From the HBD Archive
Subject: Re: use of hops
Date: 1992-02-28 01:02:00 GMT

I'm afraid I've lost the originator (sorry) of this question:
>4 use of hops... during boil... end of boil... or both.. why...

Randy took a shot at this question -- I'd like to add more.

Hops add bittering, flavor and bouquet. They also have antiseptic
qualities, i.e. they *reduce* your chances of getting an infection.

All hops are not created equal. All can provide bittering, the level
of which is dependant on the amount of alpha acid that they contain.
Some produce a pleasant bouquet, some an unpleasant one. Some that
have traditionally used just for bittering (Nugget, for example) are
now being used for aroma also. Each variety of hops has a range of
% alpha acid (%AA), which depends on the region and how their growing
season went that year.

Bittering hops, aka boiling hops, aka copper hops (the Brits call the
kettle a copper), aka kettle hops... all of these describe the addition
of hops for a long boil -- this addition of hops will provide bittering.
The amount of bittering that they will provide is dependant on their
%AA and on the length of the boil. If you boil an addition of hops
longer than 15 minutes or so, you will certainly boil away all the
bouquet and probably most of the flavor. Therefore, any hops you boil
for longer than about 15 minutes are effectively only for bittering.
It has been recently noted in this forum, that maybe the variety of
the hops you use for bittering can make a difference in the flavor.
The jury is still out on this issue. Why use a high alpha (high %AA)
hop for bittering? Well, you can get the same amount of bitterness
from $1 of Centennial as you can from $8 of Saaz.

Hops that you boil for more than about 5 minutes will lose most of their
bouquet and if you boil less than 15 minutes, you won't get much bittering
from them, so what good are they? Well, they provide flavoring.
I haven't found much on "flavoring hops" in literature, so I can't
say much more about them. I usually don't use them unless I'm following
a recipe directly.

Aroma hops are those added in the last 5 minutes of the boil (aka finishing
hops) or dryhopping hops (adding the hops in the primary or secondary
fermenter). The less you boil, the more fragrance you'll get. Try a
bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- it's dryhopped with Cascade hops.
*That's* what dryhopping is all about. Another example is Young's
Special London Ale -- it's dryhopped (I'm quite sure) with East Kent
Goldings hops. Since starting to dryhop, I've stopped using finishing
hops. The dryhopping is much more effective for creating a hop nose.
I suggest using whole hops for dryhopping, simply dumped into the
primary after the krauesen falls or in the secondary. Pelletized hops
can also be used, but the whole hops float, whereas the pellets float
for awhile and then sink. After which they get covered up by dead yeast
and therefore don't provide as much bouquet. I haven't worried about
sanitizing the dryhopping hops and have not had any problems -- the
alcohol, acidity and hungry yeast should be enough to fight off any
infections at dryhopping time. Don't add the hops till the krauesen
falls -- they will most certainly clog the blowoff tube if you use one
and the high rate of CO2 early in the ferment will scrub-off a lot of
their bouquet also. Wait a short while to get the most out of them.

Both the bittering and the bouquet will diminish over time, so if you've
used too much, don't fret, wait 3 or 6 months. Then again, you can't
expect that bouquet in that perfect batch of Pale Ale to last 9 months
- -- drink it when it's at it's peak, and simply make more!

There are many types of hops and I don't have all my notes here, but
here's a few things off the top of my head:

Saaz -- the classic Pilsener hop -- used exclusively in Pilsener Urquell.

Cascade -- a U.S. hop; aroma hop; used in many of the American Pale Ales.

Kent Goldings -- a British hop; aroma hop; used in many English Pale Ales.

Centennial (aka CFJ90) -- a high alpha U.S. bittering hop.

Nugget -- a medium alpha hop used mostly for bittering.

Hallertauer -- a European hop (also available grown in the U.S.) which
is often used both a finishing and boiling hop in German styles.

Hersbrucker -- a cousin of Hallertauer -- used similarly.

Fuggles -- British (also available US grown); similar in use to Kent Goldings.

Well, that's plenty for now. For more info, I suggest the Zymurgy Special
Issue on hops as the most highly concentrated source of information on
hops. While you're at it -- buy all the Special Issues -- each one is
some of the best information on homebrewing there is. One more thing...
when I'm just starting to develop a style that's new to me, what I do is
pull out my old Zymurgy's and see what the prize winners used. You can
get a good idea of the types and amounts of hops to start with and then
adjust in subsequent batches. Papazian's The New Complete Joy of Home
Brewing is another good source for starting points.


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