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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: pinnah on April 04, 2012, 02:59:15 PM

Title: Hop Beta
Post by: pinnah on April 04, 2012, 02:59:15 PM
Wondering if someone can explain Beta % to me, and what it contributes?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: morticaixavier on April 04, 2012, 03:08:45 PM
As I understand it the hop acids are of at least two different types. Alpha and Beta. The Alpha is what gives us the nice clean bitterness and flavours/aromas etc. while the Beta tends to be harsh and slightly unpleasant in it's bitterness. But that is a very surface interpretation. I generally like to see pretty low beta %
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: a10t2 on April 04, 2012, 04:17:40 PM
Beta acids are pretty poorly understood overall. Adam's right that they're generally believed to produce a harsher bitterness, particularly as beer ages and the iso-alpha acids fall off. But noble hops tend to have higher beta levels than American varieties, so there has to be more to the story.
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: jmcamerlengo on April 04, 2012, 04:33:57 PM
Beta acids are pretty poorly understood overall. Adam's right that they're generally believed to produce a harsher bitterness, particularly as beer ages and the iso-alpha acids fall off. But noble hops tend to have higher beta levels than American varieties, so there has to be more to the story.

This...Ive always wondered myself why people make that blanket statement about beta acid % yes beta % on noble hops and EKG's and the like are usually very close to the alpha %. I.e. I bought some EkG's from HopUnion and the alpha was listed as 5.1% and the beta was 4.8%.
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: pinnah on April 05, 2012, 02:56:52 PM
I thought it was interesting that Hop Union is adding the Beta % on their new packaging. 
Do brewers actually use Beta numbers in recipe formulation?
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: morticaixavier on April 05, 2012, 03:02:38 PM
I thought it was interesting that Hop Union is adding the Beta % on their new packaging. 
Do brewers actually use Beta numbers in recipe formulation?

I know beersmith at least has a place to enter it in the hop description. I have never played around with changing it to see what happens though.
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: weithman5 on April 05, 2012, 03:12:27 PM
i have been thinking of making some hop -teas with my homegrown hops, (santiem, magnum, sterling) just to see how they change at different times, strengths etc.  maybe an experiment on some commercial hops with descriptions of how they change may be in order as well.
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: Delo on April 05, 2012, 03:33:47 PM
From what I remember there is little or no contribution of flavor from beta acids after the boil. Beta acids mostly affect aroma and may help determine how a beer will age.  As the beer ages, beta acids oxidize to produce bitter compounds.  I may be wrong because my memory is getting really bad. :-\

Edited: three times because me writing is not so good sometimes
Title: Re: Hop Beta
Post by: Alewyfe on April 05, 2012, 03:55:11 PM
I appreciate, having readily available, as much quantitative information about my ingredients as possible.
I note Beta % in my recipes and if I live long enough and brew enough, may actually see some correlation to the results and the amount of Beta acids. As far as recipe design, Alpha acids and cohumulone levels are the only thing I pay attention to. Hop Union's hop variety handbook is extremely useful.