1 Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 9:07 PM

Hi guys.

Over the last 3 or so years, I've spent an enormous amount of time reading, researching & learning about how best to use hops in beer. In my travels seeking knowledge & finality of sorts, in one area to do with hop usage, I admit I've struck a bit of an impasse.

This revolves around the temperature point where you gain the most flavour pick-up from a hop (that you can actually taste on the tongue) to where that drops away to a point where more obvious aroma (you smell from the glass) is added.

The crossover literature I've read seems to indicate that the best hop flavour pick-up happens when hops are added to sub 80°C wort where the hops will no longer add bitterness. The cut-off point (for a better word) for that flavour pick-up appears to be down around the mid to high 30's to approx. low 40's degrees Celsius. I'm quite happy to be corrected on that temperature cut-off point as I'm not exactly sure myself & am only going on what I've read.

From that mid 30-40°C & below point appears to be the zone more widely considered the temp zone that is conducive to adding aroma to your beer.

My thoughts on this are that there is obviously a sliding scale in this 80°C to say 0°C zone where these hop oils react differently to the wort & impart different levels of flavour & aroma in much the same way as they impart flavour & bitterness whilst in the boil.

I suppose my question is, as a measure of time & temperature, what is the best temperature & time length to flavour a beer with hops, & what is the best temperature & time length to maximize hop aroma influence into a beer?

Is 30mins enough for a post boil steep to extract all the flavour components from those hops, & should you maintain a temp before cooling, or should you cool the wort during this process?

For dry hopping, is there an optimum temperature & timeframe that hops will have completely released their oils into solution where they can be removed before they begin to add “grassy-like” aspects to the beer?

All thoughts welcomed.

Lusty.

2 Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 9:24 PM

It is a tricky one for sure.
Firstly we need to bear in mind the fact that a proportion of flavour is derived from smell.
I wonder how much? That has a big bearing on what we get from what addition.

For me I get a big flavour from flameout additions for 20 minutes. I will have to measure the temp and see what kind of drop overtime there is.

3 Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 9:38 PM

It's pretty high. Something like 80% of what we perceive as flavour is actually from smell.

This probably explains why beer tastes a hell of a lot better drinking it from a glass, than it does straight from the bottle. Can't smell much through solid glass.

It's a hard question to answer though because I would imagine there are variables in the composition of each different wort and in the hop varieties themselves, which would affect the outcome. I don't know that for sure, though. It's just my scientific thought process of there being variables in any given hypothesis/experiment. There probably isn't really a standard approach to suit all situations due to these variables, although a rough guide of sorts could be constructed.

I too, have had huge flavour impact from the flameout additions in the SNPA clones I brew, also quite a bit of aroma from them as well. These are thrown in at flameout and left to sit for 15 minutes before I drain the wort into the cube. This recipe is not dry hopped, however I never noticed any grassy tones from leaving dry hops in for a while. Some brews I threw them in on the third day and didn't bottle for another 2 and a half weeks. Maybe that is more a result of different hop varieties being more likely to cause it, than time itself. Saaz is one that repeatedly gets thrown up as presenting grassy tones if dry hopped, others don't seem to be mentioned at all in this vein.

Now, I just throw them in a couple of days before I cold crash the beer. They don't get removed until after the FV is emptied.

Cheers

Kelsey

4 Posted: Friday, May 08, 2015 10:08 PM

G'day Anthony, interesting questions. I think the answer lies in the essential oil composition of the hop in question. To my understanding there are a couple of hundred of these, each with different flavour and aroma contributions that are not really well understood, and each with different boiling points. You want to vaporize these essential oils and then capture that vapour in the beer. Ie you want to prevent it from evaporating, sticking to the kettle or being dragged out of suspension by floculating yeast. I also understand that this causes different levels of flavour stability depending on how and at what stage the flavour and aroma compounds are introduced to the wort or beer. To say that it's a complex topic is under-selling things by a large margin!

I no chill, and cube hop because I believe that the in the sealed cube, vaporized flavour and aroma compounds have nowhere to go but to be absorbed in the wort. I also dry hop after primary fermentation is over when I want a really prominent hop aroma, because I believe that the yeast remove a portion of these compounds. I also believe that the contribution of cube / whirlpool hops and dry hops to a beer is slightly different, although I haven't done a side by side comparison. Some of my cube-hopped only beers (no dry hops) have turned out with plenty of hop aroma, although I find it slightly less raw than what I get from dry hopping.

To really understand it, I guess in the end it comes down to experimenting with the hop(s) of your choice. Try the same recipe with a 30 minute hop addition vs a 15 minute addition vs a 5 minute hop addition vs a flameout addition vs a dry hop to get a feel for what each addition does, then combine them until you end up with what is to your taste, the perfect hopping regime for that beer. I'd probably get sick of brewing a very similar beer over and over though, if my palate could even tell a difference!

I've listed to a few good podcasts on the topic, one of which you have already linked to. I found bits of Dr. Bamforth's interview very interesting, although I'm sure you've heard this one already!

Kudos to you for trying to really understand and get a handle on this in depth! But, I would encourage you not to get overwhelmed trying to figure this out. Hops are great, but they are just one out of 4 (or more) ingredients in a given beer. I love hops, but I am strangely surprised that I am enjoying the Orval I am sipping now more than the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA I finished earlier!

5 Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2015 9:27 PM

porschemad911:

Hops are great, but they are just one out of 4 (or more) ingredients in a given beer. I love hops, but I am strangely surprised that I am enjoying the Orval I am sipping now more than the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA I finished earlier!


+1 to what porschemad911 said. I have been reading through my tasting notes and I keep seeing, “probably would have been better without the finishing hops,” so recently I decided to take a step back from using them. It is sort of like hazelnut flavoured coffee vs Sumatra, Vanilla whiskey vs single malt Scotch. Personally I am a Sumatra and single malt Scotch kind of gal, and I guess I am slowly coming to the realization that is the way I like my beer too. But to each their own. Good luck in your quest Lusty.

6 Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015 2:33 AM

Oh, I forgot to add this re: max aroma. Make a hop tea at bottling time as per Gerard Lemmens:

http://www.basicbrewing.com/radio/mp3/bbr09-08-05.mp3

To summarize:

Gerard Lemmens's Hop Tea:

- remove your pellets from fridge or freezer and allow to rest at room temperature for 24 hours to allow harsh volatile oils to evaporate.
- make a hop tea using just enough 75C (167F) hot water to cover the pellets and steep for 20 minutes (okay to let temp drop during this time).
- add the hop tea to the bottling bucket, just before bottling (or kegging).

Cheers.

7 Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015 7:36 AM

Good tip Christina, I've tried a hop tea a couple of times before and it worked really well. I did it in lieu of a dry hop though, not at bottling time. Might work better at bottling time because there's less time for the delicate aroma compounds to evaporate before being sealed into the bottle.

All the guys in the other threads buying 3 or 4 of the DIY Craft kits are set! An extra one of these with a tap would be handy as a bottling bucket for trying this out.

8 Posted: Monday, May 11, 2015 11:28 AM

Thanks for the input guys. Much appreciated.

I watched the video in your post John, & have done some experimenting in the past with hop teas, but admit Christina that I haven't used it as a late addition post fermentation prior to bottling/kegging. Probably because of clarity related issues.

Skimming through some old brew notes, I did do a brew using a hop tea for the flameout addition separate from the boil additions, with good results.

I might shift more of my late hop percentages into steeped hop teas & lower my dry hop additions to see if I can gain the benefits I'm looking for.

It can be a little hard to measure at times, due to using such a large variety of hops as I do with my brewing.

Cheers,

Lusty.

9 Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 11:51 AM

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to revive this thread to see if anyone has more thoughts on hop stands and hop bursts…

I'd love to get a huge hop flavour happening without overdoing the bitterness, I've just plugged a few numbers into the BF calculator, but the whirlpool/hop stand section seems to not have great detail, just the utilization % effecting the IBU calculation… whereas I'm sure the temperature and time have a huge impact here.

50 gms of galaxy in at whirlpool gives you 34 IBU on it's on in 21 litres batch at 10% utulization, but I'm sure this would change a lot depending on initial temp and time in the steep.

Has anyone hit on some preferred methods for flamout additions to maximize flavour?

How do the different acidity level hops behave in different temps / times?

Which hops have people had success with in the scenario?

Some of the recipes I have seen for a beer I love - Stone GoTo have loads (140gm) of hops for a 5 min boil, then 28gm at whirlpool… with a small amount of magnum at first wort.

I'd like to know how much a 5 min boil differs in flavour to a mass flamout.

Cheers for any more learnings if you have them.

10 Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:41 PM

Good questions. More recently I've been adding my FO additions once the wort temp has dropped below 77ºC, with the understanding I will lose less of the essential aromatic oils this way, and then I leave it to steep for around 30 mins.

I'm sure there's a lot of variables that come into play as I found on some occasions this approach has worked really well - e.g. I once ended up with fantastic hop aroma in an APA, and yet other times it seems to have been far less effective. I guess in part it comes down the the particular hops in question and the weight of malts they're competing with.

I'd be interested to her what others have to say…

11 Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:11 PM

I used to have a great chart that graphed flavour, aroma and bitterness against time in the boil, but can't seem to put my hands on it lately. Having said that, aroma and most flavour comes from essential oils which can be easily boiled off (much like coffee,) hence the value of dry hopping. Oils are not soluble in water, of course, so in order to extract aroma one needs the presence of hot wort or alcohol. This is why we talk of the flamout and dry hopping (often after several days when there is a significant amount of alcohol available,) as “aroma additions.”

Some oil will be extracted with a tea, but you may find you need a lot more to produce the same amount of aroma and that it is different from the effect of dry hopping and flamout additions.

I personally stick to dry hopping, or a 5 minute or flamout addition for the more exotic hops. You should experiment, making notes of the effects along with temperatures, SG, times, how drunk you were when sampling, etc. and let us know the results.

12 Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:41 PM

dragit:

50 gms of galaxy in at whirlpool gives you 34 IBU on it's on in 21 litres batch at 10% utulization, but I'm sure this would change a lot depending on initial temp and time in the steep.

It absolutely changes depending on temperature and time. The amount of IBUs contributed drops as the temperature falls further and further below 100C. Obviously if you put these hops in with the wort at 82C you're not gonna get anywhere near the amount of IBUs from it as you would if it went in at 98C or whatever.

Along the same lines if the hops are added at whirlpool and the temperature kept constant then they'll contribute more IBUs than if the temperature is allowed to drop over the same time period. Of course the time affects it too, the longer they're in there the more IBUs contributed, but that's also related to temperature. 5 minutes at 95C might give the same IBUs as 20 minutes at 84C. I don't know what the rate of drop off is as the temp drops but you get the gist.

13 Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 5:22 AM

dragit - In Beersmith2 there is a Hop Utilisation Box in Equipment Profile which relates to whirlpool time above 85ºC , you have the option of ticking this box and then listing that amount of time above 85ºC. Not sure if you are using Beersmith but I have found this useful.

I am experimenting with my next brew of just a 60 minute bittering addition and then a single dry hop in the keg which could also be done post fermentation in the fermenter.

I found some interesting stuff to try on this site that Christina found…..http://scottjanish.com/examination-of-studies-hopping-methods-and-concepts-for-achieving-maximum-hop-aroma-and-flavor/

14 Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 11:09 AM

Morrie:

I found some interesting stuff to try on this site that Christina found…..http://scottjanish.com/examination-of-studies-hopping-methods-and-concepts-for-achieving-maximum-hop-aroma-and-flavor/


Well, there's some strong arguments in favour of dry-hopping:

…floral oils compounds (like myrcene) “significantly” decreased as a result of fermentation.

…noble or spicy hop oil compounds also decreased significantly during fermentation


And also very interesting:

…the oils were almost completely extracted on the first full day of dry hopping and even decreased after day 4!


It was also interesting to read that by adding dry hops EARLY while fermentation is still in progress you can achieve more rose/citrusy/fruit aromas.


Last edited by BlackSands (Monday, March 20, 2017 11:09 AM)