan Dec 14, 2006 Verified

    But I've already got CTZ in my freezer. Why buy another variety if you're not going to use it for flavor/aroma?
    wspscott likes this.
  9. Exactly.
  10. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    Don't forget extract.
    mcc1654 likes this.
  11. Can you make this beer in a Mr. Beer fermentor and 22% ABV?
    I kid, I kid.
    Anyways, I really like this series of threads Vikeman. Great idea.

  12. We brew our IPA sometimes with Zeus and sometimes with Hallertauer Magnum. No one can tell the difference. In a blonde ale... I bet you probably could. But then again we also use extract so that probably evens the bittering differences out a bit.
  13. memory

    memory Savant (290) Pennsylvania Oct 2, 2005

    I've brewed a lot with Magnum and Zeus. But there are so many hops and time can be restricted. So I try to experiment when possible. I bought Apollo hops stated at 18 IBU. Made 2 batches with them. An Irish ale and English Barley. Both times when I tossed them in the kettle my nose did a double take. The bitterest hops I've ever smelled. But so far the Irish ale is right on. Barley is still on yeast primary. Zeus is nice, Magnum, Warrior etc. Just experiment with what you think will work. As for Apollo, a half to 3/4 oz will certainly be enough for a 5 gal batch at 60.
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    You can smell bitterness?
  15. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Savant (485) Nevada Dec 4, 2008 Verified

    Why not? ...quantifying it is the hard part.

    Smell a low alpha hop and compare to a high alpha variety...there's got to be a correlation. maybe.
  16. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    Okay, I'll stick a toe is the water.

    Unless the oils have been boiled off you should just be getting aromatics. Franky I'd be turned off if I got anything the smelled bitter. Now I do think that I can taste bitterness in my cooled wort. Also a bit of hop flavor but not much aroma, I think that you need carbonation for that.

    I've been trying to check my hops with the repeated rubbing into my palms trick. But I always get some Romano cheese which I'm told is bad. But it's pleasant, not harsh.
  17. LAWbrewing

    LAWbrewing Zealot (90) Wisconsin Nov 23, 2010

    I was just reading up on cohumulone and found the quote below attributed to Steve Parks in his book Hop Chemistry: Homebrew Science. Definitely not saying anything about your method of hop storage nor the freshness of the product your retailers are peddling. I had just read this 10 seconds before reading your post so thought I'd share:

    That bit in there about the cheesy flavors "associated sometimes with old hops" makes me wonder what those flavors are associated with at other times?
  18. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    The things is I get these notes with anything that I've bought. I think that I'm going to purposely fowl some to see what happens.
    LAWbrewing likes this.
  19. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    It just struck me as weird because bitterness has no characteristic smell. If it did, coffee would smell like hops which would smell like cocoa powder which would smell like orange pith.... When you smell a bag of hops, you haven't created isoalpha acids yet, so your aren't smelling that which we chemically associated with the main bittering component of beer. But you are right: You can smell hop oils and probably develop some sort of correlation with bitterness (including iso-alpha) that can be derived from the hop. I retract my earlier post an lower my raised eyebrow of skepticism.
  20. TIMMYJ21

    TIMMYJ21 Aficionado (210) Minnesota Apr 29, 2010

    First Wort Warrior, I do this with all my IPA's and Dbl and get very good feedback on the bitterness feel to my brew.
  21. I haven't had great luck with extract (HopShiots) alone in my IPAs. The bitterness is too clean/quick, I want an IPA with some grab. I've been doing a combo of extract and Columbus with good results for the last few.
  22. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Savant (395) Illinois Oct 22, 2010 Verified

    I am a fan of Warrior as well.
  23. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Savant (485) Nevada Dec 4, 2008 Verified

    Why not pork or beef? : ) (fowl/foul)
    Naugled likes this.
  24. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (930) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    And the bittering hop philosophy is...
    Use a High Alpha Acid, Low Cohumulone Hop, not necessarily American
  25. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (320) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    I vote for early hops like Columbus, Summit, Chinook, or Apollo. In the case of Pliny the Elder, we all see that large additions of moderate to high cohumulone hops for bittering works out rather well. So I would not be afraid of them. I bet the same beer brewed with clean Magnum or some type of high alpha English or NZ hop would not taste the same.

    Or ignore this advice if you're brewing an American IPA that is not necessarily American.
  26. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (930) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    This particular poll closed already. Thanks though.
  27. Treb0R

    Treb0R Savant (320) Oregon Dec 12, 2012

    No problemo. Majority rules.