continuously hopped beers (single hop variety)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by shwhat, Mar 5, 2012.

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  1. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    i had this idea to brew a series of continuously hopped ipa's utilizing only one variety of hops per recipe. this arose from a rather silly idea to brew a dfh 60 min clone using only nelson sauvin, which i would name "the full nelson."

    it got me thinking, would nelson sauvin be an appropriate candidate for such a task? what other singular hop varieties would be good candidates for this process? any insight or past experience would be appreciated.
  2. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I dunno but I'll be watching and probably imitating in the somewhat near future!

    I'm thinking an all cascade... my experience is limited but cascade tastes great so far!

    I've seen the DFH 60 clone and it looks like it would taste great!
  3. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    Continuous hopping is a gimmick IMO, it's not going to give you anything beneficial over a simple, well planned hopping schedule.
  4. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    i think it'd be cool in this instance because it would show you a wide range of characteristics of the individual hop.

    if you think about it, you just go in knowing that you're gonna use a gross total of X amount of hops, and split it up into equal increments. it doesn't have to ACTUALLY be set up on a rig that shakes them into the could just be timed at every 5 to 10 mins, even 15 if you wanted.
  5. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    My point is that it's not going to show you any characteristics that you couldn't get from a normal hop schedule. By all means though, have at it, it's certainly not going to hurt anything.

    And I've done more than think about it, I've done it in the past, and it doesn't do anything special for you IMO.

    And take the DFH IPAs for example. Great beers, I love them all, but is there some unique type of hop character found in those beers that you can't find in other beers that aren't continuously hopped? I say no.
  6. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    for the record, i agree that it's definitely gimmicky. but all is fair in the name of experimentation.
  7. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I don't care if it's a gimmick, I care if it will produce a good beer. Honestly if someone could prove that X+Y+Z = great beer and could also prove that the same amount and type of hops, scheduled A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H+I+J+K over a range of times was not as good, then I'd say go for the simpler method for sure, especially for homebrewers, and especially for novices. Unnecessary complication for no additional gain is certainly not warranted. Occam's razor, or something. :rolling_eyes:

    But I must say I'm still intrigued about the continuous hopping idea, and would happily try it if someone had a good recipe that came out tasting great. :grinning:
  8. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    It will definitely produce good beer, but you can definitely produce beer that is just as good with a simpler hop schedule, that's all I'm saying.
  9. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I agree, simpler is probably better for homebrewers.

    But check out this and tell me you're not so damn curious...

    120 minute IPA clone

    So yeah, while I'm nowhere near attempting such a complicated recipe, it's ok to dream :grinning:

    My latest beer is the most complicated hopping schedule I'm attempting yet (at this very early stage in my brewing career)... 60 min magnum, 10 min cascade, 0 min cascade, dry hop (2 types, one ounce each cascade/amarillo).
  10. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    As I said above, I've done continuous hopping, I've brewed 60 min and 90 min IPA clones, they were good beers, but there wasn't anything special about them when compared to beers with more conventional hopping schedules.
  11. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (523) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Definitely agree with you here. Also, continuous hopping is pretty inefficient; properly timed additions will yield more hop character with less total ounces per batch. Continuous hopping was a great idea for experimentation but it didn't really pan out except for the gimmick factor, IMO.
  12. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    i don't know enough chemistry to fully poo-poo continuous hopping, but my problem with it has always been that it seems like what you want from "heavily hopped" beers comes, primarily, from late editions. ...but continuous hopping sort of guarantees that various hop oils have more time to get boiled off.

    unless i'm way off, it seems like upping a late edition is going to get you that "burst of hops" that you must want if you're trying to bombard your beer with continuous hops. i get that the idea is that the hop is "captured at some transitory stage that gets missed from big chunk editions," but i'm pretty skeptical of that being a benefit even if it's true (which it probably isn't).

    edit: p.s. fresh DFH 60min is a great beer because DFH are great brewers, and 120 min is a hop supernova because a) it has tons and tons of hops in it, and b) DFH are great brewers.
  13. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    i'm actually not trying to go for a "burst of hops," it would literally be to show the full spectrum of flavors, aromas, and bitterness available from one variety of hops, all at once. in a way, it's to explore the complexities of the hop varietal.

    edit: even if those complexities are super subtle.
  14. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    i'll put on my analytic philosophy hat and question the assumptions though... suppose there really are hop complexities that are unique to every minute. does it follow that you can appreciate them via continuous hopping?

    isn't it possible (and, in fact, more likely) that the influence of certain "complexities" in the process would overshadow others? so instead of appreciating the fullness of "big 15 minute addition," you get "mild 15 minute addition," because 15min is drowning out 20min, and doesn't have as much 15 min power as if you'd just done a big 15min addition in the first place.

    the continuous hopping idea sounds very suspect to me... if you don't like my manner of questioning it above, consider an analogy:

    there's lots of types of base malt. there's also many specialty malts. in particular, there's tons of different types of crystal malt.

    suppose instead of 10lb marris otter, 10oz crystal 60, you use 1 lb each of 10 different base malts, and 1oz each of crystal 10 thru 100~ (or whatever different increments you find).

    are you going to get "the full complexity" of all those malts? even supposing that there's much difference between 25min / 24min / 23min etc additions of hops, is including all of those additions the way to discover and savor them?
  15. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    i made mention earlier that by continuously hopping, i didn't necessarily mean hopping every minute. 10 to 15 min increments are certainly acceptable in my opinion. the term continuous is used loosely. makes it easier to say than "hopping in ten to fifteen minute increments."
  16. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    to be more general (and maybe more direct at the same time?) i think it's always worth it to experiment with brewing, but i also doubt that there are many meaningful distinctions beyond "bittering / flavor/aroma."
    shwhat likes this.
  17. tweidman420

    tweidman420 Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2005 Louisiana

    To answer the original question, I've done several single-hop IPAs. I've used Simcoe, Citra, Centennial, and Amarillo. Personally, I'm not a fan of using only Centennial, although Bell's Two-Hearted is supposedly all Centennial, and I love it. But the Simcoe, Citra, and Amarillo single-hop IPAs were great. For the record, I've done continual hopping and a more conventional hop schedule (60, 20, flameout) with the Simcoe, and the beers were pretty similar. FWIW, they were done about a year apart, but I would go with a simplified, conventional hop schedule just to avoid adding hops every 10 min.
  18. marquis

    marquis Crusader (722) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    If it made any difference it would be a routine method of hopping.No doubt people tried it from time to time and found it made no difference to what they were doing anyway.
  19. Hogie

    Hogie Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2008 Michigan

    I think just about any hop would be a good candidate for a single hopped beer. I do these frequently when trying a new hop. One of my favorites was with Pacific Gem.
  20. Graeme24

    Graeme24 Initiate (194) Dec 16, 2008 Ireland

    I just brewed a single hop pale ale with the same name!
  21. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    I have always had the belief that continuous hopped beers had no point, and we know they are a gimmick. But, I stray away from replying to these threads since I have never done it. Aw hell, maybe I'll do a continuous hopped amarillo pale ale so I can say I am experienced :slight_smile:
  22. Naugled

    Naugled Crusader (737) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    If the definition is continuously adding hops every 5 mins, then I've done that for at least the last 20min period. I do find that different aromas blossom for different timings, so I assume flavors follow suit, but I'm reluctant to sample my boiling wort.
    shwhat likes this.
  23. Hands22

    Hands22 Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I have made two all-Nelson Sauvin beers and both times I used a more traditional hopping schedule (both of which turned out great!). One issue you would have is that Nelson Sauvin has really high alpha acid content (mine are 12.2%) so continuous hopping would give you too many IBUs. In my beers I focused mostly on late hopping additions with a very small amount at 60 min in one and FWH in the other.
    mnstorm99 likes this.
  24. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    hmm. very useful information. but that could be a good thing. like a hop rocket launcher lol
  25. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    There won't be nearly enough late addition hops for an IPA
    I think you bring up a very good point here, if the beer is continuously hopped with the same quantities of a high alpha acid hop
  26. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    ^^^Computer literacy^^^
    Phone wasn't letting me edit corectly when I posted last night.

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that if your using equal quantities of the hop and adding them continuously throughout the boil. Then a high alpha acid hop will just come through as a more bitter beer and you will probably be lacking the flavor and aroma. A lower alpha acid hop will probably come out more balanced.
  27. shwhat

    shwhat Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2010 New York

    yes, true. but what if it were calculated to be a crescendo of sorts? as in larger dosages the closer you get to flame out? all this is purely hypothetical, of course. just an interesting topic to talk about.
  28. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Then you can create a very good IPA. I actually thing lower alpha hops contuinuously added throughout the boil in the same increments could create a very nice APA, just not enough late addition hops for an IPA IMO.
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