From the HBD Archive
From: (chris campanelli)
Subject: Frustrated and Nonplussed
Date: 1992-03-13 04:18:00 GMT

I'm frustrated and nonplussed. No, not about that. It's about the
way hops are described in a beer.

As you know, all beers have a hop profile. This consists of
bitterness, hop flavor and hop aroma. Yet when you describe a beer to
another homebrewer, what do you do? It usually goes something like this:

" . . . Well sir, the <HBU/AAU/IBU> was 25 and it had some hop
flavor and alot of hop nose . . ."

--- OR ---

" . . . boy I'lltellyawhat, the <HBU/AAU/IBU> was 10 but I
really wanted alot of hop flavor and aroma . . ."

I'll go one step further. Lets look at the AHA Style Definition
Chart. Calm down! I'm not ripping the AHA nor am I putting them on a
platform. I'm just using them as an example since most of us here in the
colonies are familiar with it.

If you were to brew a doppelbock and decided to use the AHA SDC as a
reference, you would see, among other things, an IBU rating of 17 - 27.
Thats all well and good for bitterness, but what about hop flavor and hop
aroma? If you want that information you must seek out the Rules and Regs
narrative of that style, which states: ". . . low hop flavor OK . . . no
hop aroma . . .".

See what I'm getting at? We use numerical scales for bitterness,
yet we have to resort to narrative for flavor and aroma. Wouldn't it be
great if we could say:

". . . Reggie, old boy! As you were quaffing my latest
creation, did you partake of the hops in this sustaining beverage? The
<HBU/AAU/IBU> was 20, the hop flavor was 7.5 and the hop aroma was a
bequiling 12! . . ."

--- OR ---

". . . HOY! Check this out! It's got a Total Hop Profile of
20 - 7.5 - 12. It kind of snuck up and ripped my face off! . . ."

With me now? What would it take to devise a numerical scale for hop
flavor and a separate scale for hop aroma? What are the chemical
compounds which provide the flavor and aroma? They're not phantoms. If
you can taste/smell it, then surely you must be able to isolate and
identify it. From that point its all down hill. Kind of.

Just alittle something to chew over the weekend. Email? You can do
me publicly or you can do me privately. It don't matter.

chris campanelli

PS. I'm not a science weenie so don't nit-pick the minor details. Try to
see the big picture here.

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